With all three of the Madhouse Mini-testers, I used to love baby-wearing, especially as I use public transport and walk a lot so using a baby carrier or sling totally fitted in with my lifestyle and was much easier than trying to wrestle with a cumbersome pushchair. I blogged last year (here) about feeling very smug in Turkey when we hopped on and off the local dolmus buses with Pierre in a sling while other parents got hot and bothered as they struggled with their pushchairs. However, with Pierre now almost 3 years old, I figured our baby-carrier days were well behind us. He walks pretty much everywhere under his own steam now, although he does like to sit in the pushchair when he starts getting tired or if I'm in a rush, and we've been debating whether we need to take a pushchair with us when we go to Tunisia this summer. Will he fade with the heat and be too tired to walk or will we cope without one ?
Then I got an email from the lovely Sasha from Sanamama to tell me about the perfect product. She explained : "I am a mum of two who was inspired by my childhood on a farm in Africa, being carried the traditional way, to devise a back-friendly carrier that allowed my hands and front of my body to be free while also keeping my baby close and secure. The Sanamama is the result, and it has passed all EU health and safety tests for infants from 4 months till when they reach 16kg. My “baby” is nearly three and I still use it." Well, we've just had to weigh Pierre to sort out the dosage of his antiobiotics and he weighs exactly 15kg so I was keen to see if this could work, in which case it would be the ideal product to throw in the suitcase (or on my back, to prevent Pierre running around getting into trouble at the airport) in place of the pushchair.
Now that Pierre has got such long legs, I wasn't sure how I'd manage to get him in the baby carrier and on my back single-handedly but it's actually really easy because you attach your child into the carrier before putting on your back. Pierre thought it was very funny because it was like a big nappy ! He was really cooperative and stood on the chair and climbed on my back like a piggy back while I snapped the clips shut.
For the first few minutes, I kept putting my arms back under his bum to support him, as if I was giving him a piggy back. However, I soon realised that this was totally unnecessary and it's totally comfortable and secure, even hands-free with a toddler weighing 15kg. I remember wearing a huge backpack in my student days which weighed a ton when you picked it up but that you could barely feel when hoisted on to your back, and the sanamama seems to have the same effect. When I give Pierre a piggy back, within 5 minutes, my back hurts and I'm too tired to carry him any more. Also he complains that his legs hurt where I'm holding him. Neither of those things happened when I was carrying him in the Sanamama.
I kept him on my back as I went around the lounge tidying up the toys, zoomed around playing aeroplanes for a bit and walked up the stairs with him in it as a final test. It is amazingly comfortable for parent and child, feels very securely attached and is dead easy to put on even by yourself.
The Sanamama is definitely coming with us to Tunisia but will also be used for long walks along the beach or rough terrain which makes using a pushchair awkward. We recently went to Disneyland Paris (as I told you here) with a pushchair, which was a bit of a pain so this would have been ideal for that too.
As if that wasn't enough, as a thanks for the African inspiration, proceeds of each unit sold goes to Starfish, an international charity set up to help children and babies suffering from HIV and AIDS in Africa. If you love baby carriers, this is the absolutely perfect product to go on to for toddlers when they've outgrown their sling. As well as being really convenient, it's also a cheaper alternative to a pushchair.
star rating : 5/5
RRP : £49.99
for more information : http://www.sanamama.com
Disclosure : I received a Sanamama Baby Carrier in order to write an honest review.
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