One thing I look for when shopping for baby gear is a company that combines several uses into one product. This is important to me, because as a mom of 3 small children, I need to limit the amount of items I have to carry around with me or store in my home. The Onya Baby soft-structured baby carrier immediately caught my attention because it serves two purposes; to wear baby, and to provide a safe seat for baby in pretty much any chair.
Think about it, how many times have you been to a restaurant that either didn’t have high chairs at all or they were all occupied? Instead of one parent holding the baby while fumbling your food and it inevitably getting cold, you could safely strap your baby or small child into a chair with your Onya Baby. This idea is simply brilliant. One of those “million dollar ideas” I wish I came up with myself.
The Onya Baby SSC is built tough. It is a workhorse, but does not for a second compromise comfort, which was a concern of mine when seeing it for the first time. It is definitely not the type of carrier that you can fold up neatly and place in a diaper bag, but the trade off of having a well-made carrier that doubles as a seat is well worth the extra bulk. When I first set eyes on my carrier, I knew that it would be around for a long time. It has been safety tested for use with children up to 75lbs and I do not question that for one second. It is the most durable carrier that I have seen yet. I catch myself using my hands for support with other carriers (just a paranoid mom thing I guess). Not only is the Onya Baby noticeably more durable, but it has a real high back, which is great for babies who tend to lean backwards like my son. I don’t have to keep my hand near his head all the time in fear he may throw himself out of the carrier. The Onya Baby is roomy enough to allow my son to very comfortably keep his arms inside the carrier when napping. Since he is 20lbs now, in other carriers it is uncomfortable for him to keep them inside.
The Onya Baby can be worn in front and back carry positions, and for the first time I was able to back-carry my son worry free. Again, because of the higher back on this carrier, I did not fear my son leaning backwards while in the back carry position. When wearing the baby on your front, you can choose to use the chest strap and wear the carrier similar to a backpack, or you can choose to Criss-Cross the straps across your back. I have to recommend crossing the straps. I found it impossible to get my son strapped to me without any assistance using the straps like a backpack. The chest clip is positioned too high on my back for me to reach, however, it is easy for me to cross the straps one by one and buckle the little guy in safely. Back carry is also easy to do without assistance. I simply set the carrier down on a chair, place my son on it and position him correctly, sit down in front of it and carefully pull the straps over my shoulders like I would a backpack. I then clip the chest clip and off we go!
In my own personal experience, I did not find truly comfortable use with this carrier until my son was about 6 months old and about 18lbs. I say “my experience” because my son was overly alert at this age and wanted to see everything. Being little, he was unable to do so in this carrier and he was not pleased with his view being obstructed. Once he grew and became able to see more and look around more freely, we both fell in love with this carrier and look forward to many more years of use.
The Onya Baby comes in two different models. We have the Outback , which is made of a soft nylon with a mesh lining for super breathability. This carrier is good for warm climates and summer, but I have been using it in cooler weather too and it helps to keep me from overheating considering both myself and baby are already dressed warm. There is also the Cruiser which is made of soft cotton. Both carriers come in a few choices of earthy and unisex color combinations, which I love because they can be used with multiple children, truly maximizing the amount of use you will get. The features of OnyaBaby carriers are endless. Not only do you have a carrier/seat combo, but they also have a tuck-away sleeping hood, a double entry storage pouch, toy loops on each shoulder strap, and a D-Ring so you can attach a key clip (that you already have). These carriers are truly made with both mommy and baby in mind.
If you have not yet tried baby wearing, I cannot recommend it enough. As a mother who believes in attachment parenting, there are so many benefits of baby wearing, aside from the obvious hands-free perk. Babies feel much more comfort when close to mom and able to hear the familiar sounds that they remember in the womb, such as mom’s heartbeat and breathing. I had a much less fussy baby with my third, and I am a believer that baby wearing and other attachment parenting practices have been contributing factors.
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I would like to thank Onya Baby for sending a sample for review purposes.