When my baby outgrew the Connecta Integra Baby Carrier (a modern mei-tai, which I love with all my heart because my baby grew up in it), I had to go shopping for a new baby carrier.
As you know, I’d checked out the Beco Butterfly II, the Beco Gemini and the Ergo but still, none of them appealed to me even though they are great baby carriers in their own right. Beautiful designs too!
Then, when I saw a Mummy trying out the Manduca baby carrier, I perked up and started doing my research:
1. Three positions for babywearing: front, on the back or on the side.
2. Baby and toddler carrier
- even for newborns (a sewn-in “seat” is included in each Manduca)
- usable up to 4 years old children
- max weight: 20 kg
3. Babywearing comfort for your child
- adjustable head and neck rest
- upholstered buckles against carve
- zippers and snap-fasteners are all nickel-free
- Outer material: 45% hemp, 55% organic cotton; Inner material: 100% organic cotton
- proper sitting posture
4. Babywearing comfort for you
- extra large extra belts for hip and shoulder evenly spreading the weight
- sophisticated belt system suit the Manduca perfectly to your size
- baby carrier only weighs 600 g
- controlled organic cotton, extra soft and und tough
5. Designed in Germany, Made in China.
- €99,00 (natural, black, bright blue);
- €109,00 (red, olive, blue/navy blue, brown, black/grey);
- €111,00 (plum, maple leaf design) and
- €119,00 for special edition designs.
During a weekend sale, I bought mine from Aber-Natuerlich.de (The Official Retailer of Manduca baby carriers)
6. Safety features
- 3-point buckles – 2 hands are needed to buckle/unbuckle. To fasten, press buckle in firmly until you heard a loud “snap”. Buckle must be tight and snug as in the photo above. To unfasten, first press the sides and then the middle button.
- Elastic loops – The elastic loops are to hold the buckle straps IF the buckle unfastens. It works based on a “clutching at a straw” concept, ok, which means it give you just 1 second to clutch your baby if the buckle unfastens.
Now that you’ve got the details, did the Manduca baby carrier live up to its reputation? Yes, it did on many points.
1. I am happy to see its 3-point buckle, which needs both hands to unbuckle. Now, I’m all for ease of use but the safety of my baby takes priority at all times.
2. When I snapped the baby carrier on, I love the Manduca for its super solid waist belt. You must have heard me moan a million times about my backache but I’ve been babywearing the tot (from 7 kg – 11 kg) in front for a few hours without any backache.
On the other hand, the solid waist belt makes it a bit tough to tuck this baby carrier into your baby bag. The best I can do is keep the thick, waist belt straight and roll up the fabric. You need a long bag to fit this baby carrier
3. The padded straps are comfy on my shoulders too, with an adjustable chest strap for when I’m carrying her on the back.
4. However, I found the adjustable black straps for the chest and shoulders and a bit too long. Although I could tuck them into elastic loops and clips, neither of these were adjustable.
I don’t like long straps because the straps may get caught on moving parts e.g. when you’re going up the escalator, when you’re walking along the road, when you’re getting out of a bus/taxi.
In the end, I shortened the straps by tying them in knots.
For the front carry, the Manduca is versatile enough for you to carry baby in 2 ways:
a) straps crossed behind your back or
b) straps positioned vertically connected with the snap-on chest blade strap – my preference since it’s easier.
For the back carry, I lay the baby carrier flat out on the sofa, squat (yes! LOL)in front of the sofa and ask my tot to climb onto my back. Then, I pull on the shoulder straps like I am putting on a backpack and snap on the chest strap.
Here she is about about 1.5 years old. Because she sucks her thumb, her arm is out of the shoulder strap. When she falls asleep, I’d usually pull the shoulder strap out from under her arm for safety’s sake.
Here she is at about 27 months old:
You can read about that babywearing experience here.
The best part about the Manduca baby carrier is that it prompted Hubby to try out babywearing
I was surprised considering that it’s a RED baby carrier but since it’s plain, he volunteered to back carry the little girl when we were at the supermarket one day.
Because the Manduca has a long, adjustable waist belt and shoulder straps, the baby carrier can fit Hubby’s (cough, cough) thick manly waist and broad shoulders.
I was quite nervous about this newbie babywearer but the Manduca’s buckles are so secure, I relaxed after she was strapped in. With a few tugs and slides, the toddler was snugly strapped onto Hubby’s back.
Hubby said she wasn’t heavy on his back and since he’s a backpacking kind of guy, he was comfortable carrying her on his back.
I only had to remind him a few times to be careful when he’s turning a corner and also to watch out for her feet. The good Daddy that he is, he’d feel for her feet every once in a while.
She was so comfortable in it that she fell asleep!
To support her head and dampen the loud noises from the supermarket, I hooked the sleep hood using its elastic loops and put on some socks so Hubby needn’t worry about her tiny toes.
Hubby was concerned about her feeling hot but since the Manduca is 45% hemp and 55% organic cotton, it’s light and airy.
I bought my Manduca in April 2011 during a weekend sale. and got a complimentary pair of BabyLegs Leg Warmers (Laughing Leopard) with my order too! How did they know that I’d love a leopard spot print?
Love the Manduca? Get it from Aber-Natuerlich.de (The Official Retailer of Manduca baby carriers).