Why I Love My Connecta – A Review for International Babywearing Week

We love a good celebration over here at Something About Baby, so I was excited to discover that this week is International Babywearing Week!  As massive babywearing fans, I am thrilled to see such a wonderful practice celebrated all over the world.

International Babywearing Week runs from 5 – 10 October 2016, and is a way for people all over to celebrate the joy that is carrying your babies.  They promote babywearing as a way to extend that bond you have with your baby.  There are numerous benefits to babywearing, especially in the early days when baby just wants to be held.  In practical terms, you can go pretty much anywhere with a baby in a carrier, whereas you could be restricted when baby is in a pram.

The Connecta makes walking in the rain a doddle

The Connecta makes walking in the rain a doddle

Choosing a carrier or sling can be one of the hardest parts of babywearing, but once you’ve found something you get on with, the benefits are amazing.  I’d highly recommend visiting your local sling library (if you google sling library and your area, your local one should come up).

It’s really important to know how to carry your baby properly in whatever carrier you are using.  The typical carriers you get from highstreet shops are generally not very comfortable, or good for  you or baby.  Knowing things like the correct way to position the carrier, and the weight limits of your carrier are crucial, and a good sling library will really be able to help you with this.  The T.I.C.K.S guidelines are also a great guide to follow, and this fab infographic from the Baby Sling Safety website is a fab source of information.

Following the TICKS guidelines is very important

Following the TICKS guidelines is very important

Once I’d tried on a few slings, I quickly fell in love with the Connecta.  I was aware of it as a few ladies on my facebook baby group raved about it, but I kept my options open when I visited the library to see what suited me.  However, the Connecta was a clear winner!  You will have seen me mention it numerous times in my blog posts, and I even use it in the page banner at the top of my blog!  Here are just a few reasons why I love it so much.

Ease of use

I find the Connecta so easy to use.  It is known as a soft structured carrier, and is basically a canvas with a waist strap and two shoulder straps that buckle together.  There is a pretty handy info sheet included in the Connecta pack, but there are also lots of great YouTube videos that show you exactly how to put the Connecta on.  I can put Alfie in the carrier on my own in a matter of minutes – which is perfect when he’s being fussy and struggling, it takes no time to calm him down!

The Connecta also folds up so small, so it is easy to stash in your changing bag so you always have it with you.

It's surprising how something so big can fold up so small!

It’s surprising how something so big can fold up so small!

Different sizes and positions

The Connecta comes in three different sizes – Baby, Toddler and Preschool. You then have a choice of standard or petite straps.  The size of carrier you use is dependent on the size and age of your baby (you can find more information on the Connecta website here).  The choice of straps is dependent on the size of the wearer.  If you can try out different sizes before you buy, you can get an idea of what suits you and your baby best.

I originally bought a baby carrier with standard straps.  This was perfect for both me and Craig to use, especially with front carries.  As Alfie got bigger, we converted to back carries and although still comfortable, I think petite straps would be better as you can pull them tighter under your arms.

We have very recently upgraded to a toddler size with petite straps now Alfie is 14 months and 12.5kg.  It is still a bit too big and I tend to roll the waistband to get a more comfortable fit, but the straps are much better.

With the Connecta, you can put your baby is two positions – on your front and on your back.  I wore Alfie on my front when he was small as it was the most comfortable position, and then when we got to around 10 months, I tried him out on my back.  Now, at 15 months, I can wear him either on my front or back and it’s comfortable (but I do prefer back carries).

The Connecta doesn’t forward face, but for me, this is fine.  Research shows that this isn’t a very comfortable position for baby, and if they do forward face, it shouldn’t be for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Carrying Alfie on my front means we get lots of cuddles

Carrying Alfie on my front means we get lots of cuddles

Carrying Alfie on my back is a lot easier now he's bigger!

Carrying Alfie on my back is a lot easier now he’s bigger!

Comfort

There are a few different ways you can wear the Connecta.  The most common way for a front carry is to cross the straps over at the back.  This ensures the weight is evenly distributed, so your baby doesn’t feel heavy.  You should ensure the straps are even on your shoulders and not too close to your neck, otherwise it can feel like it’s pulling on your back.

When doing a back carry, you can also use the cross strap method.  However, if you are female you may find your boobs get in the way!  I use the rucksack method and find it much more comfortable.  I also don’t use the chest (accessory) strap either as I found it dug in and didn’t actually do anything to help with the carry.  But most people do use this, again it’s just trial and error to see what works for you.

Once Alfie is in the carrier, be it on my front or my back, we are both so comfortable.  I often get comments from family and friends, and even strangers about how heavy it must be and how my back must be aching.  But no, not at all!  It hurts more to carry him in my arms than it does in the carrier.  I walked around a festival all day with him, first on my back and then on my front so he could sleep and there were no aches and pains afterwards!

With the Connecta, we can enjoy any event - even a muddy festival with no worries the buggy will get stuck!

With the Connecta, we can enjoy any event – even a muddy festival with no worries the buggy will get stuck!

Beautiful patterns and designs

The big draw for the Connecta is the amazing array of different patterns and designs. You can get plain block colours, pretty girly colours, whimsicals patterns.  Or you can opt for bold and bright or Harry Potter themed designs!  That’s before you’ve even started on the wrap conversion options.  Connecta also do a solarweave option, which is basically a lightweight carrier that is perfect for the summer or use in hot countries.  We don’t own one yet, but I’ve been lusting after one for a while and will definitely invest next year for our holiday abroad.

Due to Alfie being a boy, and to persuade Craig to try the carrier, we went for two more boyish designs – although they could easily be used to carry girls.  That is another great thing about the Connecta designs – most of them are unisex!

Our first outing in our new Dino Connecta

Our first outing in our new Dino Connecta

Showing off our new Zap Toddler carrier on a river walk

Showing off our new Zap Toddler carrier on a river walk

Cost

Although I love Connecta so much, I would have bought some anyway, the cost REALLY appealed to me (and my husband!!).  At an average of £68 for a standard baby carrier and £78 for a toddler, they are excellent value.  Considering we used our Connecta almost every day when I was on maternity leave, it’s basically paid for itself!  Compared to other similar soft structured carriers, this is a very reasonable price.

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Family brand with great customer service

The thing I love about Connecta is they are a relatively small family company, but provide great customer service.  There have been a few supply issues of late, but they have done their best to deal with them in the best possible way.  It’s what keeps customers coming back time and time again.

When I ordered my first Connecta, I had enquired about a different design but was told they didn’t know when they’d be getting any back in stock.  As I wanted it before Christmas, I decided to choose another design instead.  It arrived within 3 days, with a constant email and text update as to where the package was.  I then manged to source my Desperately In Search Of (DISO) design a few months ago in a toddler design.

So happy to finally get my hands on a Zap edition

So happy to finally get my hands on a Zap edition

Suits all the family

A big plus for me is that Craig is always as happy as I am to use the Connecta.  When I first started babywearing with the Caboo, Craig attempted it once and both he and Alfie got flustered and he never tried again.

Since getting the Connecta, it took me a few weeks to pursuade him to have a go, but now he loves it as much as I do.  It’s great when we are going on a really long walk as we can take turns with the carrying without one of us getting tired.  Or if we are shopping, I can try on clothes freely without having to keep taking the carrier on and off.  It also means Daddy and Alfie can go on walks (read: catch Pokemon!) together whilst Mummy has some me time at home!

So in summary, these are many reasons why Connecta is our favourite brand of carrier.  It is easy to use, comfortable, cheap, pretty and suitable for both mum and dad.  I would 100% recommend getting a Connecta – whether you are new to babywearing or an old hat, they really are suitable for everyone!

Even Daddy loves using the Connecta!

Even Daddy loves using the Connecta!

*I have written this review off my own back because I really love Connecta!  They have not been involved in this review in any way*

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23 Comments

  1. I love babywearing too, I have an Ergo, but I’m considering buying a connecta as a second because I love them too! Thanks for sharing #BloggerClubUK

  2. I’m a big fan of babywearing and totally went for it with my second in a now-or-never kind of approach. I bought a proper wrap and went for the crossover carry mainly. I loved all the amazing comments I got from people seeing her happily wrapped up on my chest. Miss those days!
    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub, and reminding me I should probably sell my wrap…although not sure I can part with the memories 🙂
    MMT recently posted…#coolmumclub Linky week 40My Profile

    • I’m so glad I was introduced to it early on! I would love to learn to wrap, and have a 1:1 session on my birthday wish list to have someone teach me properly before Alfie is too big and independent! Nooo, keep it definitely for the memories! Thanks for hosting x

    • That is such an amazing gift, I may drop lots of hints for my next baby that I want a Connecta ha! To be honest, it would probably be your most useful item to have if you ever did have a fire – just don’t forget to grab the kids to go in it! Thanks for reading x

  3. Your Connecta carrier looks fab and I love the patterns. You mention about visiting a sling library – I completely agree and so wish I knew about these when Little Button was a baby. I ended up with quite an uncomfortable bulky carrier which didn’t suit at all. What a great review. Thank you for sharing with the #DreamTeam x
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons recently posted…#DreamTeam Linky 24My Profile

    • I’m so glad I was told to go to a sling library, I’d have no idea how to carry otherwise! Connecta is definitely great at producing funky designs and is a huge part of why I love it! Thanks for hosting 🙂

  4. Ah we have a Baby Bjorn from our first baby but I’m still not sure about getting another. This looks amazing and you have really sold it. What a fab review and love all the pictures 🙂 Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

  5. I really wish I had looked into babywearing more while my two were small enough to be carried. We had a baby carrier and it was a good / popular brand, but the odd time I tried it my shoulders really ached so it put me off a little and I ended up giving it away. I now wish that I had looked into the fitting further as I’m sure I just wasn’t wearing it correctly, or I maybe needed to try another type like this one that you recommend. I love the concept of babywearing and would have liked to have given it more of a go. It’s great that you found something that works so well for you x #DreamTeam

    • It is so important to get one that is comfortable. I hear so many people say that it was too uncomfortable so they gave up when really they just needed some guidance on the correct carrier and positioning. Thanks for reading x

  6. Great review – so thorough and informative! I’ve wanted to baby wear since before the little man arrived but have found it such a minefield that its been more overwhelming than anything. After reading your review im really keen to give a Connecta a go, they look and sound great. Im heading to their website now! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Emily

    • Ah thank you! I’d really recommend getting one, I started wearing Alfie in the Connecta at 5 months so your little man would be a perfect age for it. If you have a sling library near you they’ll be able to help you with positioning etc and you can even hire one so you can try before you buy! X

  7. yvonne

    I didnt know it was baby wearing week. When my two were small I loved my baby carrier, it made life so much easier and they were always so much happier 🙂 Great review – wish I had seen something like this a few years ago #bestandworst

  8. Christine

    We babywear and now she’s getting older are keen to start carrying on our backs. Really like the connectas I’ve seen friends use and tried a friend’s petite strap which was great. My husband isn’t petite though… how did your partner get on with the petite straps on your toddler connecta?
    Thanks for the info. Great review. C

    • Hi Christine, my husband found the petite straps completely fine! There isn’t a huge difference, but he was still able to get the straps tight enough in a back carry (although he prefers a front carry!). Thanks for your kind comments 🙂 good luck with your search for a Connecta!

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