I think it’s safe to say we are obsessed with Tulas! If you follow us on Instagram you’ve no doubt seen our Tula spam, we use a few different baby carriers but for me nothing compares to the ease and comfort of a Tula!
I first came across Tula baby carriers when I visited our local sling library desperate for a carrier we could make work for us. The benefits of baby wearing are well known, holding your baby close not only strengthens your bond but also provides reassurance and comfort to your little one, babies just love to be close to mama and let’s face it, we want to snuggle them all day too! Baby wearing is the perfect way to do that, but it’s important to do it safely too, if anyone is looking for more information on how to babywear safely please visit www.nct.org.uk/parenting/sling-safety
When he was a baby, I’d carried Tom around the house in a stretchy wrap plenty of times but never had the confidence in my wrapping skills to go outside for any length of time with it. When he outgrew the stretchy we bought a basic baby carrier from mamas and papas, at the time the carrier was more for Mark (daddy) than me, he was exited to not be tied down to pushing a pram and have more freedom in confined spaces.
Turns out that carrier was a nightmare to put on, pretty much a two-man job and even with both of us we struggled. Adjusting the carrier to fit more than one user was fiddly and it was uncomfortable on your shoulders to wear him for any length of time. It was obvious Tom loved being close to us though, and we loved carrying him hands free but because it was such a hassle it was barely used and put away in a cupboard.
When I heard about our local sling library I thought it was worth going online for a quick look at their stock, to compare them to our old carrier and see if one might work better for us. As soon as I saw my first Tula I was in love! The prints blew my mind, before that I’d only seen baby carriers in plain dark colours, nothing exiting like this, I found myself on the Tula website creating a wish list of my favourite prints!
So, when I rocked up to my first sling meet I already knew what I wanted. Turns out it was Michaela and Jonah who helped us try on our first Tula, she volunteers with our local sling library. We had a quick chat and she asked me what I was looking for. Talking though the pros and cons of different brands I admitted I’d already fallen for the Tula they had in stock and that I’d like to rent it to try it out for a month. She gave me a quick demonstration of how to use it and sent me on my way, baby in sling.
My first revolutionary moment was when we got back to the car and I realised I needed to get Tom out of the sling and into his car seat by myself. With the mamas and papa’s carrier this had been a nightmare but I was blown away by how simple it was with our new Tula! Just unclip the buckle behind you, pull a strap down and lift them out. When mark got home from work I showed him how to use it, how quickly I could get tom up and down in it and most importantly that I could do it alone! I was over the moon with it.
I loved that first Tula I rented, I was gutted when I had to return it.
I remember one day Tom wasn’t well and I needed to take him to the walk-in doctors, but he just wanted cuddles and there was no way he would sit in the pram for the half an hour walk there, so I made the decision to carry him in the Tula. It was the longest I’d ever carried him for and it was the middle of summer so we were both melting. it turned out that Thomas was fine when we got to the doctors, probably just teething making him fussy, but that I had a blocked duct and possible mastitis, ouch! But although it wasn’t the most comfortable walk home and my body ached the next day from not being used to it, he fell asleep on the way back on me and there wasn’t one whinge, magic! In fact, the mythical “sleepy dust” that comes as standard with all the best baby carriers has saved my bacon a few times when I’ve had a whingey, overstimulated baby who won’t sleep.
The more I carried him the easier it was to go longer distances, and one of the main advantages of a Tula over other similar brands is the amount of padding around the waist and shoulders, it’s A LOT comfier than some others I’ve tried! When I needed to use the pram id pop the carrier on the bottom in case Tom had a meltdown. I got quite a few strange looks in town carrying him and pushing an empty pram but he always settles straight away close to mama. Mark loves to take it in the back of the car when he went shopping, so he could pop in and out of shops quickly without having to find a trolley for Tom to sit in.
As Tom got bigger it became harder to carry him on my front, he was just too heavy, it was like being pregnant with a two stone baby! I was told it was much comfier to carry older babies on your back, like a backpack, but also harder to get them up there yourself, the first time I tried myself I failed miserably but if someone else was around to help me get him up it was so much more comfortable, after months of carrying him on my front he felt almost weightless on my back, and I could see my feet again, hooray!
I messaged the lovely people over at Tula and they gave me some great tips to help get Tom into the carrier on my back myself. They told me to loosen the shoulder straps as far as possible, then once I’d swung him up onto my back to pull up the shoulder straps and do a sort of jiggle up and down, holding the shoulder straps up high, to get him deeper into the seat. A few practices and I was a pro. It’s still much easier to get him onto my front for very short journeys but so much more comfortable on my back for a long walk.
We`ve had some amazing adventures with our Tula, it’s a brilliant way share your view of the world with you baby and make wonderful memories together! We`ve been places that a pram simply couldn’t take us, up hills, through forests, along beaches. And it’s not just mamma and daddy who have benefited, my 13 year old sister loves to wear Thomas and she calls him her little backpack! I’d recommend baby wearing to everyone and I’ve lent my Tula out to a lot of my friends to try out, sometimes we joke that I may as well set up my own sling library!
Tula baby carriers come in 2 main sizes, standard (or baby size) and toddler, in the photos below (modelled by my gorgeous sister) I’ve compared how Tom fits in both a standard and toddler Tula. At 20 months Tom still fits comfortably in a standard but notice the carrier does not quite support him “knee to knee” like the toddler size does, and the toddler does reach higher up his back giving more support.
Tula recently released their brand new Free-to-grow carrier, which allows you to use the same baby carrier from birth to toddlerhood without needing a fiddly insert, And I was lucky enough to be contacted by Tula and asked to try it out.The free-to-grow was released in 4 exiting new prints, it was a hard decision but we chose the beautiful “wonder” which is a mid-grey shade with white polka dots.
The free-to-grow is different from the standard Tula because it has an adjustable panel, which means you can make the carrier smaller for tiny babies and then adjust the poppers to change the size of the panel so that your carrier basically grows with your baby. At its largest the free-to-grow is the same size as a standard Tula.
There’s a couple of new little features to the free-to-grow that although only small make a difference to the feel of it. I love the new hood design and the change from elastic loops to poppers to secure the hood, there’s now a Tula badge on the hood as well so its visible when the hood is worn down. I also noticed the Tula logo embossed onto the waist buckle which I think is a nice touch.
My sister tried out our free-to-grow with her new baby and she loved it so much she bought her own the week after, she chose the navy floral “blossom” before this she was using a stretchy wrap but she said she found the free-to-grow so much more supportive and comfortable. I`m so excited to see what prints they come up with for future releases
The photos below compare how my six month old niece (small for her age) fits into the FTG on the middle setting compared to my chunky 20 month on the largest setting, he’s so big now my sister can hardly see over his head!
as well as the standard, the toddler size and the Free-to-grow Tula also produce the Coast carrier, intended for use in hot weather the coast has the same design as a standard Tula but also includes a breathable mesh panel on the front to make sure baby stays cool, perfect for use in summer or on holiday.
Aside from baby carriers Tula also make doll carriers (how cute would tom look carrying a teddy in one of these?) baby wearing bags (called Torbas) and gorgeous swaddle blankets.