Wondering when to size up from a Tula Standard to a Tula Toddler, or not sure how long that Tula Standard (or Free to Grow) will last you? We've set out to show you just that...
Skip over to our friends at Heart-Hugs.com where you can read all about it...
Looking to pick one up today? Find our babywearing selection here.
Hitting up the beach or spending time at the pool, warm weather playground days or hiking in the summer heat - no matter why you're out there, you want to stay cool. Take a quick look at our top baby carriers and toddler carriers for babywearing in the heat - and some that double for water use too!
Tula Coast Standard ☀ Beco Gemini Cool ☀ Beco Toddler Cool ☀ Buboose Aqua ☀ bitybean
☀ Hazel: 3 months, 15lbs, 24.5''
☀ Thea: 3.5 years, 34lbs, 39'', 4T clothing
☀ Lily: 6.5 years, 45lbs, 47'', 6/7 clothing
Lily and Thea both wearing our organic cotton yoga animals tees found here.
Hazel sporting the super soft Save Our Species long sleeve organic cotton bodysuit found here.
1. Tula Coast. Available in Standard and Toddler sizes, the Toddler production seems to be low and we - like many retailers - have yet to get our hands on those. No worries, because these seem to run a bit big - and while 3month old Hazel won't fit without the Tula Infant Insert (which would make a cool carrier mighty stuffy), this "standard" carrier is still a good fit on 3.5 year old Thea.
The mesh back is certainly cooler than the typical canvas, and as always, it's easy to use and great for adjusting to various sizes wearers and wear-ees. The canvas is not made for water use, so count this one out or plan on a long hang-dry time. Tula's cult following won't guide you wrong here - the Tula Coast like their other carriers is good looking and easy to work with, and now extra breathable! See stats and get yours here.
2. Beco Cool. Available in Gemini and Toddler - a perfect combo for our family, with 3 month old Hazel fitting perfectly in the Gemini with room to grow and both older girls at 3.5 and 6.5 fitting well into the Toddler. The Beco Toddlers are big - if your little one isn't wearing 2T pant length at the bare minimum, we strongly recommend going with a smaller carrier. The Gemini, though sometimes thought of as a "baby" carrier actually lasts quite a long time and is a fan favorite for comfort.
Straps on both the Gemini and Toddler are crossable, though we don't use this much if ever in Toddler size as those big kiddos go right on our backs. The buckle locks may get the stink eye from some but we give a big thumbs up to the extra protection. (And psst... with a little know how they can be opened with one hand anyway.) The panel fabric is a space age mesh that feels almost non-existent, and the straps, waist, and sides are smooth nylon fabric which sent most splashes sliding right off. Despite this, the Cool is not designed to go swimming - but we found accidental dry time to be comparatively quick. See stats and get yours here.
3. Buboose Aqua. From the land down under comes this simple looking but creatively genius carrier. The Aqua is made for water play - though of course babies are not, so please read and heed the warnings and use your brain. The quick dry mesh won't weigh you down, and it gives just enough coverage to sit where you want it but not where you don't - I like the top straps over my shoulders more than Eric does, and we were both able to find the sweet spot quickly. Because they're well covered the side ring adjustments can be a bit stiff if you're just trying to tug through - we recommend playing with them while off so you get the hang of it first. Thea, at 3.5 is way too big for this carrier, which tops out at 26lbs, but she's also visibly too tall. Three month old Hazel is a pretty good fit, but her legs don't quite swing freely - so we are certainly not worried about her growing out of it anytime soon. Lightweight, packable, quick drying - and a great fit on various size wearers. See stats and get yours here.
4. bitybean. This revolutionary ultralight carrier has always been at home in our to go bag - and we might just have a second one in the glove box. At this price point and packability, now you can always have a carrier on hand. It's a water pro - quick drying, never rough, and super hands-free secure. Unlike water ringslings that sometimes leave you unsure about going totally hands free, there's no worries here. This mini soft structured carrier packs a full size punch. We found it a great quick-up even with then 2 year old Thea. With no padding, you'll feel the weight much faster, but the trade in seems more than fair. This carrier tops out at 40lbs and it can certainly haul a big kid- we grabbed for our bitybean often with Thea at 2 years old- but we find it most comfortable for the under 2 / under 25lb-ish crowd. You'll need to get used to the different feel where the waist band becomes baby's seat - but after that it's simply strap, click, go. See stats and get yours here.
Recap and added bonuses:
- Water/Splash Friendly: Buboose Aqua, bitybean - and a bonus point to the repellant nature of the Beco Cool.
- Mesh for Air Flow: Tula Coast (flat), Beco Cool (3d), Buboose Aqua (tight weave)
- OK from Birth: Gemini Cool - and try the Buboose or bitybean at around 3m
- Best for Big Toddlers/Preschoolers: Beco Toddler Cool, Tula Coast Toddler
- UV fabric: Beco Cool
- Available right here on Biddle and Bop - all of the above
If we're out send us a note. We can find a small retailer for you or let you know when we're expecting more.
Thanks for reading our summer carrier review! If it helped you, please click share, leave us a note or comment, or drop us a note. And don't forget to follow us on Facebook, IG, or Twitter for more info, photos, and fun.
This Mom of four is able to breastfeed her seven week-old infant while wearing the baby in a Tula Baby soft structured carrier (shown here from BiddleandBop.com) and you wouldn't even notice! Mom Nicole warns that parents should never cover up a newborn's face when breastfeeding, even if they're feeling a bit awkward. A good carrier, like the new Tula Free To Grow shown here, provides a safe and comfortable spot for baby to easily feed by breast or bottle she claims - without suffocation risk, a real danger if the baby's face is fully surrounded by a fabric hood. But folks who passed on the street say they weren't even aware that Nicole was nursing the baby. "I'm just drawn to those cute feet sticking out," said Marla*, age 72. "That's a good momma right there." And it doesn't stop there...
Check out what Marla saw next after the break - scroll down to continue!
Back on the playground near her home in Northern New Jersey, we met Nicole with her newborn still strapped to her front in what she calls an "ergonomic carrier" - a cuddly snug little fabric pocket that makes her look part kangaroo and fully adorable despite the real life tired fog of motherhood. But then she turns around. . . and there is another baby strapped to her back! Wearing two Tula Free-To-Grow carriers, Nicole is "tandem wearing" two babies - her own not-yet two month old baby and a friend's twelve month old on her back. She says it's very comfortable and we have to admit, both babies look absolutely at ease, the borrowed rent-a-kid happily playing away with Nicole's baltic amber necklace and smiling happily.
Tandem wearing is a practice that moms to multiple children often turn to - especially when their children are close in age. "It just works," says Nicole. Wearing two happy babies and effortlessly minding a handful of older children spread across the playground, Nicole is the perfect spokesperson.
The process is simple: two Tula Free-To-Grow carriers layered one a top the other, both babies adjusted comfortably snug and high. "Get help the first time," Nicole says, "but it's easy. Really comfy."
What do you say? Give the new Tula Free to Grow a try - find yours here.
*We made up Marla. But we're pretty sure that's what she would have said.
**This post is satire. But our babywearing love is real. Get your Tula on. #tulalove
All weather gear is a top seller here at Biddle and Bop - and our own kids use this gear almost daily, year round. Here are the top questions we receive - and our answers. Got a different one? Feel free to reach out. We're here, and happy, to help!
1) How do I know what size to purchase?
You'll notice when browsing that our gear is listed by numbers - in 10s from 60 or 70 to 170 - this number refers to the child's standing (head to toe) height in centimeters - and includes plenty of grow room. We do not recommend sizing up more than 5 centimeters. So a child who is 101cm is not ready for a 110cm suit, but a child who is 105 can probably make it work. For more sizing help, you can read our blog post here which shows some great photos, and see our approximate size chart here.
2) What's the problem with buying big?
Beside the water coming in everywhere, when you size up too far pant legs get walked on, and sleeves end up rolled - both of which lead to your gear wearing out far before it should - and usually before they grow into it. You want your kids be geared up to play in any weather, and they will not do that if they're uncomfortable, cold, and wet. Right sized gear is essential to happy play!
3) But will it last? Kids grow fast!
You'll find our gear and European kids clothing is designed with growth spurts in mind. Bibbed pants for the rapid growth ages (up through size 100cm in sets and 130cm as separates) allow an even greater range of wear. We think you'll be pleased with the grow room - it's one of the constant compliments we hear! (The biggest reason for returns? Buying too big!) Here's our daughter, then 3 years old, wearing three different sizes of our rain suits. Click here to see what sizes she's wearing - you'll be impressed.
4) What about cleaning? Can I pop the rain suits in the washer?
You can - on a non-agitator or hand wash cycle. However, washing significantly reduces the life of the waterproofing of any waterproof garment. We recommend spot cleaning only unless absolutely needed. What do we do? We leave them dirty, hose down (it's really loads of fun to hose the kids down while they're wearing their gear... for both parties!), or wipe with a damp cloth. If it's just mud, we let dry and then shake out. Hang to dry, out of direct sunlight.
5) What about ticks? I've been told to put everything in the dryer on high.
Machine drying will reduce the lifespan of your gear. We do not recommend it and we cannot warranty or replace items damaged by washing or drying. We do recommend tick checks for everyone and careful washing up after forest play.
6) What are the straps at the bottom of the leg?
These boot straps, or stirrups, keep the pants down over the boots so that water doesn't come in the top of the boot!
7) Are the rainsuits breathable? What about summer?
Some kids wear them longer than others - but they are not super breathable, a trade in for durability, waterproofness, and skin (and earth) safe material! If you live in a warmer climate, consider the classic bibbed or elastic waist pants paired with our ultralight jackets - a cooler combo which will last longer in warm weather. For most of the country, we find the classic suits get the most use - plus they double for winter...
8) What about winter?
In winter, we layer our suits and wear them in the snow! Here's how we layer. Staying dry is essential for staying warm in winter, and our classic suits and one pieces are both water- and wind-proof.
9) What's the difference between the one and two piece classic suits?
Preference! Some kids prefer the one piece, some prefer two. Two gives better access for potty runs, one eliminates any gapping and makes getting dressed even easier. One pieces are often a favorite for our traveling families and beach lovers; two pieces are usually recommended by schools. Families who purchase one piece suits typically also purchase separate bibbed pants for warm weather wear or backup.
10) I have more questions!
We'd love to help - contact us anytime.
Let's face it. That carrier he's been grabbing? Not his. It's yours. And every time you get it back, you have to adjust the buckles, fix the straps, wiggle and shift and play till things are just right again. When your carrier is something you use every day (or even weekly) that's a whole lot of readjusting... but there's more - from the tag team of Jess and Eric, owners of Biddle and Bop, here are 10 reasons that Dad needs his own carrier this holiday:
1. Your carrier smells like you. It's very confusing for baby, and even toddlers when up in the carrier sometimes forget who is wearing them. This is obviously very traumatizing for everyone, but mostly if baby tries to latch on Dad.
2. Not everyone likes purple carriers. Personally, I prefer black and white. Strong, simple, and goes with what I normally wear. Eric, on the other hand, likes his purple Tula and that Beco with the little gold birds. More power to him.
3. We're not the same size. Jess tightens my carrier down so far that I can barely squeeze an arm in, and, if we're being honest, we may have had a few near misses setting up a back carry because I look like Chris Farley. Not cool. Could I remember to loosen those straps before I put *cough* MY carrier back on after she uses it? History says... no.
4. We have more than one kid. Amazingly, having been worn since both, they both achieved the ability to walk at the normal time, however, also amazingly, they tend to loose that ability whenever a) playground time is done and there's a long walk back, b) naptime has been missed, c) they have sniffles/growth spurts/teething, d) they haven't seen Dad in a while and just want little bonding time.
5. It's a status symbol. If you follow any babywearing boards or groups, you might be aware of such a thing as Stash Shot Saturday, or, simply the ability for men to post a photo and get 100x more likes then mom gets. Fair? No. Sexist? Yes. But let's roll with it for a second, because I only post on facebook 5x a year and 3 of those times are actually Jess with my login... so if I post a photo of my carrier or better yet, me wearing my kids in MY carrier, 100x the likes is a good thing.
6. It makes him want to wear more. Easy is good. If he has to adjust my carrier, he's way more apt to leave it in the car and just carry the kiddo in arms, which, in turn means I'm carrying everything else, kiddo is still not very comfy (and probably less likely to fall asleep), and then he's headed to bed early because his back hurts. We work really hard for those few hours of peaceful bonding time, and by bonding I mean binge watching Hulu...
7. He looks really good in his own carrier. Better than in mine, which looks like he borrowed it, thereby making it look like he's doing my job. His job, his carrier.
8. Having more carriers means more resale value later. Don't think about it too hard.
9. More carriers = less wear and tear on each.
10. He secretly wants one anyway, even if he'll never ask.
Shop carriers for Dads now (Ok, there are no Dad carriers. Just let him pick one. Or pick one for him, we're sure he'll love having his own.)
How to Embrace the Forest (and avoid the ticks) without Fear - A response to Slate.com's "Be Very Afraid of Ticks"
This is the headline going around: "The threat of tick-borne diseases is serious and growing. And you’re probably not doing enough to protect your family." (M. Moyer, for Slate)
Wow. That headline. I mean... it does make you want to hide in a corner with a spray bottle of Deet and not even look outdoors. And if you're not feeling bad enough in any other parenting category, add this one: you're not doing enough when it comes to ticks.