Stuff We Love: Go Scootababy for an Easy, Comfortable Baby Carrier
When I received my first infant carrier as a gift in 2003, I was disappointed by what appeared to be a formless sheet with a simple ring that I was expected to fashion into a safe carrier for my baby. Needless to say, I never mastered the art of the wrap, and I used several more structured carriers with my next kids. The Scootababy is one that I fell in love with immediately and still use to this day.
How I Found Out About Scootababy
I've been a "mommy blogger" since 2007, so I quickly became obsessed with all the online shopping options for baby gear and carriers — especially those that were pitched to me by PR companies and mom-owned small businesses. The Scootababy intrigued me right away, because it didn't look like your typical carrier. Not only did it seem like something any mom could master, I was drawn to the idea of being able to carry an older child on my hip with the carrier without strain on my back and legs. When I received the carrier as a gift, it quickly became my most-used carrier.
What's Great About It
Like any good piece of baby gear, a carrier really should be versatile, durable, and can last through more than one phase of baby's life.
It's Ready to Go Out of the Box
With the exception of two strap adjustments — the shoulder and the waist belt — the Scootababy is fully assembled and ready to go. Because it never requires more than just a light surface cleaning, you don't have to worry about putting pieces back together or making sure straps and buckles go where they need to. The carrier is simple enough for even an inexperienced child-wearer to use.
It Lasts for Years
The Scootababy — which I've now used with three of my five kids (and plan on using with baby #6 in October) — has never let me down in terms of ease of use and resilience. I've washed it fully in my machine on gentle a total of four times, and, with the exception of a little fading of the denim material, it's held together perfectly. Since the carrier is made for children ages 6 months to 37 pounds, my Scootababy has seen 5+ years of hard use and still works like new!
It Offers Great Support
I grew tired of hearing things like "if you're feeling pain or fatigue while wearing a carrier, you're not wearing it right."
The Scootababy was the first carrier I ever used where I could walk for hours carrying an older infant and didn't feel excruciating pain when I took it off. It's exhausting carrying a child that long, so it's impossible to not feel a little strain; the way the Scootababy puts the weight evenly on your hip and opposite shoulder, however, keeps your body from developing poor posture and gives you the most comfort of any carrier I've tried.
What the Scootababy Compares To
I have honestly never tried another front infant carrier that can be also used on the hip, so I have no other brand to compare to in that genre.
I have tried a number of front-only carriers, and compared to brands like Infantino, the Scootababy is much more durable and has fewer clips and straps to fiddle with. One other perk of the Scootababy that makes it superior to a traditional "wrap" style carrier is that it is easy to tell just by looking at it how it works and whether it's on safely.
Who They Are Best For
The Scootababy is best for caregivers of babies who can support their own necks and are tall enough to sit comfortably in the carrier. While the website and directions recommend using it with babies 4-6 months and older, my children were all very small for their age, and I wasn't comfortable using the carrier until they were almost 8 months.
This carrier works well for parents who are prone to setting a child on their hips, which is not recommended for extended periods of time. Scootababy gives you a more ergonomic option for times when your toddler needs to be carried or when they want to sleep in your arms while you walk around.
How It Could Be Better
While I'm hard pressed to find anything really wrong with the product, I am disappointed in the availability and color selection of the Scootababy. There are several places to order them from, each with limited selection. As a carrier that doesn't boast the brand names of more popular baby products, you may have to search harder to find the exact color-combo you want. The Scootababy is also priced higher than many carriers on the market. If you aren't certain you will use this type of carrier, spending over $100 for it may be risky.
What They Don't Tell You in the Manual
The makers of Scootababy boast that nursing while wearing the carrier is simple when worn from the front; as an experienced breastfeeding mom who has attempted it with two kids, however, I have found that it takes some creative maneuvering to master it.
The carrier doesn't cover as much of your body as some bulkier wraps, so being discreet while nursing will require an additional cover. Also, depending on how long the mom's torso is (and mine is NOT), a properly seated infant or toddler will come up higher on the wearer's body than would be comfortable for nursing. The website for Scootababy claims to have photos of nursing moms in a demo slideshow, but they may have been removed — as I couldn't find them for this review.
Bottom Line Recommendation
The Scootababy is designed to be a front, side, or back carrier for older infants and toddlers. It is comfy, lasts for many years, and can be picked up and used without hours peering through a manual to get it right. If you have just one carrier for newborns and the Scootababy, you should have all your baby-wearing needs covered!
Where to Get Yours
Because the Scootababy isn't widely available, selection may change periodically. In addition to shopping at Amazon.com, I would recommend starting at the official Scootababy site to see if there is a brick and mortar boutique near you (so you can test it out), or click on the boutiques listed for their online stores.
What's your favorite baby carrier?