Monday, August 23, 2010

Review: Infantino EcoSash Carrier

As I mentioned a few months ago, I was lucky enough to be chosen as a Mom Central Infantino Test Drive Mom. So I've been testing some great new Infantino products. The newest thing to arrive at my home is a new carrier, the Infantino EcoSash. Here is some information on the EcoSash carrier, from Infantino:
The EcoSash is designed with style and comfort in mind. It has a natural, form-fitting design that adjusts as baby grows, plus three carrying positions and a whole bundle of features, accessories and surprises. You’ll be ready to roll with a detachable hood, reversible fabric prints, extra padding, and a mesh washing machine bag.

First off, I should say that my kids are both out of the carrier stage. They both are within the weight limits for the carrier (8-35lbs), but they're both very active and not fans of being cooped up. That being said, I did manage to catch Vivian, my 14-month-old, for long enough to test the carrier out for myself.

Vivian is used to being carried in a sling and has never been in any other sort of carrier, so, although we did get her into the backpack position of the carrier, she was screaming and fighting and not willing to pose for photos. But, with Daniel's help, I did manage to get some pictures of her in the forward-facing position with the carrier on my front.

After I got her into the carrier, we bribed her with some cookies and went for a walk.  It's hard to see in my picture, since the carrier is black and I'm wearing black as well, but the carrier is attached around my waist with a sash, as well as criss-crossing shoulder straps that go behind my back and then come back to wrap around Vivian in the front. This means that the weight is very nicely distributed.  As I said, I've been wearing Vivian in a sling, which I really liked, and with Ethan we used another brand of baby carrier. This EcoSash was by far the most comfortable baby carrier that I've ever used, even with a wiggly, 21 pound kid inside.  

I love that this one carrier can be used in three different positions, so it really will grow with your child. I also like that it has helpful hints printed onto the inside of the carrier- reminders about which direction the waistband needs to be facing on you and where to put the shoulder straps, things like that. 

One of the helpful hints on the carrier

Other things I love about this carrier:
  • The carrier has a detachable hood for when the baby is in the facing-in position
  • The fabric of the carrier is nice and thick and sturdy and the straps are nicely padded
  • It's machine washable and comes with its own bag for washing!
  • The fabric panel at the front is reversible, so if your husband doesn't want to carry the baby in a floral carrier, he can switch it so that it's basic black 
  • No buckles to worry about fastening
  • Since it's a sash carrier, it's practical for use with people of different sizes and easy to adjust to the exact size that you and your baby need
  • Did I mention that it's really, really comfortable?
And a few minor drawbacks:
  • It definitely requires some practice to get everything looped and tied properly. Infantino makes this clear in the instructions and suggests that a second person be present for the first time this carrier is used, and for all times that the carrier is used in the backpack position. We practiced with a stuffed animal before putting Vivian in. 
  • Since there is extra fabric on the sashes, you will have some sash hanging down in front and a small bit in the back after you get everything tied. This didn't bother me at all, but I thought it was worth mentioning. 
Although I liked the carriers I used with my kids, particularly Vivian's sling, this is a baby carrier that I really, really wish I'd had back when the kids were little. I think I would have saved myself a lot of backache and strain.  Yes, you have to read the instructions and do some practice to get everything looped and tied right, but I had to look up instructions for my sling to figure out all that as well. Once you get the hang of where everything goes, it really is easy and practical to use. So, if there's a baby in your future, definitely check this carrier out. You can find it at Babies R Us.

Disclosure: I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for Infantino and have received various Infantino products as part of my participation. I received no other compensation and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.