Monthly Archives: July 2016

Sling Review – Daiesu Sakura Mei Tai

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“We cannot stop the winter or the summer from coming. We cannot stop the spring or the fall or make them other than they are. They are gifts from the universe that we cannot refuse. But we can choose what we will contribute to life when each arrives.”

– Gary Zukav

Every time a new sling tester arrive at my doorstep, I get this tingly electric sensation in the pit of my stomach. Butterflies and squeals of delight abound. Followed by the chasing, bribing and superman-tossing of a wriggly toddler.  For the opportunity to experience, experiment with, cuddle and snuggle different kinds of carriers and brands without having to dip into the Fluffinay household coffer is indeed a gift from the universe that should be treasured and never refused.

I see spring bloom before my eyes the moment I first glimpsed the delicate pink petals of Daiesu’s Sakura Mei Tai. This beautiful visitor came to stay with us for a short while and we were thrilled to finally be able to use a mei tai and carry with Daiesu, a popular sling company from Malaysia.

 

 

Daiesu is a family-run business based in Kuala Lumpur. Daddy Azhar, Mommy Ilyani, and Little Daie boy make #familygoals a breeze as they manage and oversee every aspect of Daiesu’s operation.  From accounting to packaging, wrap design, and marketing, as well as promotion and modelling of their product; the family is completely hands on and committed to their company advocacy of babywearing.

A mei tai is a typically a square shaped piece of fabric with straps on all four corners. It has a long history in Asia where mothers often carry their babies in simple fabric carriers they tie around their bodies.

 

 

At first touch, Sakura Mei Tai feels like a soft and snuggly baby blanket.  Since I am at the bottom of the tester rotation, this beauty came to us fully broken in and floppy. Dainty sakura flowers in an elegant tone of pink drift and laze around a vibrant sea of bright orange.  Now, it may seem garish to combine dazzling shades of pink and orange together but this beautiful mei tai pulls it off quite exquisitely.

 

 

After almost 2 years of wearing Sophia, I will finally get the chance to use a mei tai. I’m excited and giddy to learn something new but at the same time I’m a little wary of the long straps attached to this pretty visitor. (I happen to have an aversion to long wraps, remember. 😉 )

Although I know a lot of babywearers who list mei tais at the top of their carrier list, it did not raise my curiosity to try one.  Not even the relative affordability and accessibility of this carrier type had enough unicorn dust sparkles powerful enough to awaken the budget conscious momma in me.

Or so I thought.

Thus, our first encounter with a mei tai became a huge challenge to my biases against this ancient and traditional carrier type.

 

 

After Sophia’s appointment with her paediatrician, Sakura proves its worth by providing one of the most comfy nap time snuggle experience we’ve had with a sling tester.

 

The cushioned shoulders of the strap feels so nice on my picky shoulders. It’s a heavenly sensation!

I know I always complain about my weight sensitive shoulders and back. (It’s not old age, you know.) But this mei tai make Sophia’s weight feel as light as a feather.  It is so comfortable, I want to wear her in it until she graduates from college.

 

 

One thing that I totally adore about this carrier is how relatively easy and quick it is to back carry a wriggly toddler.

 

 

If you’ve met my almost terrible two year old Sophia Isabelle, then you’re certainly aware of how hyperactive and vivacious she is. A dirty little mommy secret of mine is that I babywear my toddler because I am exhausted and at times exasperated from chasing her around.

And when I do catch her at the height of her exploration of the big wide world, I superman toss her on my back and prepare for the maelstrom of a level 10 toddler meltdown.

With a mei tai, I don’t have to worry of her falling off my back because she has a secure seat tied around my waist and no amount of leg straightening can pop it.

Wickedly awesome!

 

 

This lovely tester packs tons of sleepy dust. It can lull Sophia to cupcake land or Zootopia (she’s a HUGE fan!) in a jiffy.

 

 

When it comes to babywearing, I am the no fuss, straight up, just tie it with a knot kinda girl. I am not fond of fancy finishes. Not at all. They are awesome to look at and can even highlight a curvy mommy’s assets. But complicated looking and showy finishes to a wrap job is something that rank low on my list of must do’s in carrying my baby. (Aside from the fact that I have no asset to show off.)

Since the long straps of Sakura look so elegant and pretty, they inspire me to at least try 2 fancy finishes, a Goddess and a Sweetheart Neckline finish.

Unfortunately for us, the straps of Sakura are too short on my frame for fancy finishes.  I guess its back to the ol’ simple knot around the waist for today.

This may be due to a sizing issue since the tester is Baby sized and Sophia is certainly too big for it.  The hood didn’t quite reach her head so I ended up not using it when Sophia took a nap.

However, despite the sizing issue, we were both quite content and happy as the straps acted as leg extenders for my little one.

 

I hope that we get to experience a toddler size next time because Sakura is certainly toddler worthy.

 

At the end of our adventure with the lovely Sakura Mei Tai, I learned something new about myself.  I realised that I actually like mei tais.  I never gave them a thought before and would often skip through mei tai listings on the buy, sell, and trade boards.  I thought they were just meh, a panel and some straps.  I thought that wraps or SSCs were far better investments. After experiencing the cool and  comfortable cushiness and toddler-worthiness of one, I have chosen to add a mei tai to my trimmed down stash.

Like the spring breathing warmth and vitality to a cold lonely winter, Sakura Mei Tai have inspired life to my reduced and modest carrier stash.  Soon, a delicate shimmery silver-pink mei tai will make back carries a breeze for the Fluffinay mommy and baby.

 

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Toddler: 23months, 11.3kgs

Mommy: Medium Body build

Type of Carrier: Sakura Wrap Conversion Mei Tai (WCMT)

Brand: Daiesu Baby Carriers

Website: http://www.daiesu.com/

Size: Baby Size

Fabric Content: 100% Organic Cotton

Type of weave: Jacquard

Surface Weight: 270gsm (Medium Thin)

Width: 35cm (14inches)

Height: 35cm (14inches)

Suitable for newborns until 2 years old

Machine Washable

Type of carries done: Front & Back Carries 

 

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Sling Review – QB Collection Falling Star Onbu

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Sling Review – QB Collection Falling Star Onbu

If you’ve been stalking babywearing pages and groups on Facebook, then you’re probably aware of how popular Soft Structured Carriers or SSCs are. (See my review of QB Collection’s Rainbow Kulibangbang SSC here.)

When Sophia was but a wee 3 month old baby, I asked her grandpa to buy her a Tula. (It’s an SSC brand, daddies. 😉 ) Every mommy with a baby to carry have had sweet fantasies of strutting around town in this magic SSC.  Since it was mighty pricey, I was overjoyed when he readily agreed to buy us one.

As I slowly gained weight and extra fluff was added to my post-partum frame, I noticed something about SSCs that made me never want to carry with a soft structured carrier again. It was a heartbreaking observation that made me swear off SSCs forever.

      

The waist belt of an SSC gave me massive and hideous muffin-tops.  And they screamed for attention from all angles!

To protect my fragile self confidence, I stored the Tula in the closet and eventually sold it to a home that would give it the love it deserved.

But don’t despair, fluffy mommas!  If you really want buckles with your carrier, there’s hope for us yet.

If you’re after the convenience and comfort of an SSC without your jiggly wigglies shining in the limelight, an onbuhimo (onbu for short) is the perfect carrier for you.

An onbu is a baby carrier that looks like an SSC but doesn’t have a waist belt.  It’s a great alternative for fluffy mommas like me who has some extra padding that bulge out or for pregnant moms who are still able to carry their older babies.

Traditionally from Japan.  It was made with rings and straps like that of a mei tai.  However, most commercially available onbuhimos now have buckles to make it more convenient for babywearers.

Ever since I heard about this waist less wonder, I have always wanted to try one.  But hyperactive Sophia is more interested in walking and running away from mommy nowadays that wearing her has started to become less and less.

When the generous folks at QB Collection agreed to send us an onbu for testing, I was ecstatic to be given the opportunity to experience this carrier.

The onbu that we hosted was standard sized.  It had a panel length of 14 inches and a maximum weight limit of 25 kgs. The complete set came with matching drool pads, hood, and reach straps.

This violet Falling Star onbu was named after its diamond or star pattern.  Its purple colour is gorgeous in real life and lucky me, purple is my favourite colour.

Falling Star was woven in the traditional Cordillera pattern of stripes and design accent.  Made of 100% cotton, the fabric felt soft but sturdy to touch.  The buckle was solid and the stitching well made.

The lack of waist belt made it perfect for hot and humid days and the sides allowed air to freely circulate between me and my wearee.  This would be an amazing go to carrier for summer.  I used to sweat a lot around the tummy and back area when I wore my Tula.

It didn’t take up a lot of space in the diaper bag but it was a bit of a challenge to fold down since there was no waist belt to wrap around the panel and straps.  It would be awesome if it came in its own light storage bag. 😉 (Hi QB! *Wink* * Wink*)

Seeing that onbuhimos were usually used for back carries, toddlers or bigger babies with great neck control were best suited for this carrier.

Since Falling Star was a standard size, the panel was already too small for Sophia.  Perhaps it would be better to have the onbu sizing to start with a standler (in between size) and toddler since it would be easier to back carry bigger or older babies.

In full disclosure, this was my first time to use an onbuhimo. Similar to the QB SSC, the material used for the adjustment panel for the strap was cloth.  I found it difficult to adjust the cloth straps while wearing Sophia and this resulted to my toddler’s skewed position.  One leg or side was sometimes higher than the other. I had to jump and wriggle her to the left or right to adjust and level her seat.  Sadly, I was not aware of her unbalanced position at times since she was on my back.

I also found the straps diggy on my picky shoulders despite attempts to adjust and make it more comfortable for carries longer than 30 minutes.  It would have probably eased the tension on my shoulders if I was able to lower the chest belt closer to my chest (It was near my clavicle).

While taking action shots of the Falling Star onbu, Sophia fell asleep.  I tried to grab a hold of the reach straps so I can secure the hood and prevent Sophia’s head from rolling and bouncing around.  However, I was unable to reach the reach straps that were dangling from my back since I also had to hold my toddlers head while I groped behind with my T-Rex arms.

After a frantic episode of one hand dino arm search, my friend helped me locate the reach straps but I was still unable to secure the hood since it didn’t quite cover Sophia’s head and the attachments for the straps were located at the back.

These may be due to a sizing issue as Sophia was too big for a standard onbu.  I hope we get to try a Toddler sized onbuhimo to confirm. ❤

I would still recommend QB Collection’s Violet Falling Star Onbu as a budget friendly alternative for mommies with toddlers who like to walk and explore but still request for an uppy when they start to get tired or sleepy.  I love this onbu because I get to reign in this hyperactive-bouncing-off-the-wall-toddler of mine who delights in running away from mommy to cause chaos in her cute and adorable way.

This onbuhimo is perfect for mommies (and daddies!) who want a straightforward and uncomplicated carrier.  In 1 snap of a buckle, you’re good to go.  It’s also figure-friendly for people who don’t want to accentuate their waist. 🙂

It’s lighter and more compact than an SSC which made it a convenient carrier to bring on trips.  You can store it in the diaper bag or wear it like a backpack and still avoid looking silly since there’s no chest clip-waist belt combo to ruin your outfit.

If you want to learn more about QB Collection and their products, please visit their website at http://qbwovencrafts.com/

They are also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/QBCollection/

Want to know how to use an onbu? Check out the YouTube video below. 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2VbfEvJ20Y

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Mommy: Medium Built

Toddler: 22 Months 11kgs

Type of Carrier: Buckle Onbuhimo

Brand: QB Collection

Size: Standard

Fabric Content: 100% cotton

Suitable for newborn? Yes 

Type of Carries done: front and back carries

Local Retailers/Distributors: Quality Brand – QB Collection

Website: http://qbwovencrafts.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/QBCollection/

Chatter Group: QB Circle of Friends https://www.facebook.com/groups/1193930233980631/