Category Archives: Local

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. ūüėČ ) 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.

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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. ūüėČ (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. ūüôā

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. ūüôā

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 ‚Äď QB Collection

Website: http://qbwovencrafts.com/

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

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

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Sling Review – QB Collection Half Conversion Standard SSC

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Sling Review – QB Collection Half Conversion Standard SSC

You’re probably wondering if there are other kind of baby carriers and slings you can use if you feel that wraps and ring slings are not ¬†your cup of tea. ¬†Don’t despair lovely mommas because there are tons of carriers that are available in the market today for you to choose from. ¬†Aside from Wraps and Ring Slings; there are Mei Tais, Pouch Slings, Onbuhimos, and Soft Structured Carriers.

Since we’ve been carrying with wraps for the longest time, it was a refreshing change for us to be able to host¬†two great products from one of our favourite local sling manufacturer, QB Collection.

QB or Quality Brand is one of the first wrap maker that we encountered in our babywearing journey. I still remember the giddy excitement I felt when I first heard of QB Collection.  Since my wrap budget was low to nonexistent at that time, I was on the look out for an affordable alternative other than DIY-ing it,

My first QB Collection wrap was an Orange Rainbow in 3.5 yards. ¬†It was our beater wrap and we loved it! Best of all, the shorty wrap only cost me less than 500 pesos! Plus, the owner, Jonalyn was such a sweetheart. ¬†The money I sent via bank transfer was 5 pesos short but she wrote that off and sent my order through without blinking an eyelash! ¬†I’ve been stalking QB’s pages since then and have considered myself a staunch supporter of their business.

There are a lot of things to love about QB and it would probably be a separate blog post if I list all of them here,  So let me just point out one of the things I adore about this company.  They have a great ear for feedback and they always strive to create new products and improve their existing line.

So when Jonalyn agreed to send us two of their buckle carriers, a Soft Structured Carrier or SSC and an Onbu, I was thrilled to be given the privilege of testing their redesigned SSC.

Let us begin with their Rainbow Kulibangbang Half Conversion Soft Structured Carrier.

The fabric used for this SSC is the Rainbow Kulibangbang wrap.  They call it a half conversion because the colorful wrap was used only on the panel (body) of the carrier.  The waist belt and straps were made of a different material. For a full conversion SSC, all parts of the carrier should be wrap material.

This SSC has a bright and happy vibe to it. ¬†The intense colours are so vibrant it would be the first thing that you’ll notice about it. This rainbow is a definite¬†eye catcher!

The name of this¬†beauty comes from the design used in its weave, the “Kulibangbang” or butterfly. ¬†It’s a popular and beautiful design commonly used in Cordillera weaving. ¬†I scanned every inch of this carrier and ¬†was totally impressed with its craftmanship. ¬†It felt solid and sturdy and its¬†stitching was impeccably done.

To make sure that you look great with your carrier when you’re out and about, all QB SSCs come with matching drool pads, hood, and reach straps. ¬†Priced at 2700 pesos, this SSC set is a steal!

We had a lot of opportunities to test this carrier¬†since SSCs are generally easy to use and convenient to bring along most especially if you have a toddler who can’t make up her mind if she wants to walk on her own or have an uppy with mommy.

It was easy to put on even with the cloth straps. Just buckle it up and adjust to your frame.  However, I had some issues in taking it off.  As a right handed person, I usually reach up with my right hand to unbuckle the straps between my shoulders. I noticed that the buckles on this SSC when I wear it is not mid-line.  It was placed an inch or two to the left. So when I reach up and back with my right hand, I end up not reaching the buckles at all. I have to switch hands and use my left instead to unbuckle.

The tester sent to us was a standard size which can be used for babies who are 3 months (with good neck control) until 2 years of age.  With a panel length of 14 inches, Sophia was already too big for this size.  However, she still looked comfy when worn in the SSC.

We used the carrier in the height of summer and as expected when babywearing (with any carrier) it did get a little warm for both Sophia and I.  But a brisk wrist action with a fan and a towel was all that we needed to beat the heat.

 

I am very careful in choosing my carrier most especially when it comes to comfort for both wearer and wearee.  One special consideration that I always look at was how my shoulders and back would fare after an extended period of carrying my heavy toddler.

As someone who has very picky shoulders, I found the shoulder straps of the QB SSC to be on the thin side compared to the other SSCs that I was able to use.  A bit more padding perhaps would make this carrier fabulous!

Overall, the QB Collection Standard Size Half Conversion SSC is a good option for mommies and daddies who are after the comfort and convenience of a soft structured carrier without breaking the bank or becoming lusak.

QB has a great selection of carriers and their customer service is superb.  They are always eager to develop their product and at the same time provide livelihood and training opportunities in their community.

For more information on this amazing company, you can check their Facebook page on www.facebook.com/QBCollection/

They also have a chatter page where you can connect with QB mommas and ask questions and feedback or share your experience with the brand.  You can join the group, QB Circle of Friends by clicking on this link.

See you there Fluffinay friends and stay tuned for my next review on the lovely QB Collection Onbu. ‚̧

 

Type of Carrier: Half Conversion SSC 

Brand: Quality Brand

Size: Standard

Fabric Content: 100% cotton

Suitable for newborn? Yes (toddler size also available)

Type of Carries done: front and back carries

Local Retailers/Distributors: Quality Brand – QB Collection

Sling Review – Marikit Woven Wrap

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I have always considered myself a girly girl. ¬†I love to surround myself in shades of pink, coral, pastel, and candy colours. ¬†So when I found out that there was a newcomer to the local baby wrap market, I was thrilled to find out that their name was “Marikit” and their first release was an ultra feminine pink and blue striped divine wrap; perfect for a girly girl like me.

Marikit Logo

Marikit Logo. Isn’t it awesome?

 

This delicious wrap was thin and airy making it the perfect carrier for humid Philippines. Created¬†in¬†plain weave, it’s composed of 90% cotton and 10% polyester. ¬†The colours are vibrant and lively and would complement even the simplest mommy outfit. The alternating narrow¬†bands of pink and blue was pleasing to the eye and presents extremely well on pictures.

 

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Marikit in a Shepherd’s Carry

This tester came in at a size 6 and was slightly broken in when it arrived at¬†our doorsteps. ¬†If you have seen my previous sling reviews, you may be aware that I am a ‘shorty’ momma. ¬†I have a mild aversion to using wraps that are longer than a size 4 (3.8 meteres) since long wraps tend to overwhelm me with the amount of fabric that I need to wrangle around myself and my very wriggly and sometimes uncooperative toddler. ¬†However, for Marikit, I was more than happy to overlook the length of the tester as this wrap was very thin. ¬†I was concerned that a single pass may not be enough to comfortably support the weight of a heavy baby, thus, multiple passes¬†were necessary for extended periods of babywearing.

 

 

A double hammock(DH) carry have always been one of my babywearing waterloos.  The impressive length of this tester made me want to try and see if I can execute a double hammock (DH) carry.  I was quite pleased that I was able to rock one successfully!

Double Hammock in the morning.

Double Hammock in the morning.

Little Miss Kulit was quite willing to patiently wait for mommy to tighten the rails one by one. ¬†With Marikit’s density and weave, making sure there was no slack was necessary for a comfortable carry.

Unfortunately for our next double hammock forays, time constraints and a tight crowded space resulted to a very sloppy wrap job.

Marikit has long tapered tails that look so lovely as it gently sway as you walk.  Couple that with small tight knots and this beautiful wrap becomes a stunning accessory for fashionable mommas.

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After 30 minutes of gallivanting around Venice Piazza, it started to get a bit diggy and a little uncomfortable around my shoulders.  I had a little break from carrying my toddler and allowed her to run crazy around the place.

I have always believed in the potential of our local weaving industry and I am confident that our local products can be at par or even exceed international standards.  We should support and encourage our fellow mothers who want to share their passion for babywearing by creating their own line of baby carriers.

Marikit is one of these brands that we should keep an eye out¬†for. ¬†I’m hoping for more fabric blends, weave patterns, and definitely more candy colours in the future.

For more information, you can visit their Facebook page by clicking on this link.

 

Marikit Woven Wrap

Toddler: 18 months, 10.5 kg
Wearer: Fluffy mommy

Type of Carrier: Woven Wrap
Brand: Marikit
Size: 6
Fabric Content: 90% Cotton, 10% Polyester
Suitable for both newborn and toddler

 

Sling Review – Next9 Baby Sling

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Hello Friends!

Every week, I will be releasing a wrap or sling review of baby carriers that I have owned, played with and holidayed. I am so excited to share my experiences with like-minded mommas and to inspire others to try babywearing. Plus, my husband always get this glazed look over his eyes everytime I rave about a wrap. LOL!

The current stash that I hope would continue to grow (in secret).

I am starting my review list with my first carrier – the dependable ¬†Next9 Ringsling. A bit of a disclaimer before I proceed. The Next9 sling has moved on to a new home and unfortunately, we were ¬†unable to take a photo of newborn Sophia in the sling. ūüė¶ Sucks, I know. But momma wasn’t feeling photoready at that time.

Next9 is a local brand whose advocacy is to promote strong family bonds by creating modernized back to basics products that can help bring parents closer to their children. They have a line of cloth diapers, baby slings/carriers, nursing covers, and maternity wear. You’re probably wondering why they call their brand, Next9. The company believes that the next 9 months after pregnancy is the most critical for a child.

welcomeposterNext9 next9-1

*Photo image from the Next9 website

When Sophia was barely 2 weeks old, we took her to Church to listen to mass and have a little thanksgiving lunch.  Lightweight as she was back then, it was a struggle to cradle her in my arms at all times.  She was so tiny and fragile. I was terrified I might drop her.

Ehh? Why didn’t you bring a stroller? ¬†It would have been easier if you placed her in one.

A bulky stroller wouldn’t help that much because she wanted to be held anyway.

So I snuck out to the mall and searched for a carrier. I had to be back in less than 3 hours because I had to breastfeed Sophia. With a limited budget (1,000 pesos) and time, I looked for a safe and ergonomic carrier which I could  use with a newborn.

I went to Market! Market! and was lucky enough to find a Next9 Ring Sling at the KuKu Duckbill store for 1,000 pesos.  I was able to accomplish my shopping mission in less than an hour and had a small me-time session at Starbucks. Le sigh! That was a good day.

Next9 baby sling is made of cotton which made it perfect for our humid weather. The material is light and thin which didn’t overwhelm little legs with too much fabric. ¬†(Sophia was already in a legs out position as early as 2 weeks old.)

The aluminum rings are safety tested and could hold up to 300 lbs per ring. ¬†They gripped the fabric well which meant that I didn’t have to make adjustments all the time since the sling stayed in place.

The ring sling also had a pocket for a bib which made it handy for spit ups. ¬†Unfortunately, it’s not recommended to put your cellphone in the pocket because it might fall out. (I tried, it was a failure.)

When I had to nurse my baby, the long tail served as a breastfeeding cover so that meant less stuff to lug around. ¬†It was also pretty compact and easy to store. Just fold it and it won’t take up too much space in the ¬†diaper bag.

If you had a C-Section, you might be hesitant to try babywearing because baby might put pressure on your incision. ¬†Don’t worry momma. ¬†If you’re wearing your baby right (baby is close enough to kiss), your little cuppy cake will be snuggled to your chest and his/her tiny bum will be above your belly button.

See, baby is way above your incision site ūüôā *from http://www.keepcalmandcarrythem.com/2015/01/muslin-ring-sling.html

On the down side, learning how to use a ring sling can be a bit of a challenge. The Next9 baby sling came with a tutorial CD but I wasn’t able to use it. ¬†I watched their tutorial on YouTube instead.

When Sophia started to get heavier, I could feel the strain on my shoulder and back during long sessions of babywearing.  Since ring slings have one-shoulder support, I felt pain on my shoulder and back despite all the effort in troubleshooting. (The fabric caps the shoulder. Panel spread evenly on the back.) The thin cotton also started to get diggy which added to the discomfort.

Another thing I noticed was her head knocking on the aluminum rings when she sleeping and when she was awake, she turned the rings into a teether. However, these issues were easily remedied by wrapping the excess tail around the rings. ūüôā Just like the picture below (*photo from the Tula website)

Wrap the extra fabric around the rings.

We used the Next9 baby sling for about 2 months.  Although you can use ring slings until your baby is a toddler, we sold it to a sweet momma and used the funds to purchase a woven wrap.  It is now being loved and put into good use in another home and we always have a special place in our hearts for our Next9 sling.  We kinda miss it from time to time.  Who knows, if we have extra pennies to spare, we might purchase their Hinabi ring slings in the future.

Next9 Baby Slings is a good option for budget conscious mommies who wants to be able to keep their little ones close in a safe and ergonomic carrier. They have a great selection of limited edition prints so you better grab the one you like before they run out of stocks.  Next9 baby slings are readily available at the mall which makes them awesome most especially for those who are not fond of online shopping.

They are available at the following stores:

If you don’t have time to go out, then you can purchase online. ¬†Just log on to Next9’s website at

http://www.next9.org/sling/index.html

I hope you enjoyed my review and please feel free to send me your comments, questions, rants or raves. ¬†We would love to hear from you. ūüôā

sophia rs 2 Sophia RS
* These are the only photos we have our Next9 ring sling. huhuhu

xoxo

Anne