Connecta Carrier – Toddler
Date: April 21, 2014
We asked GentleParenting review panel member Sarah, and her almost 2 year old toddler daughter, to test and review the Connecta Toddler Carrier, here are her thoughts:
When I was pregnant, I loved the idea of baby wearing but a bad back and the practicalities of carrying a heavy baby and an enormous change bag (we didn’t travel light!) soon hit and I resorted to using a buggy. So it was with great excitement that I waited for my Connecta carrier to arrive thinking this might be what got me back into baby wearing.
The carrier arrived whilst my daughter was napping, so it was the perfect opportunity to read the instruction manual and have a little play. I found the instructions a bit confusing and would have liked a labelled picture so I knew what everything was! Luckily it was very similar to the Ergo carrier we already have so I was able to figure it out but imagine it would be quite tricky for someone completely new to carriers. As soon as my daughter woke up we tried it out. At nearly two years old and a very independent little lady, I did wonder how she would take to being back in a carrier but her big smile told me she was happy!
That afternoon we headed out with her in the carrier on my back. I found the buckles that connect the shoulder straps to the main carrier were starting to dig in under my arms. I am not sure if this is because I am quite petite as my husband didn’t seem to have the same problem when he tried it. My daughter was very happy, especially as she learnt she could reach up and tickle the back of my neck! Amazingly my back was happy too and I found it very comfortable and loved being able to chat away to her as we walked. It’s definitely much easier now she’s a toddler and I don’t feel the need to take an enormous change bag out with us.
On our next outing, I tried her on my front, a position designed for babies more than toddlers but it was still really comfortable to carry her like that and much better than having her hitched up on my hip without a sling – which is what we end up doing when she doesn’t want to go in the buggy or walk! She really loved being snuggled in and it was nice being able to talk and kiss her head.
Since then we’ve had a good few outings with the carrier and the things I love about the Connecta are:
- Design – we had a fairly plain unisex coloured one which my husband was happy to use but having had a look on their website, they have some pretty ones too so a good variety
- Head/neck support for baby – the back of the carrier comes up nice and high to support baby/toddler. My daughter hasn’t slept in it yet so haven’t used the hood to cover her head, but I did pull it up a bit to support her neck and it looked really comfy for her.
- Support for parent – I found it really comfortable on my back and loved the crossover straps when carrying my daughter on my front
- Simple – once I got the hang of it, it was really easy to put on
- Size – it feels really big and sturdy for carrying a toddler but folds up small, so perfect to take with you in the car or with a buggy so you’ve got another option or to pack away and carry if your toddler wants to walk
And the things that could be improved;
- Instructions – a labelled picture in the instructions would have really helped me
- Straps – I found that sometimes these could get twisted in the buckle and it was quite tricky to sort it out if Jessica was already in the carrier when this happened
- Buckles – I found the buckles dug under my arms when carrying Jessica on my back so I would suggest trying before you buy to check if this is the case for you or not.
Overall – we both love it!
The Connecta Integra Toddler Carrier is available in a range of colours. It retails for £72 and is available from a number of stockists.