Feb 25, 2011

PRODUCT REVIEW: Aprica Carrier Slings

My smallest baby and me trying out
the Aprica carrier sling
After taking a close look at Aprica's car seats, I next moved my attention to their carrier slings.

I love slings as much as I love car seats. For one, they're safe to use on escalators, while strollers are not. And I love the closeness that slings give me and which strollers deprive me of.

So as I carried my toddler into the Aprica launch using my Php400 pouch sling, I took a look at Aprica's Php4,000 version.

Neglected market: the daddies

I'll cut to the chase: for my own use, I would still prefer my Php400 pouch sling, and I believe a lot of sling-wearing moms would agree with me.

But I think there is a market Aprica may have neglected when they pushed this product: the daddies.

When my husband saw the Aprica carrier sling, he loved it!
  • He loved how it looked and felt like a backpack, how the adjustments were made just by pulling the straps -- like with his backpacks.
     
  • He loved the gender-neutral color and design -- in fact, the one we were looking at was in desert sand color, which perfectly matched his cargo pants.
     
  • And he loved the ergonomic design of the material: the breathable mesh and spine support for the baby (my husband is an EMT, among other things).

What I did not like about the Aprica carrier sling

For myself, I preferred my pouch sling for the following reasons:
  1. I could fold my pouch sling easily and tuck it into my bag. Hubby, on the other hand, wouldn't mind wearing the empty backpack Aprica carrier on his back should baby want to go down.
     
  2. I could put baby more easily into the pouch sling all by myself. On the other hand, it would be nearly impossible for me to put the Aprica sling on in the front-carry position without another person to help me close the strap clips at the back. But for my husband, this was not a problem because he would only use the carrier in a backpack position anyway.
     
  3. I could use my pouch sling as a breastfeeding cover. My husband, on the other hand, never breastfeeds :-P
     
  4. My pouch sling costs so little, and it would have been great if my husband could use a P400 pouch sling as well. Unfortunately, my husband would never use a pouch sling -- or a ring sling, for that matter. They just look too girly for him. But with the Aprica carrier, I could pass the baby to my husband without any problems.
     
What I liked about the Aprica carrier sling
  1. The design really keeps baby securely held. Unlike with the pouch sling, where a fidgety toddler occasionally slips out of position, you never have to worry that your baby will fall out of the Aprica carrier sling.
     
  2. The two-shoulder support lets you carry baby longer without getting tired or without hurting your shoulders. With the one-shoulder support of the regular sling, the sling material could dig into one shoulder could hurt after some time. Also, with the imbalance of the weight, you could easily get tired with a pouch sling. This is not a problem with the padded two-shoulder-supported Aprica carrier sling.
     
  3. The Aprica carrier sling lets you carry the baby on your back more comfortably than with the regular sling, which tends to squash one breast when baby is carried backpack style.
     
  4. Compared to the cheaper backpack-style carriers we see in the market, the Aprica carrier sling is cooler and softer for baby because of its ventilated mesh material and "marshmallow" padding.

  5. It is also easier to put baby into the Aprica carrier sling because you don't just have holes to shoot baby's legs into. Instead, it has sturdy clips that allow you to open the front panel of baby's "harness" to attach the carrier to baby. To let baby out, you don't have to lift your baby out of the carrier either. Just release the clips, and let your baby slip down carefully.

  6. The Aprica carrier sling provides generous support for your baby's buttocks and allows baby's weight to be more evenly distributed on his hips (a wide area) rather than on his groin (a small area).
      
  7. The neutral colors and design mean I can share baby-wearing tasks with Daddy. And with baby on his back, leaving his hands free, Daddy can still carry the groceries as well!
     
Recommendation

I think the Aprica carrier sling is a good gift for your husband on his first Father's Day. Not only will he love the fact that you no longer have to lug around a stroller to malls, where you need to struggle with elevators, he will also benefit from the unique bonding experience he can get from wearing the baby so close to himself for a long time.

And even if you have a stroller, when the baby inevitably cries to be taken out, Daddy (and you) will appreciate the fact that he can still carry baby comfortably while keeping his hands free -- to hold on to the escalator safety rails, eat a cheeseburger, load groceries onto the car, even take a pee!

Disclosure: The Nanay Notebook received no material compensation for this review.

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