Carrier Type: Soft Structured Carrier (SSC)
Made by Babies in Space
I have a 16 inch SSC made by Elaine, a mum from Melbourne, Australia.
BiS come in two sizes, the 16″ is the standard size carrier, suitable from 3 months on but could be used for newborn with legs “froggied”. The 18″ carrier is suitable from around 18 months, or for larger toddlers.
They are available in a pre-order, where you choose from a ready made selection which can be sewn to match your specific requirements, strap colour (there are 24 colours to choose from) and length (you can have petite 16”, standard 18” or tall 21”). These take 2-3 weeks and cost $149 (just under £100).
You can also create your own custom made carrier, which is what I did. You choose some fabric from the very extensive range at http://www.kelanifabric.com.au and decide on your strap length and colour. These cost $159 (about £105).You then have the option of adding appliqué, a sleep hood in the same fabric as the panel (it’s usually plain, the same colour as the straps) or a detachable hoodie for an added cost.
If you’ll excuse me for gushing, I love my BiS! It’s amazing and is actually the reason I feel able to carry on carrying my daughter. She’s a chubby little thing and I was beginning to have very bad shoulder and back pain from using wraps all day every day. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to carry her anymore and hated the thought of that. A friend suggested I borrow her BiS and it was like a revelation! My daughter felt weightless in it and so I had to order one for myself.
I was so excited when Elaine sent me the pictures of the finished product (you have the option of a refund of your deposit if you don’t like it – no chance of that!) and it was even better in person. I had agonised over the fabric for days, my shortlists had shortlists! But it paid off – I just love it so much, it’s beautiful and everyone comments on it when we’re out! More importantly, it’s so supportive I can carry my 25lb 1 year old all day without any back pain. I even did Race For Life, a charity 5k, with it last week and felt completely comfortable. My mother, partner and friend have all used it easily and comfortably.
The BiS is very straightforward to use, for both back and front carries, and the straps are highly adjustable to get the fit just right. I do mainly back carries and just keep the straps buckled and undo the chest strap to take it off. When I do a front carry I find I can easily do up the chest strap by myself despite (being pretty unflexible!) which means it’s perfect for slipping on around my daughter if she falls asleep on me. The sleep hood, which folds away into a pocket (which could also be used for some small essential items when out and about) has very long straps attached to snap it onto the carrier straps. These are great for me being able to pull the hood up over my daughter’s head when she falls asleep on my back, without assistance.
The carrier has shaped seat darts, and padding where my daughter’s legs sit. There is a soft wadding that is caught in the side seam which makes it incredibly comfortable for her and there’s no rubbing or chafing. The lining is black with white polka dots and is 100% cotton so is nice and breathable.
The BiS feels like a very substantial carrier, it’s not at all flimsy and the main body of it is pretty thick. I like this heavy-duty feel, but as I said, I do have a rather robust baby, so perhaps parents with lighter babies may find it difficult to get a really good seat. However there is a small elastic loop inside the waistband that you can fix an insert to, for smaller or lighter babies, so this may not be an issue.
I honestly can’t recommend the BiS enough, it’s a great carrier for both quick up and down carries and longer treks or all day use. It’s pretty foolproof and looks amazing. My daughter loves it and so do I.