When it comes to baby carriers, we’ve tried a few different ones. From wraps to structured carriers, at one time or another, we’ve had a go. Over the last few months we’ve done less and less babywearing, something that makes me a little sad. I miss the close connection and the ease of being hands-free, especially when walking the dog. So when we were offered the opportunity to try out the We Made Me Pao Carrier, it seemed like an obvious fit. Here are our thoughts…
We Made Me Pao Carrier Review
Who are ‘We Made Me’?
We Made Me are a British brand originally known as BabaSlings Ltd. They have a simple idea, to create thoughtful products built upon ancient ideas for the modern family. Their brand is based upon three well-loved products; the Soohu Sling (a re-invention of the original BabaSling), the Wuti Wrap and the 3 in 1 Pao Papoose. Each designed to suit a different method of baby carrying and a different phase in your child’s growth.
With a mantra like ‘keep your head in the clouds, your feet on the ground and your heart close to baby’, you expect We Made Me to be a fun and passionate brand, and you wouldn’t be disappointed. From their signature pops of colour on the buckles, to the rigorous testing that takes place, it truly is a British brand to watch out for.
The Pao Carrier
The Pao Carrier is a three in one soft structured carrier aimed at babies from 4 months through to 36 months. You can increase this range to include newborn (8lbs) to 4 months with the purchase of a Newborn Insert (obviously unnecessary with our whopper of a toddler!) for an additional £9.99. Offering front and back carrying, there are three possible positions; front carry inward facing, front carry world facing and back carry. The Pao Carrier comes in a range of colours; black, pebble and lavender, each one completed with the bright blue buckles that are the signature of the We Made Me brand.
With fully adjustable straps, buckles and toggles, the Pao Carrier is designed to fit ergonomically to any parent and child throughout it’s usage, making it perfect for families where multiple parents want to carry. It’s well padded as well, with soft padded shoulder straps and a comfortably padded waist strap which We Made Me say is perfect for those recovering from c-sections. Finally, it comes complete with a soft case to keep it in; ideal for storing it in the car.
As previous carrier users, I’d like to think we’re pretty au fait with straps and buckle adjustment so the Pao Carrier was fairly intuitive for us to set up. Just strap the waistband around your waist and tighten, hold the little one in position and flick the shoulder straps up and over before bringing them back round to clip in to the main body of the carrier. Easy! The first use is always bound to be a little fussy, especially as you need to make adjustments to ensure a comfortable fit for both adult and child. A few straps to loosen and re-tighten and we were off with a front carry.
For our age range (17 months), we fall firmly into the rear carry position according to the instructions helpfully sewn into the carrier. To set this up, you adjust the carrier to size with your child on the front, remove them and then put it back on on the back. The idea of this is to reduce the need for adjustments when your child is behind you, after all, it’s pretty tricky! Our son is probably still a little difficult to put into it given that he doesn’t quite understand the need to hold on or lean in but a three year old would have no issue.
What Did We Love?
From the moment the Pao Carrier arrived in it’s case, it was clear it’s been well thought out. Details such as the head support unfurling to provide a hood show the intricacy of the design process. Touches such as the ‘Read Me’ pouch complete with detailed picture instructions on each carrying position means I’m not having to rely on my patchy memory to know how to work it. Once on the Pao Carrier was comfortable and had no objections from either adult or child – a first! I’d forgotten the ease of using a carrier and the sight of having your child snuggled in for both warmth and comfort, it’s such a lovely relationship builder.
Would We Buy It?
At £89.99 (plus an additional £9.99 for the newborn insert), the Pao Carrier is actually one of the more affordable extended use baby carriers on the market. It’s soft structure appeals to me far more than the harder versions available due to me being fairly short and it feeling like a closer fit, whereas my taller husband prefers the slightly harder version to suit his frame. I’ve spoken before about my love of a softer carrier with the Action Baby Carrier, but the Pao allows for that softness without losing the shoulder and waist padding support. When you consider the lifetime usage of the product, even for only one child, 36 months of baby wearing for under £100 is a bargain and far cheaper than most buggies. If you’re looking for a new carrier to suit you from newborn until toddlerhood, you’d be silly not to consider the We Made Me Pao Carrier.