Updated on March 4, 2017
Tula Baby Carrier Review!
This post contains affiliate links.
Tula baby carriers shouldn’t need any introduction, but on the off chance that you are brand new to the world of baby wearing, let me tell you what a Tula is. The Tula Baby Carrier is a soft structured carrier (SSC) that allows you to wear baby in an ergonomic position. What that means is that baby will be seated in a “M-position” where their knees are higher than their bum. This is the optimal positioning when wearing your baby. There are a lot of SSCs on the baby wearing market. A lot. The Tula, however, is special. Why? There are so many reasons. Once you’ve worn a Tula, the odds are good you’ll be hooked. That’s exactly what happened to me and it could happen to you too!
Tula carriers come in two sizes, baby and toddler. The Tula I have is the baby carrier. It can be used with an infant from 15 lbs up to 45lbs, and if you purchase a Tula infant insert you can use your Tula baby carrier from birth. The toddler carrier can be used from 25 lbs up to 50 lbs. The Tula allows for two carrying positions, a front carry with baby facing inward, and a back carry. It is designed to provide an ergonomic seating position where baby’s knees are higher than their bum (called the “M-position”). Each Tula is hand made, comes with a removable hood, and has a small pocket on the front of the hip belt.
The buckles on the Tula carriers are high quality Duraflex buckles that are meant to last. The shoulder straps can be adjusted where it meets the carrier panel to provide up to an additional 3″ of length. The hip belt adjusts with a buckle at one side from 28″ up to 55″. The chest clip can be moved up or down so that it is positioned precisely where it’s most comfortable for the wearer, whether using it for a front or back carry.
One of the things that makes Tula particularly special are the prints. Although you can get solid colour canvas Tulas, they are really known for their prints! No matter what your taste, there’s a Tula for you. Promise. Tula also makes wrap conversion SSCs. Instead of being made out of cotton canvas, a wrap conversion Tula is made out of a baby wearing wrap. A half wrap conversion is one where the outside of the carrier is made with the wrap (so only the parts that would be visible when the carrier is worn), and a full wrap conversion is one where the entire carrier (inside and out) is made with the wrap.
Compared to other SSCs, Tula carriers have a panel that is both wider and taller. What this means is that you can continue to wear your child well beyond their first year or so. The panel provides excellent support that goes much higher on the back of the child than some other options, and the width of the carrier provides knee to knee support.
How It Works:
I started using my Tula baby carrier as soon as I got it. Petit Prince was about 9 lbs and I wore it with an infant insert. One of the first things I noticed about the Tula was just how easy it was to get on and off. This is one of the things that I love about buckle SSCs. The learning curve for a Tula is minimal at best. You just secure the hip belt, position baby on your chest, pull the panel up, slide your arms in, clip the chest clip, tighten the shoulder straps, and go. That may sound like a lot if you haven’t worn your baby before, but in the baby wearing world this is quick and easy. Once Petit Prince hit 15 lbs and I didn’t need to use an infant insert anymore, it became even faster to get him up and go. This makes it the ideal choice for preschool drop off and pick up, and quick trips to the grocery store.
If I’m going to wear my baby, I want to be comfortable, and the Tula is comfortable. I have worn Petit Prince for trips to the zoo and been completely comfortable wearing him for hours. Yes, I said hours. I’m talking 3 or more hours of walking around. It’s incredible to me how well the Tula distributes the weight of Petit Prince so that I don’t feel weighed down. The padding in the straps of the Tula is substantial. This really helps to keep you cushioned at the points where you might typically expect to have the most pressure.
Petit Prince most definitely loves being worn in the Tula. How do I know? Two ways. First, he has a tendency to fall asleep in it after only a short time. If he’s ever having a fussy day or just refuses to snooze, I pop him into the Tula and he’s instantly content. Sleep almost always follows shortly thereafter. It’s almost as if Tulas are sprinkled with sleepy dust before being shipped off to their new owners. Second, he likes it enough to eat it, literally. It turns out Petit Prince isn’t the only baby out there that likes to suck on the carrier and its straps. Who knew, right? Thankfully there are some wonderful WAHMs out there that make Tula accessories (yup, that’s a thing). I’m patiently awaiting a set of reversible curved suck pads that match my Dinos print Tula so Petit Prince can stop drooling all over the carrier! Don’t worry, I’ll be posting about my Tula accessories when they arrive!
I will say that I find the hood on the Tula to be a bit small. It’s fine for providing a bit of head support for smaller babies and covering baby a bit when he’s napping, but doesn’t give a whole lot of coverage if you’re going to be nursing while baby is in the Tula. Now, coverage while nursing isn’t something that matters in the least to me, but I know that for some moms good coverage is a big part of being comfortable nursing in public.
The pocket on the hip belt, though small, is awesome. Back in the summer when The Heir was going to soccer in the evenings, I liked to be able to walk over to the park with Petit Prince in the carrier. I really didn’t need to bring much with me, just The Heir’s water bottle and soccer ball (which he usually carried himself). What I did need was somewhere to put my keys and my phone. The pocket on the Tula is perfect for that. I can fit my keys, phone, lip balm, and even a granola bar in there, and it often means I don’t need to bring anything else. It’s perfect for the times that I take The Heir to the park or to the playground in the neighbourhood.
Tula carriers are definitely not the least expensive carriers on the market, but I think they are well worth the cost. A Tula baby carrier costs $150 USD and a Tula toddler carrier costs $170 USD. Apart from the ease of use and the comfort of a Tula, the cost can be justified because they hold their value. When you’re finished wearing your baby in your Tula, you can often sell it for almost as much as you paid for it. If the print you have has been discontinued, you may even be able to sell it for its full original retail value (or more). For that reason, you can think of your Tula as a short term investment.
- Wide and tall panel accommodates baby/child for a long time.
- Ergonomic seating position for the child.
- Quick to put on.
- Pocket on the hip belt.
- Retains its value.
- Small hood.
Needless to say, I love my Tula baby carrier. It has made baby wearing easy and comfortable. That in turn has made life with two kids much easier. Tula baby and toddler carriers are available through my affiliate links at Lagoon Baby in Canada and at Nicki’s Diapers in the USA.