When my Nana was alive and watching me care for my two older children, she would inspect all my new-fandangled baby gear and sigh, “I wish they had something like that when mine were babies!”
The funny thing is, babywearing has been around since prehistoric times.
Okay, I say that like I’m an anthropologist who’s discovered an ancient baby sling in a cave in France. I have made no such discovery. But based on common sense and the fact that prehistoric human babies were born just as utterly helpless as 21st century babies are, I can conclude that many a cave-mama was tying her cave-baby around her so she could get about the business of surviving.
While many cultures around the globe have been wearing their babies ever since, western parenting culture really took a hands-off approach to child-rearing for many centuries. So, for my Nana raising a colicky baby whom she couldn’t put down, there was no tradition of babywearing for her to drawn upon.
And while my Nana could’ve used a baby carrier like mine sixty-five years ago, babywearing technology has changed so dramatically in the past six years that as I look back to the carriers I was using when my son was born, they seem prehistoric!
My hand-me-down buckle carrier needed an infant insert for me to use it with a newborn. I found it awkward and intimidating to put my son into the carrier with the insert. My son was a big baby: once he no longer needed the infant insert, it didn’t take long for me to start looking for a toddler-sized carrier.
But what if there were a carrier that doesn’t need a special insert to accommodate a newborn? And that doesn’t need a toddler-sized replacement so you can continue #babywearingforthewin when your 3-year-old (who swore she didn’t want to ride in the stroller) suddenly can’t be convinced to walk and her brother’s bus is about to leave without him? Maybe this carrier could even be used interchangeably between a newborn sibling and a big sibling?!
Soul’s AseemA is just such a carrier. I can use it equally well for my twins (now almost a year old and about 20 lb [9 kg] each) and my daughter (3.5 years old, 30 lb [13.6 kg] and a touch over 3′ [91.4 cm] tall).
Instead of requiring a separate infant insert, the AseemA’s panel adjusts narrow enough for a 7 lb (3.2 kg) newborn and wide enough for your average 3- to 4-year-old, and is able to support up to 44 lb (20 kg) thanks to a sturdy, thick row of Velcro. You can slide each side of the panel along the waistband to get the perfect width for your child. The smallest adjustment is 7″ (17.8 cm), the largest is 18″ (45.7 cm), and for reference, the Tula Free-to-Grow’s panel adjusts from 5″ to 15″ (12.7 cm to 31.1 cm) while the Lenny Lamb Up adjusts from 6″ to 16.5″ (15.2 cm to 41.9 cm).
The height of the panel can also be adjusted by sliding it up or down the webbing on the shoulder straps. When the panel is shortened, the fabric folds over itself. The panel height range is 12″ to 18″ (30.5 cm to 45.7 cm), and for reference the Tula Free-to-Grow’s panel-height range is 11″ to 17″ (28 cm to 43 cm) and Lenny Lamb’s Up is 11.8″ to 15.75″ (30 cm to 40 cm).
The AseemA comes with a lumbar support pad that nestles into the small of your back when doing a front-carry. This helps distribute the weight more evenly and provides the wearer with additional comfort. It also comes with a removable nap hood and a sweet little wristlet wallet that you can attach to the waistband or use separately.
The AseemA can be used for front- and back-carries. For front-carries, the straps can be worn straight or crossed. The waistband is wide and contoured, and the shoulder straps are ultra padded. The sides of the panel have extra padding for baby’s legs.
AseemA carriers are made with 100% Jacquard woven cotton. Soul’s fabrics are ethically milled in a factory that runs exclusively on wind and solar energy with surplus energy going back on the grid to help surrounding communities in southern India. Soul uses high-quality, child-safe dyes, and they do not employ child labourers in their weaving or manufacturing processes.
My Favourite things about the AseemA:
- One carrier to wear them all, from newborn to toddler, my precious
- Velcro waist-width adjustment allows for a truly custom fit for every baby and toddler: my twins aren’t the same size
- Included lumbar support cushion
- Straps can be worn straight or crossed during front carries
- Soft padding for baby’s legs
- Stunning jacquard woven wrap fabric is light and breathable
Drawbacks to consider:
The only thing I like less about the AseemA is the mechanism to adjust the panel height. I usually put baby on my back by tossing them over my shoulder, then I pull the carrier up over them. When I pull the carrier up, the panel doesn’t stay at the height I want it to (it slides down), and unless I have someone else around to help pull it up again, I can’t fix it. I can work around this issue by getting baby onto my back using a “hip scoot” (holding the panel over their back at the right height as I scoot them onto my back), but it’s not my preferred method for starting a back-carry. Christina from Toddler-Wearing Mama has a little hack to help prevent the panel from scooting down during back carries.
If you’re looking for a beautiful buckle carrier to take you from birth to toddler, check out Soul’s AseemA.