I had a customer come into the shop looking for this carrier a couple of months ago. I honestly had never heard of EmeiBaby. There are carriers I’ve never seen before; someone else just asked about another Israeli made carrier that I’ll have to look into. But EmeiBaby intrigued me. Personally, I’m a ring sling and wrapping mama. I like the custom fit of ring slings and wraps, and need the weight of a baby to be in the center of my back, which can be done with both of those type carriers. Baby carrier choice is a very personal one, and all about comfort. Most carriers aren’t “better” than any other, they just fit different people’s needs differently. Soft structured buckles carries don’t usually do it for me. But this carrier sounded really interesting. In the front, it’s a wrap that’s adjusted with rings like a sling. The wrap attaches on the bottom to a sturdy wait/hip band, and on the top to big, soft shoulder straps. It’s pretty cool.
EmeiBaby is a carrier for someone who enjoys the feel of a woven wrap, but the convenience of a buckle carrier. Trying to get your baby into your $200 woven wrap in wet parking lot while it’s raining down with a gail force wind and the tails dragging in a puddle is a whole lesson in itself on babywearing. Sometimes something quicker and easier is wanted.
EmeiBaby is a European carrier with only a few retailers in here in North America. The company is located in Austria and the product is manufactured in the Czech Republic. For me as a distributor, this is a plus. I prefer working with smaller companies who operate or manufacture in countries with labor protections, or at least are fairly traded. Regular EmeiBaby carriers are made of 100% organic cotton, but they do make some that are wrap conversions from Gerasol wraps that are not 100% organic. Also a big plus in my book.
As a hybrid carrier, the EmeiBaby has many of the benefits of both an Soft Structured Carrier (SSC) and a wrap. The whole carrier is extremely adjustable, several adjustment points that many other SSC’s lack. This is great for me, because I’m short waisted and petite, which is why I don’t usually use an SSC. However, I was able to get myself comfortable in this carrier. The shoulder straps can be adjusted not only under the arm, but on the front of the shoulder, which gives a real advantage to short waisted parents (like me) and more control over the opening at the top of the carrier’s body. Another small difference with this carrier is the location of the chest strap. It’s lower, in the approximate position of a bra strap when using a front carry. In back carries, it falls under the breasts. The position of the chest strap may not seem like a big deal, but it would be helpful for moms with shorter torsos, who don’t like a pressure point high on the chest, and especially for moms who have a hard time reaching behind their shoulder blades to clasp the more common high position for chest straps but can reach their bra straps. The most interesting adjustment on this carrier, however, it in the body. The body is basically a woven wrap attached at the bottom and shoulder straps to an SSC frame. The it adjusts on the right and left sides with small rings much like a ring sling. This allows you to do strand by strand tightening of the whole body of the carrier! You get the same ergonomic fit of a ring sling or woven wrap for you baby. Perfect hip alignment is completely possible. It also allows you to retain a newborn’s natural spinal curve (it should be a curved C shape) like a ring sling or wrap; I’m not completely convinced many SSC’s, even with infant inserts, do this because the body fabric is too rigid. It can be used from a 6.5lb newborn to a 35 pound toddler without any accessories. Every SSC on the market is a little different, especially in how it fits the parent. The EmeiBaby actually seems to offer the most ergonomic and adjustable fit for the baby.
Every carrier is different, and none is perfect for everyone. The EmeiBaby does have a few points that some people might not like. First, it does have more of a learning curve than other SSC’s, because you have to learn how to adjust the body. They’re not available from too many retailers and are hard to find here in the United States, but Bringing Home Baby does have some. Additionally while some SSC’s can accommodate toddlers up to 45lbs, the standard version of this carrier only goes up to about 35lbs. There is a toddler version, however. The other drawback is the pricepoint. They do run $165-$189, as much as a high end wrap or silk ring sling. However, the unique features do make it attractive and seem worth spending a little more. And remember, we do offer layaway and free shipping on EmieBaby and other carriers for 90 days with no additional costs, if you need help with a payment plan.