A couple of months ago Onya Baby contacted me to ask if I would do a product review of their soft-structured baby carrier. When they told me that the carrier can also transform into a seating option on the go, I enthusiastically said- “yes, please!” When I came back home to Chicago last week and received the package in the mail a couple days later, I was very excited to try the carrier, and after using it for just about a week out and about in Chicago, I LOVE IT!
At 17 months old, baby wearing still calms my babe when she is fussy; she still snuggles in, breastfeeds and falls asleep on me. I still prefer baby wearing to using a stroller to keep my hands free when I run errands (grocery shopping is so much easier) and to hop on and off buses and trains easily, whether I am in Chicago or abroad.
I found myself sitting down to write this review, and thought of doing it as a sort of break-up letter with my beloved Moby wrap starting something like this, “Dear Moby, I love you, BUT…” Okay, I’ll spare you the break-up letter, but I am officially hanging up my Moby wrap (for now). I am not saying good-bye forever. The Onya Baby is designed for babies between 15 to 45 pounds, which means for newborns and little ones under the age of 3 months a Moby wrap might be more appropriate, so I’m hanging on to mine for our next family member. The Moby is still a great staple.
However, here’s the short story why both my husband and I, since receiving the Onya Baby Outback, have used it multiple times every day for carrying our 17 month old for errands, napping, and general get going (besides the purpose of doing this product review, of course) and the reason why it is our new favorite baby carrier:
– It’s versatile, easily allowing me or my husband to wear the baby on our front or on our back
– It transforms into a high chair on the go (or at home!)
– It’s comfortable to wear a heavy baby for long periods of time, distributing the weight across the back and shoulders (think walks, errands, naps, or hiking trips)
– It’s lightweight and very breathable for hot and humid climates
– It’s very secure and keeps baby in place
– It has a “sleep hood” that can pull over baby’s hood to keep her head comfortable for napping and provide more coverage for breastfeeding
– It’s easily adjustable, allowing my husband or I to adjust the straps to fit us perfectly
You can check out how the Onya Baby works on YouTube.
– It keeps my baby secured exactly where I put her (the Moby starts to sag and allows a wiggly toddler to move side to side). This seems to calm her and keep her calm for longer periods of time, allowing her to sleep comfortably on me which helps tremendously when I’m running errands- for both of us.
– With a heavy toddler, I find it’s much more comfortable to wear her on my back these days, which also frees up my hands a lot. It is much easier for me to secure my baby to my back in the Onya then in the Moby and she feels more secure strapped in that way. I have been carrying her on my back now daily to run errands, to take her to classes, and just around the house.
– I can wear her on my front or back comfortably with the Onya. I love that it’s really easy to adjust the straps and secure the baby to my front or my back. This morning I walked for an hour with her on my back, and then on the way back home she was hungry and wanted breast milk, so I carried her on my front where she fell asleep.
– It’s still easy to breastfeed. I love my Moby because it’s easy to breastfeed in, and the Onya is just as easy. If you want some additional coverage you can use the sleep hood while you are feeding. I just loosened the straps a bit to let baby more easily reach my breasts, and after she fell asleep I tightened the straps back.
– It has a “sleep hood” which has literally lulled and kept my baby asleep. The hood pulls out of the main carrier body and pulls up over the baby’s head and snaps on to each of my shoulders keeping baby’s head gently secured to my back or chest. She has taken several long naps on my back and chest while I do errands around the house or walk to class. In fact, as I am typing this blog she is sleeping on my chest in the Onya with the hood pulled over her head.
– It distributes the weight of my baby comfortably throughout my lower back and shoulders. That’s what I hated and dreaded about my Maya wrap and why I won’t use a sling-style carrier that goes over one shoulder. It’s so much more comfortable to have something like the Onya that comfortably distributes the weight and makes it easy for me to carry my baby an hour walking to class. I will caveat this by saying the first time I used it to grocery shop I started feeling it ride into my hips, but after tightening the waist belt and shoulder straps it was back to being super comfortable- those straps need to stay tight! I am eager to try the Onya out on our next hiking trip for the same reason!
– The Outback version that I am using is made of breathable nylon mesh. I don’t feel like baby or I will get too hot, especially in hot and humid climates. Yesterday it was a humid 85F in Chicago, and my husband and I took Veda out multiple times in the Onya and were comfortable (as in, it didn’t add to the already hot and stickiness of outside).
– The carrier has extra padding around the areas where the baby’s legs are to keep baby comfortable.
– It’s small and lightweight, which is great for traveling purposes. It’s basically one large soft piece large enough to cover baby with straps. It’s can also roll up to be pretty compact. The one thing that I would love to have is a bag that this carrier can fit into to make it more compact so that I can hook it to the outside of my diaper bag when I’m not using it and on the go.
– It has a little pocket where I can easily put keys, my bus/ train card, and some cash or cards. I can go for a walk and leave my purse at home.
– It has several little tabs where something could be hooked- such as a cup with a strap, a toy, or anything else with a clip. One small thing that would be useful as an added bonus is to have something like a loop with a snap that can go around each shoulder strap. I don’t have a car and live in a neighborhood where I have four grocery stores within a couple blocks from me. We usually strap Veda to us to go grocery shopping which is very convenient (try pushing a stroller and a grocery cart). However, on the way home with heavy bags, the baby carrier obviously dominates my shoulder space and my reusable grocery bags slip off my shoulders. It would be great to have a little loop that can help keep bags, diaper bags, or purses on my shoulder without sliding off. This would just be a minor added bonus, of course.
– The reason I was very excited about the Onya Baby and why it stands out from other carriers is it’s versatility in being used in place of a high chair or booster seat. I am always looking for ways to reduce the amount of things I carry with me and travel. I also have found myself wishing I had something to strap her down in at a restaurant but often don’t want to bother lugging another chair along with me. The Onya Baby is perfect since it transforms into a portable high chair option. This is such a fantastic feature for traveling! I haven’t yet tried this, but plan on trying it out in several different scenarios and doing another review based solely on this feature.
Thank you, Onya Baby, for making such a comfortable and highly versatile baby carrier ideal for traveling. I had slowed down on the baby wearing as it was getting a bit cumbersome and uncomfortable with my sagging Moby, but now I am back to baby wearing on a daily basis!
In addition to another product review on using the Onya Baby on a chair, also stay tuned for upcoming reviews on using it for airport travel through security and using it on hiking trips. Happy baby wearing!