Monday, June 3, 2013

Review: Baby Wearing using Pikkolo Baby Carrier by Catbird Baby

26 February 2013 - Khye @ 5 mths+

I was looking for a baby carrier for Khye when he was about a month old. I know him being a big baby at birth, he wouldn't be too long before he gets too heavy to be carried. I searched online and came across Quirkybaby and the owner Rachel is very helpful in helping me to decide on which to buy as it would be my first purchase of a baby carrier.

As usual, before I buy anything, I would ask Mr. Google everything that I can. I learned all about baby wearing and the different types of baby carriers from Mr. Google. Lots of read-ups helped me make my decision on what are the considerations needed when buying a baby carrier. And what types of carriers has the ideal leg position to aid in the development of the baby spine, etc.

So I kinda knew roughly what I wanted. I wanted a soft structured carrier, not too bulky yet can carry baby up to a heavier limit, definitely not crotch carrier, etc. But with Rachel's help, decision was more informed and we decided on Pikkolo in Apriana by Catbird Baby.

So why Pikkolo by Catbird Baby?

Catbird Baby's basic mission is to create beautiful, functional, and modern products that make babywearing and parenting easier for you.
The name Catbird Baby comes from the expression "sitting in the catbird seat," which means to be in an advantageous position (from the short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, by James Thurber). The founder Beth thought it was the perfect description for a baby who gets to see the world while snuggled in close to Mom or Dad.

Pikkolo is their soft-structured carrier (SSC). The pikkolo carrier is a unique blend of mei tai and buckle carrier that features comfortable but slim memory foam straps, enables you to do an ergonomic front facing out carry (which I am not convinced yet!), can be used from birth without a separate insert, and still works great for carrying toddlers up to 19kg/40 lbs.! Features attached, stowable hood, optional chest strap for use with back carrying, and 100% brushed cotton (exclusive of trim).

I tried the Pikkolo with Khye when he was about 2months+ old. Khye was already 6.1kg at 2 months, so he was small but not teeny weeny then. I like that there is no extra newborn inserts that I need to use, which I find it fussy. I can carry an infant just fine with it and nothing else.

And because Khye was still small then and even up until now, there is still no need to wear the padded waist belt (recommended when baby reaches about 10kg or more). So the Pikkolo's unpadded and unstructured waist belt makes me feel trim and good as it allows for the precise adjustment of the carrier's fit. I wore the this waistband snugly around my waist (and not my hips). This unstructured "apron-style" wear fits both the narrower-waisted and also the broader-waisted body types well.

I also like that it has this unique cinch mechanism on the bottom of the Pikkolo carrier to make a narrower body base for smaller newborn babies to sit comfortably. This cinching ladderlock and webbing belt allows for the narrowing or widening of the fabric between baby's legs.
So I cinched it to make a narrower body base for Khye when he was an infant.

Below is a photo taken when Khye was 2 months+ when I used the cinching feature. Khye was fast asleep then and his whole body curved to mine so naturally.
23 November 2012 - Khye @ 2 mths+

This is another photo of me baby wearing Khye just 2 days later at Staits Quay. It is so much easier taking care of 2 kids when I'm baby wearing. I can still sling my trusty Emily Storksak diaper bag on my shoulders and still has 2 hands free.

25 November 2012- Khye @ 2 mths+

To places which are not stroller-friendly (in Penang, only shopping malls are stroller-friendly!), I baby wear Khye.
When we took our family from South Africa for the Heritage Walk in Georgetown, Khye was clung to me. We walked for more than 2 hours, and I like that this Pikkolo carrier is not too thick, thus making it more suitable for our hot and humid weather. There is bound to be a little sweat, but I am told that this is already much better than other thick US-made SSCs.

24 February 2013 - Khye @ 5 mths+

The shoulder straps of the Pikkolo are lightly padded with deluxe memory foam. These are very comfortable and shock-absorbent and I had no pain of it cutting through my body. They are also surprisingly sleek and trim, which is very good for my kinda petite frame.

Look at Khye tilting his head back and gazing in awe at the lighted lantern at the ceiling of Khoo Kongsi.
24 February 2013 - Khye @ 5 mths+

I initially find that the Pikkolo is on the shorter side, but after a while, I see that the good thing about shorter carriers is that it is great when baby has head control and it allows Khye to see out from the sides before other tall carriers, where they would be quite low down for a while.

Look at Khye peering from the sides when I wore Khye to the Chowrasta Wet Market.
25 February 2013 - Khye @ 5 mths+

Spent about 2 hours walking up and down our visit to Kek Lok Si, and with so much steps, stroller was not a good idea, so I just babywore Khye the whole time. Both of us were very comfy. I was not complaining, and Khye fell asleep at the end of the sightsee. :)
28 February 2013 - Khye @ 5 mths+

Oh ya, Khye being a happy baby being so near mummy all the time when he was sick and was hospitalized. And I was so thankful for having this Pikkolo Baby Carrier, for without it, it would be a nightmare to carry this fussy sick Khye!
3 March 2013 - Khye @ 5 1/2 mths

I like that Pikkolo has a stowable contoured sleeping hood in soft cotton, which is very light and breathable. It also has an elastic along sides for a better fit and more support to Khye's sleeping heads.
I don't use it often as Khye usually sleeps with his head tilted and leaned on my body like this.
4 March 2013 - Khye @ 5 1/2 mths

But I sometimes do when I carry him while I eat (although not with hot food!) to avoid food crumbs dropping on him.
I also use it when Khye is trying to sleep and there is too much disturbance going on and I don't want him to be over stimulated.

I like that this carrier allows Khye's body to contour so nicely with mine. I guess all carriers do that, and that is why I love baby wearing! It simply allows body contact, with no strain on my shoulders or back, and leaves me with my 2 hands free.
18 March 2013 - Khye @ 6 mths

The only bad thing is that it is not so convenient when you want to try on clothes at the mall/shop, especially when baby is sleeping and I usually do not like to wake him up!
7 May 2013 - Khye @ 8 mths

But then thinking again, putting baby in a stroller also has its own problems as most strollers don't fit into the changing room, thus you would also need to wake the baby up if the baby is asleep in order to get inside the changing room to try on clothes.
So best is to go shopping for clothes WITHOUT the baby! lol.

Pikkolo actually has  features of wearing baby in multiple carrying positions. It can do front facing-in, front facing-out, back, or hip. And you can also cross the straps in front or back, or adjust the carrier back-pack style. With so many different carrying positions, it's EASY to get a comfortable fit with the Pikkolo.

For me my preference is back-pack style with chest strap on my back and front carry baby facing-in, just like all the photos above. I tried cross straps and it is fine too, just that back-pack style is easier to handle alone and I like to be able to fix the baby carrier myself when I'm all alone with the baby.
As mentioned, I am NOT convinced of a safe and ergonomic position for baby front facing-out, as I had read many articles saying forward-facing is really bad for the baby. So to be safe, I just don't do it.

Overall, I love Pikkolo's simple design that grows with the baby.

I am yet to carry Khye with the padded waistbelt but I know it will soon be time when I need it as Khye is almost reaching 10kg and without it, it would strain my back.
Once I start using the padded waistbelt for some time, then I will update this review or write a Part 2.

So stay tuned....

To read about my other reviews on babycarriers, click on below :-
a) Soft-structured Carriers (SSCs)
Pikkolo by Catbird Baby
LÍLLÉbaby® Complete All Seasons (Part 1Part 2)
- Ergobaby; Ergobaby Performance, and Ergobaby 360.

b) Wraps
Ergobaby Wrap

c) Slings SUPPORi Baby Sling
SUKKIRI Ring Sling

***Please take note that this post is NOT sponsored. I purchased this Pikkolo Baby Carrier with my own money. All text and opinions are of my own and represents my honest opinion of the product(s).


Anonymous said...

I think it should be 'Khye' tilting his head at Khoo Kongsi

Elizabeth J. Neal said...

I like that there is no extra newborn inserts carrier bag printers that I need to use, which I find it fussy. I can carry an infant just fine with it and nothing else.

tanshuyin said...

Hie Elizabeth...
Yes, u r right. So fuss-free this carrier.