Thank you so much to our wonderful guinea pig, Kristie, for taking the time to write her thoughts about the new Babyhawk Soft Structured Carrier, lovingly called the Oh Snap! It is the newest SSC available & is able to be custom ordered or purchased from our in stock selection at PAXbaby. Interested in placing a pre-order? Save 10% off + free shipping! Contact us for more details! Now, on with the show!
I’m hooked. It’s true.
While I only have one kiddo (DD) at present (almost 14 months! *sob*), I spend my days watching a wonderful little boy (Mr. G) who’s five months younger than she. Living in a townhome without a yard or much space for a playroom means that we make a point of getting out of the house every day, even if it’s only for a walk or a trip to the grocery store (or a walk to the grocery store!)
I freely admit to being stroller-impaired. We have a small umbrella stroller, and I manage to pinch my fingers every time I try to fold it up. I still can’t manage to push a stroller through a door that I’m pushing open without getting one or more of us stuck in the process. And I’m constantly stepping on the back tire of the jogging stroller, causing me to do a faceplant into the handlebars. Because of this, I tend to shy away from using the stroller, even if it means wearing two.
So my carriers get a lot of work to begin with. Add that to the fact that any time we go anywhere between the hours of 7am and 4pm from Monday to Friday, I have to haul two small children plus diaper bag and whatever else we need down a flight of stairs, outside (insert fumbling with keys at this step), down another flight of stairs, and into the car. All of this is an operation that works better if one has at least one hand at their disposal; however, with two kiddos that can’t walk, those hands are usually occupied.
Enter my SSCs (Soft Structured Carriers.) My Ergo and Beco are indispensable parts of my BabyWearing stash. But, like someone that shares a car with multiple drivers, I’m constantly finding myself having to readjust my carriers; husband uses the Ergo and the shoulder straps are too long when I put it on, or I put daughter in the Beco while we’re out in the evening and get it all snug around her, only to have to readjust for the much shorter and chunkier Mr. G the next day.
Thus, my need for another carrier. My decision to purchase the Oh Snap! was cemented when I saw that I could get it in the Jasper print. After failing to convince DH that I needed the Alice Beco to replace my boring but easily-coordinated Metro Black BB1, I decided that Jasper must be mine. But the features looked great too–taller body, highly adjustable.
I got the notice of shipping on Tuesday 12/10, and was prepared to stalk the mailman obsessively starting on Friday. But we went out on Thursday morning and came back Thursday afternoon to a lovely surprise–a little Jasper sitting cozily on my doorstep, holding a conversation with the lawn gnome that guards my flowerpots. Squeeling commenced and I begged the kiddos to nap so that I could open it unmolested.
Alas, it wasn’t to be, and it got its first test about two minutes after opening. I hadn’t had time to do much more than get the waistbelt adjusted before both kiddos started fussing at each other (they were, after all, needing naps). So I popped one on my back in my new friend Jasper and went to snug up the shoulder straps.
That was my first pleasant surprise. Rather than adjusting where the webbing meets the padded strap, they adjust where the webbing meets the carrier body. Also, they adjust in a way that has you pulling upwards to tighten, rather than trying to exert force down and backwards in an unnatural way. Getting a nice snug fit there was quick!
The waist belt was comfy too, and seemed to do its job. I was satisfied, we got the mail, and when we came inside, I was able to get the nap thing going. This gave me time to play with the rest of the adjustments, and I was impressed at how many there are. The first time I took the chest belt off, I thought it was a pain to get on again, but then I figured out a trick to get it on more quickly (hold the clip loosely, and slide starting at one corner of the clip). The hip belt adjustments intrigued me, and I was interested in seeing if the shape adjustability would make a difference in the feel with a child. I played with it a bit, petted the beautiful fabric a bit and talked to the owls, then hung it up and hoped that I’d get a chance to try it out later.
Through the fickleness of fate, though, I had to wait until the next day. I forgot to grab it on our way out the door to run our few errands, so I had to make do with the Ergo that lives in the car–one on the back and one in the arms.
They fell asleep in the car on our way home, and regrettably didn’t sleep long enough and woke up cranky. (Well, one woke the other up… etc. etc.) So I grabbed the Ergo from the car and stuck daughter on the front in it and Mr. G on the back in Jasper.
The first thing I noticed is that the hip belt’s shape adjustability is HUGE. Mr. G was practically weightless back there. The way I was able to get it adjusted had it contoured to my hips, rather than just perched atop them. MUCHO comfortable, even with the Ergo hip belt on top of it. It’s also wonderfully wide and padded. Much easier to wear almost 40 combined pounds of baby when the weight is perched on the hips! Lastly, the dual adjustable buckles are nice, because I can have the clip over to the side more, which is where I find the clips on my SSCs easier to buckle.
The next thing I noticed was that Mr. G was unable to do his usual attempt at a back dive from the carrier like he does in the Ergo. Score 100 points for the tall back–this thing will last my shorty kiddo forever!
My last discovery as I wore two was how much I liked the chest strap. I was able to get it adjusted so that it lay flat against my unfortunately large chest, and (unlike on the Ergo and the Beco) I felt like I could get it nicely snug without putting uncomfortable pressure on places that could lead to plugged ducts. I couldn’t see the reasoning for the cloth sleeves over the webbing on the chest strap until I got it snugged up, then I realized how nice it is for distributing the pressure evenly.
I wore both kiddos for a bit over a half-hour, until Mr. G had woken up enough to want down so that he could play. So I put daughter on my front in Jasper and immediately (yes, immediately) noticed what might be my favorite thing about Jasper. I’m not a strap-crosser–my first SSC was my Ergo so there was no reason to learn. I borrowed a mai tei from a friend long enough to see why one might want to cross the straps, but even with the Oh Snap’s ability to cross the straps, I figured I’d just stick with the ability not to have to fiddle with clipping and unclipping things. But even with the straps uncrossed, Jasper doesn’t dig in under my arms/on the sides of my breasts in the same way that my other two SSCs do, something that is an issue with my Ergo and Beco to the point where I ended up with mastitis on one side. Because the straps are padded so far down, there’s padding under my arms, spreading out the pressure, which isn’t much anyway.
This morning I wore daughter again in Jasper and we ended up taking a nice long walk. She conked out–the highest compliment she could pay, perhaps.
So I’ll have to apologize to my husband, but there’s a new man in my life, and his name is Jasper.