run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Saturday 5 June 2021

Tula Explore: the best baby (and toddler) sling for petite mamas

With my first baby, I carried him in a sling most days as we were out exploring in London, jumping on the Tube and around galleries and museums and everything was easier without a buggy. With my second, I used a sling the whole time because it made it so much easier to run around after his big (toddler) brother at the same time. And with my third, a sling is the only way to have two spare hands to hold onto my sons whilst looking after my baby daughter too. So I've been sling-sporting (or baby-wearing as the gurus put it) for about six years, mostly using a BabyBjorn. 

It was fine when the babes were tiny and in the classic model. But then as they grew I needed more back and shoulder support so moved on to the Air model. And that's when it went wrong. I'm small - still wear kids' trainers, have been known to buy clothes in age 12 in Zara, am around 5"1 - and so many slings I tried just didn't get tight enough on their shoulder or back straps.

Until a friend recommended the Tula Explore and I love it. It's perfect for petite mamas: it's adaptable to every carry position your baby will need, including facing out, facing in, and on your back, it's ergonomic for babies' healthy hips, it has no annoying body panel between parent and babe so you can breastfeed in it easily, it has really padded straps so it feels like you're wearing a great rucksack, AND the waistband goes as narrow as 145cm so you can ensure it's really tight and supportive.

Even when my baby (she's 1, she's walking, I'm refusing to call her a toddler though!) isn't in the sling properly, I often use it to perch on my hip as it takes some of her weight off my arms. The Tula also comes in amazing prints - I couldn't pick between the cactus and the beautiful pink Grace design, but eventually went for the latter because I'm all about the pink this time round. It's machine washable, and comes with a great hood-type cover which acts as a sun shield or nap prolonger.

The only downside is the Tula Explore is sometimes a slight struggle to get on - there's a snap buckle to do up at the back which I sometimes find difficult once the baby is inside and need someone to help. But I can avoid that by getting the sling ready before I put it on. 

Overall, if you're a small mum or dad (it's super easy to adjust and my taller, broader husband wears it too), I really recommend the Tula Grace. It's similar to the Ergo baby (which actually owns Tula) but available in much nicer and more varied prints and, from my experience, even more comfortable. We've hiked mountains in ours (and lazed around eating ice cream in it...) 

and worn it for hours on end without a problem. The Tula Explore is definitely the best sling around for petite mamas - just don't make the mistake I made and go for another brand first, as this one fits babes from newborn.

* We were sent a sling to review but rest assured, we're seriously gobby and only rave about things we really love.


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