Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier review
In a nutshell
A cosy, snuggly baby carrier for hands-free bonding with your newborn, but the sling style may feel less secure for older babies
What we tested
- Comfort for baby
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- Comfort for you
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Ease of use
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Worth the money
4.3A star rating of 4.3 out of 5.
- Hands-free baby wearing, close and gentle carry. good range of carrying positions
- Tricky to put on and remove, feels less secure when exercising, less suitable for babies over 6 months
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Close is a British parenting brand, set up by two mums with a passion for baby wearing and cloth nappies, back in 2004. The Caboo, one of their original products, is billed as one of the only carriers suitable for use from birth with babies over 5lb in weight. One size fits all, the Caboo is fitted via a ring mechanism, allowing the wearer to pull it as tight as they need to make the baby secure. We tested out the Caboo + Organic baby carrier, which has a little more support in the back panel and more generous sizing than the Caboo Lite.
The harness sling holds your baby high on the chest, whilst the reinforced cross style on the back provides back support for the wearer as they go about their daily tasks whilst babywearing. Designed for indoor and outdoor use and acknowledged as a ‘hip healthy’ carrier by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, the Caboo reassuringly complies with T.I.C.K.S guidelines for safe baby carrying.
Lianne is a mum of two with a newborn baby girl and a 3-year-old boy. She lives in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey and tested the Close Caboo with her newborn whilst multi-tasking around the house, out on local walks and to comfort and calm her baby at home.
What were your first impressions of the Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier?
Despite coming with instructions, it is a little baffling when you pull it out of the box. I found the best way to learn how to put this sling on was to watch instructional videos online.
Once I’d grasped where all the different parts went and had a few practise runs, I found it was quick to pop on the Close Caboo + and settle my daughter inside. It’s also very soft to the touch and comes packed in its own handy bag, which would easily fit in my changing bag, unlike some bulkier baby carriers.
What age can the Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier be used for?
The nature of the Caboo is that it can be used from birth, with a foetal position hold that my newborn loved. It is marketed as suitable for toddlers up to 3 years old (2.27kg to 14.55kg) but, while my older boy is too old and heavy at 3 years 7 months and 15kg, I very much doubt I’d have got him in this a year ago. Not only would he feel too old to strap to my body, but I’m also not sure if have been able to see over his head. The Caboo carrier feels very much more suitable for the younger end of its age range.
Do you like the style of the Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier?
Absolutely. The organic cotton fabric makes it a lovely, gentle wrap-style carrier to use in that all-important 4th trimester. Other than the rings, there are no knots or clunky clips that could dig into the skin. The soft material and colours also make it look very classy and swish when your baby is all swaddled up inside.
How easy is the Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier to put on?
There are a few steps to putting on the Caboo + baby carrier as follows:
- Pull it over your head like a top, with the reinforced cross at the centre of your back.
- Straighten the straps with the rings hanging by your hips
- Once the baby is in, with the harness fabric pulled over their body and tucked under their bottom like a hammock, pull to tighten and tie the straps under your baby’s bum
- Wrap the second piece (the unfurled drawstring bag) around, tying it behind your back.
It may sound simple, but to find your way around the straps and to get the material in the right place, it’s handy to watch an instructional video available online.
Once you’ve grasped it, which may take a few watches of the videos, it is actually quick and easy to put on by yourself. I could whip it on and get Izzy in it while she was fussing quickly to calm her.
MFM Editorial Judge Gemma agreed saying “I really like the simplicity of fitting this, the rings are great for adjusting the fit easily one-handed and it’s much easier to put on without making a mistake” she did point out however that with two pieces, there is an extra risk of either incorrect fitting, or losing a piece.
Were you able to remove your baby from the Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier by yourself?
Taking her out was also pretty easy, but you must make sure you’re using both hands as, when you loosen the material to lift the baby out, there is no longer anything keeping them secure. There are no clips, buttons or fasteners, which is a real positive as there is nothing that can catch on your baby as you pull them out.
How comfortable is the Caboo + Organic baby carrier for your baby?
As long as she isn’t hungry or windy, my daughter falls asleep in the Caboo as soon as she is in – it is cosy and warm and closely mimics a swaddle or the womb for a newborn. It’s great for babywearing around the house in those early newborn days and if she wouldn't settle in her Moses basket, I could still get some chores done while she slept comfortably in the Caboo. I even wrote some of this review on my laptop with her in the sling, as she’d become fussy and didn’t want to be put down.
How was your baby positioned in the Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier?
Her head rests softly against my chest, although you have to ensure their head is tilted up and not chin down. The sling is ergonomic, in that it supports your baby’s hips and allows them to sit in the ‘M’ position, or frog legged. It also follows TICKS guidelines as long as you follow the instructions and make sure your baby is in the right position. This isn't hard to do – I mostly had her parent facing and the design of the harness means she naturally went into the frog legged position within the sling.
Does the Caboo + Organic baby carrier feel secure?
I will be honest, she didn’t always feel as secure as she could have. I kept wanting to tug on the straps to ensure she was still snug. When I had her in the sling under my coat (which is designed with a joey pouch to wear over a baby sling), for a brisker walk, I found myself cradling her bottom with my arms rather than walking with my arms by my side.
I found I preferred the Caboo as an indoor sling for babywearing around the house or a quick pop to the shops/short gentle stroll, and instead opted for my other baby carrier, with all its clips and fastenings, if I wanted a brisker winter walk on more rugged terrain.
How comfortable is the Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier for the wearer?
The Caboo doesn’t distribute the weight as well as other baby wraps or carriers, but I was willing to sacrifice that to not require multiple clips and fasteners, especially when it comes to carrying my newborn. However, as my baby grows, it may mean it’s not as supportive as it needs to be on my back.
I’ve read several online reviews that mentioned the rings digging into the skin when the Caboo is tightened securely, but I personally didn’t have this problem. It also didn’t tug up my clothes as other reviewers have mentioned, but I tend to live in dresses and leggings which avoided this problem.
The softness of the material otherwise made it super comfy, and as my baby is still only 9lb it was easy to walk with, even on the rugged and hilly heath near our house. I enjoyed the feel and warmth of her against my chest during pram free walks.
I could cook dinner, vacuum and do chores that didn’t involve too much bending up and down or heavy lifting, and I could also eat my dinner if necessary, although I’d use a muslin to protect her from any falling crumbs!
How many different positions does it offer?
The sling offers five positions, so is very versatile - although the different holds look like they would all require an instructional video to grasp.
My baby was only big enough for the inward-facing ‘M’ position hold, which she loved and was easy, and the sitting breastfeeding hold, which I personally wasn’t a fan of, as it just felt unnecessary – I prefer to cradle during feeds.
How easy is the Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier to adjust?
It was very easy to adjust, as you just tug on the straps if you want to tighten or loosen – unless you’re out on a walk and the Caboo is under your coat, then it’s trickier.
How well does it fit?
The Caboo is a ‘one size fits most’ thanks to the hoop system design, and worked perfectly well for me at 5ft3in and on my husband who is almost 6ft. The Caboo is designed to adapt to any size and shape, whilst still functioning the same – you just pull the straps to tighten and can tie them at the front if there is a lot of excess material.
Fellow MFM parent tester Stephanie tested the Caboo with her partner too and found “it fits me and my 6ft partner. I am 5ft2in and this fits me perfectly. I have adjusted it tighter to fit my waist as I’ve lost a bit of my pregnancy weight so this has adapted to my shape.”
How would you rate the quality of the Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier?
The Caboo Organic+ is ultra-stylish with its ergonomic design. From the soft, organic cotton blend, to the gentle, neutral colours, the Caboo is top quality and beautifully made, which does justify the price tag even if the longevity of use per child might not.
MFM parent tester Stephanie agreed stating: “The material is thick and doesn’t show any signs of threading or catching on my jewellery when putting the wrap on.”
How easy is the Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier to clean?
The Caboo is super easy to wash as it just goes in the washing machine. I undid the hoops to wash it, which meant I needed to watch an instructional video to make sure I’d put it back together properly, but this was straightforward.
I don’t have a tumble dryer, so I just popped it on the airer near the radiator and it dried lovely, although as the material is quite thick (for comfort) it did take a while to dry.
MFM parent tester Stephanie also found the Caboo easy to wash and dry.
What are the safety elements/features of the Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier?
As previously mentioned, the Caboo is ergonomic, in that it supports babies’ hips and allows them to sit in the ‘M’ position. It also follows TICKS guidelines – but you must be sure to follow the instructions and make sure your baby is in the right position. It is also advised that you use both hands to pop in and remove your baby.
What’s in the box?
Caboo weather protector/raincover, £38.50
Now you’ve tested it, what would you have wanted to know before purchasing the Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier?
I’d want to be prepared that you need to practise with it before using it. When my boy was a baby, we stopped by a shop to buy a carrier on the way for a walk, popped it out of the box and put him in it following the instruction manual. If we’d bought this one on the way, we’d have been struggling in the car park watching YouTube videos!
Who would the Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier be most useful for?
Any parent of a very young baby who wants to be able to free up their hands, while also providing that close bonding experience. It’s particularly handy if your little one doesn’t like to be put down or prefers sleeping on you, but you’ve got some housework to do or dinner to make.
Is the Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier worth the money?
The Caboo is top quality and beautifully made, which does justify the £77 price tag even if the longevity of use per child doesn’t (it would however retain its quality through multiple children).
It’s far from the most expensive baby carrier on the market, but the Organic + version I tested is at the more premium end when it comes to slings and wraps and more expensive than other brands such as the Ergobaby Aura (£49.95)
A from birth wrap is definitely worth having, but as parents may find they need to move on to a bigger, more robust baby carrier after 6 months to a year, they may want to research some wraps on the lower end of the pricing scale too. If you can afford it, it’s a worthy investment.
How does the Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier compare other similar products?
|Product name||Age suitability||No. of wearing positions||Material||Machine washable||RRP (£)|
|Close Caboo + Organic Baby Carrier||Birth to 14.5kg||5||Organic cotton blend||Yes||£77|
|Izmi Essential Wrap||Birth to 6 months||2 (front and hip)||95% cotton, 5% elastane||Yes||£34.99|
|Ergobaby Aura Baby Wrap||Birth to 2 years||4 (front and hip)||100% natural viscose||Yes||£49.90|
|AmaWrap Baby Sling||Birth 2-3 years (15kg)||1 (parent facing)||100% cotton||Yes||£39.99|
Where can I buy the Close Caboo + Organic baby carrier?
A super stylish carrier suitable from birth, ideal for providing hands free comfort and bonding during those early months with your newborn. The Organic fabric is soft and the 'one size fits most' sizing means it can easily be swapped between care givers, however it is at the pricier end of the sling/baby wrap market, so you'll want to get the most use out of it as possible.
|Child age (approx)||From Birth|
|Child weight||2.27kg to 14.5kg|
|Washing instructions||Machine washable|
|Number of carrying positions||5|