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Miranda Janatka, is a new mum to a 10-week-old (12 lb) baby, who tested the LittleLife Acorn Baby Carrier on pavements, paths, uphill, in woodlands as well as inside a restaurant, based in a town on the edge of countryside and parkland.
What were your first impressions of the LittleLife Acorn Baby Carrier?
This carrier rolls out of its waterproof storage bag ready to go without fussing around for set up, other than adjusting the straps to suit the wearer and choosing one of two seat positions. Having been using a couple of slings recently, which are soft and comfortable but require a degree of body origami, this was satisfying in that it was fuss-free to set up and learn how to use. It rolls up tight and fits back in the bag easily, but then is bulky to carry around, a bit like a small sleeping bag.
How easy is the LittleLife Acorn Baby Carrier to put on with your baby?
It took a little while to figure out how to put it on with my baby and I found it was easier to have someone else on hand to pop them in once one side was done up and one left open. The instructions were good but I also watched a manufacturer’s video to aid the process, which helped me to understand further about the adjustable seat that offers a position for newborn and then a bigger child up to 3-years-old.
To put on the carrier, you have to close up one strap and then pop it on as you would a jumper, putting arms and head through holes, before fixing and tightening the strap at the back. I would close up one side of the two front straps before popping my baby in and then closing up the other side.
Parent tester Sophie – who tested the Acorn carrier with her 7-month-old baby – also noted: “It has a lot of clips/buckles so it is more complex than my usual carrier to put on, however, the instructions were really easy to follow and the extra clips made it feel really secure for baby. Once I had done it once it was easy to put on the next time.”
How easy is it to remove your baby from the LittleLife Acorn Baby Carrier?
Taking my baby out was just as easy as getting her in, with a small baby it is much easier if they are wearing a pram suit, which as it was winter when I tested this, was something we were putting on anyway. I felt it created more bulk and made the baby a bit sturdier to pop into the carrier. I did feel confident putting my baby in once I had a feel for where the straps fitted as you cannot see them and so have to feel around.
Would you say the LittleLife Acorn Baby Carrier is ergonomic?
Once I tried out both of the seating heights, I found one which best fit my baby and found her hips were supported and in the recommended ‘M’ position. The LittleLife Acorn Carrier has been acknowledged as a ‘hip healthy’ product by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute and follows the TICKS guidelines. With this in mind, it was easy to ensure that my baby was correctly positioned. The head support is useful but took a bit of trial and error with the seat position to work out how it was best fitted.
While my daughter was cosy in her pram suit she was very comfortable, however without it, her face would lean towards the strap and rest down against the carrier leaving temporary marks on her face after a while when sat down.
Parent tester Sophie also stated that her baby “seemed really happy and well supported” when using this carrier, adding: “He looked comfy however, it did keep making him lean to one side, no matter how much I adjusted it!”
How comfortable did you find the LittleLife Acorn Baby Carrier?
The Acorn baby carrier was very comfortable for me and felt like wearing a very good quality rucksack. It is padded well on the shoulders and fitted nicely around the waist. As it is so comfortable it is easy to forget how long you have been wearing it, a mixed blessing as the mother of a newborn baby may carry the baby longer than she should without noticing until later.
I could not feel any pressure on my back or shoulders while or immediately after wearing the carrier, and did not feel pain on shorter walks, just some lower back pain after wearing it for a 2-hour walk.
However, parent tester Sophie did not find this carrier comfortable, stating: “The waistband is very comfy however the way that the carrier clips at the front means it pulls on the shoulders at a funny angle and I found that the more I was wearing it, the more uncomfortable it became. I would definitely not use this for a long walk again, possibly just for use in the house. I am a regular baby carrier user, and my usual carrier does not pull on the shoulders in this way.”
How many positions does the LittleLife Acorn Baby Carrier offer?
The carrier offers 3 positions:
- For a newborn, the baby would be placed in a high position facing the adult
- The same position can be used for a child 4 – 15 months old, this would use the lower position on the carrier. From 4 – 36 months the child can be carried forward facing in the lower position
- Finally, a child 12 – 36 months of age can be carried on the adults back facing forwards if preferred.
I wore it with my baby facing me as she is still very young. Her dad also enjoyed using the carrier and we found it easy to adjust the straps to mean we could both use it. It fit both my partner and I well, he is a bit broader and taller than me, and was equally comfortable wearing it as well as swapping it between us.
To reposition it, you would need to undo straps, but you can tighten them up again easily. I thought the strap around the back was particularly clever, you pull each end of the straps which are quite long to tighten it. You would struggle to breastfeed your baby while wearing this carrier, but I did manage to eat lunch wearing it, using one hand. Doing chores around the house was also comfortable to do.
According to LittleLife, what age range is the Acorn Baby Carrier suitable for?
The manufacturer states that it is suitable from birth to 3-years-old, 3.6-15kg. I would be a bit intimidated using it on a newborn as it is quite bulky (which is where a soft material sling may feel more appropriate) but from 6-weeks old to 3-years, I can see it would work well. In order to accommodate an older child, you simply unzip the inner section to extend the fabric.
How do you rate the buckles and straps on the Littlelife Acorn Baby Carrier?
The buckles were very sturdy and made of a good quality plastic. The front two buckles are a special shape that were easy to clip on and felt safely shut. The nylon straps also felt robust, with a reviewer on Amazon stating that they have “no loose threads”, with another customer stating: “The clips and strap adjusters are easy to use and again, stitched well into the fabric.” Another reviewer added that “the head rest doesn’t have any visible stitching or sharpness (just the smooth back of two press studs) so ensures it is comfortable for your baby”.
How easy is the LittleLife Acorn Baby Carrier to clean?
The carrier is made from cotton with the manufacturer recommending that it is best to hand wash the product, but some reviewers on Amazon also gave it a gentle wash in the machine and air dried it after. One reviewer also added: “It is easy to keep clean, sick and dribble wipe off easily”, which is a bonus for any baby product.
What are the safety features of the LittleLife Acorn Baby Carrier?
The Acorn baby carrier features comfortable air-flow cotton fabric for the shoulder straps which helps to distribute the child’s weight evenly, with the wide hip belt also offering extra comfort for any parent. The material also felt very strong and durable, which I was impressed by. The straps are fully adjustable and the carrier also has a built-in head support for young babies, helping to keep even the smallest of children secure. The easy-clip buckles have been tested to comply with British Standards and it is acknowledged as ‘hip-healthy’ by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
How does the LittleLife Acorn Baby Carrier fare on public transport?
I found using public transport fine when wearing the Acorn baby carrier as my daughter was on my front and felt safe and supported. I wasn’t worried about bumping her or needing to be aware of more space around me. This carrier was much more sturdy and comfortable than others I have used previously, and felt much better for my back when standing up than a sling. I also really enjoyed being able to travel and walk with my baby pram-free. When it comes to the convenience of use on public transport, a reviewer on the LittleLife website also stated that it was ideal “for those moments where I need two hands free” but could also be used at home when her son was feeling a little restless.
How does the Acorn Baby Carrier compare to similar products made by LittleLife?
Compared to the other child carriers that LittleLife makes, the Acorn can be used from birth and seems to be a more usable kit for everyday use and walks with a child under the age of 3. Their other child carriers – the Ranger, Adventurer, Traveller, Cross Country, Freedom and Voyager – are all suitable from 6 months up until 3 years old and offer families a range of different purposes with the Ranger suitable for short walks to the Voyager, which is aimed at those who want a carrier for long days out or holidays.
The Acorn baby carrier is also the cheapest in their range and only comes in a plain black colour with grey trim, where some of their other products vary from grey to blue.
Compared to other baby carriers you have used, how did you find using the LittleLife Acorn?
The LittleLife Acorn baby carrier felt really sturdy and strong compared to other carriers and wraps that I have used. I have tended to use the Moby wraps, and by comparison, this feels much better on my back, both at the time of wearing and afterwards. The slings I have used are soft and comfortable but require a degree of body origami.
This was satisfying in that it was fuss-free to set up and learn how to use, especially when it came to adjusting the straps by myself. It also rolls up tight and fits back in the storage bag easily, but I did find it a bit bulky to carry. It was like wearing a good quality rucksack, with broad straps, I felt very happy that my baby was safe and secure, more so than other carriers and wraps that I have used before.
How does the LittleLife Acorn Baby Carrier compare to similar products on the market?
|Product name||Weight (Kg)||Key features||RRP (£)|
|LittleLife Acorn Baby Carrier||3.6kg to 15kg||3 carrying positions: facing in (newborn), facing out and back carry||£79.99|
|Integra Baby Carrier||3.5 to 25kg – comes in 3 sizes||Wide range of designs, lightweight, can be used up to age 5||£79|
|Joie Savvy Baby Carrier||3.5 to 16kg||4-in-1 carrying positions||£100|
|Ergobaby Adapt Baby Carrier||3.2 to 20.4kg||Made with SoftFlex™ Mesh fabric, 3 carry positions||£119.90|
What’s in the box?
- LittleLife Acorn baby carrier
- Waterproof storage bag
What are the additional accessories you can buy?
- Carrier foot stirrups £9.99
- Child carrier face pad £9.99
- Buggy cable lock £9.99
- Travel pillow (dinosaur, owl or unicorn) £14.99
Now you’ve tested the LittleLife Acorn Baby Carrier, what would you have wanted to know before purchasing it?
Having now tested this baby carrier, I would like to know that it is better for cold weather as young babies are more comfortable in a pram suit inside it. My baby was born in November so this was fine, but may have been less comfortable in the summer with a small baby wearing lighter clothing. I found that when my baby was wearing it without her pram suit, her face would lean against a strap. I would also want to know about some of its safety features, especially that the International Hip Dysplasia Institute has deemed ‘hip-healthy’.
Who would you say is this baby carrier most useful for?
The best target audience would be those parents who want a carrier for regular short walks with their baby, with it easy to adjust the straps and switch between mums and dads. It would also suit those families with more than one child under 3-years-old as it can be easily adjusted, as well as giving three options of travel – child facing forward, facing back and child carried on adult’s back – meaning it is an investment for those who may not have a huge budget.
Would you say the LittleLife Acorn Baby Carrier is worth the money?
Yes, I would say this baby carrier is definitely worth the cost thanks to its ease of use, comfort and safety features. Compared to more expensive child carriers in the LittleLife range, the Acorn carrier seems to be a more usable kit for everyday use and can be used from birth, up until the age of 3, meaning you are getting a lot for your money.
Parent tester Sophie also added: “The carrier ticks all the boxes you would want on a carrier. It feels really well made, great quality and looks more expensive than it is.”
Where can I buy the Littlelife Acorn Baby Carrier?
On the whole, I really liked the LittleLife Acorn Baby Carrier and feel it is one of the best carriers I have tried with my daughter. It is a great combination of good value for money, easy to use and comfortable, with the safety credentials to match.
While my turquoise material Moby wrap looks a lot nicer to wear, the Acorn carrier might not be the prettiest on the market, but it feels a lot easier on my back and my baby also feels more secure.
It has lots of options to adjust and is easier than the Ergobaby carrier that I have previously used and it felt secure to wear and was easy to loosen and tighten. I found it really comfortable around the back, shoulders and hips, despite some other reviewers feeling that it puts a strain on your shoulders. The carrier feels very solid and the stitching shows that it is well made and the material is really nice and sturdy.
With all of these elements wrapped up in an affordable price tag, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend – what more could you want from a baby carrier than perhaps some more aesthetically pleasing colours!
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|Model||Acorn Baby Carrier|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years|
|Child weight||Up to 15kg|
|Carrying positions||Back and front – 3|