Best known for its high quality all-terrain strollers parenting brand Mountain Buggy has moved into the world of babywearing with it’s first carrier, the Juno.
It’s been described by Mountain Buggy as the first ‘multi-functional’ baby carrier that can be worn from birth to – if you can carry them – a whopping 48-month-olds or up to a weight of 20kg (that’s some heavy lifting).
After having my second son Rafferty when my first-born Fergus was a toddler, a baby carrier went from “nice to have” to an essential piece of kit as I tried to manage the pair of them.
But as Rafferty grew older and heavier, my Baby Bjorn carrier began to cause me serious neck ache, so I was keen to try a new sling.
Wear a baby sling or carrier safely – remember T.I.C.K.S
The Juno is interesting because its main straps anchors around your shoulders and hips, which distributes your baby’s weight better.
Its closest rival is the Ergobaby 360 Bundle of Joy Baby Carrier (£139.90), which looks remarkably similar. But where the Juno differs is that the newborn insert comes complete with the carrier and the Juno can be used up to 20kg (as opposed to the Ergobaby’s 15kg) all for £139.
What are the seating options on the Juno like?
One of the best things about the Juno is the versatility of the seating options.
When your baby is a newborn, they are encased in a special newborn insert, which fits snugly into the sling, with them facing inwards.
As they grow and become stronger, this is removed. Once they are strong enough to face outwards, around six months, you make adjustments to the front of the sling and they can happily be transported forward facing. You can also carry the sling on your hip and on your back, from six months.
Would you use it up to the recommend 20kg weight?
I know of parents locally who have carried children as old as four in carriers and I was keen to try this with my just turned three-year-old.
I managed to coax him into Juno once, but he wasn’t keen at all, despite him usually trying to make his claim to anything that belongs to the baby!
While it can carry him without straining the actual carrier, he felt very long on my back and he did feel reasonably heavy.
He said he was uncomfortable but he wouldn’t stay in it long enough for me to adjust it to see if I could make him more comfy.
However, I’m sure if a toddler was used to being carried from an earlier age it may work better.
You can buy the Juno carrier from Amazon
It’s also marketed as being a hands-free carrier, how does that work?
I was a bit confused by the “hands-free carrier” tagline because that seems to be the point of using any baby carrier. Saying that, Rafferty does certainly seem more secure in the Juno than any carrier I’ve used before.
And I don’t feel like I have to hold onto him at all, even when bending over.
What do you think of the ‘hands through connection’ at the front of the carrier?
I like the little pouches to put your hands in though. It’s more comfort than anything else, but I can still put my hands on his back if I want to.
What do you think of the compartment at the back of the carrier?
The two little pockets on the strap, which goes around your waist are fantastic.
They are large enough for a phone and keys, which means when I’m using it on a nursery run my hands are totally free to hold my toddler’s hand and carry his bag.
Is it ergonomic?
Yes, Rafferty seems well supported and I like the fact his knees can easily sit higher than his crotch.
So he’s sitting in the ‘froggy’ position, which is considered one of the best ergonomic ways for babies to sit.
And Rafferty looks very comfortable in it. He has never cried or fussed while in it and if I take him out on a long walk he always drifts off into a peaceful slumber. I also like the fact it has a little hood that pulls over my son’s head when he’s asleep to keep light out.
I think it’s the favourite out of the other slings he has tried – the Baby Bjorn and the Wemademe Wuti wrap.
Compare the Juno carrier with the Baby Bjorn We carrier
How is strapping baby in?
This is the major downfall of the Juno, in my opinion. When using the newborn cocoon, you strap your baby into that, and then hold it in front of you while you pull up the main section of the sling in front of you and try to get the shoulder straps over both arms.
You then have to reach back over your shoulders to connect two other straps together to secure the sling. It feels very precarious until they are secured.
It’s easier when you don’t need to use the newborn insert anymore but it’s still quite tricky. I have had to ask strangers to help me fasten it more than once.
I have also twice managed to get the hood of my jacket caught in the fastening and when I freed my hood the straps pinged open, which was quite scary as I then struggled to reattach it.
How easy is it to adjust the straps?
Unlike strapping my son in, which as I said can be quite an ordeal, adjusting the straps is very easy. You just yank down the straps that sit under your arms and it’s done.
The strap across the back is a different matter though; if this needed to be altered at all someone else would have to do it.
Is it comfortable for you?
Yes! This is unbelievably comfortable to wear for me. The weight is distributed so evenly it barely feels like Rafferty any weight at all.
I happily trek out for an hour with him and I have no backache. When I was wearing the Baby Bjorn I would get either a jabbing neck pain or lower back pain and couldn’t use it for long periods.
With the Wuti wrap, it was definitely more comfortable than the Baby Bjorn but just isn’t a patch on the Juno.
The highlight of the carrier for me has to be the fabric of the carrier. It’s very soft and silky, but feels very strong at the same time. You can tell it’s a high quality product. Even my husband was impressed by the quality of the fabric and by how stylish it is.
Is it easy to clean?
Very, it can be sponge cleaned or washed on a cold setting in your machine.
Tell us about the teething pads.
He teething pads fasten around the sides of the wrap and fit where your baby is likely to chew. They look like a great idea, but Rafferty was not big enough to test them out. However as he loves to chew already, I’m sure we’ll be using them extensively, which is great as it’ll cut down the amount of times I’ll have to wash it.
What ages is this carrier best for?
If you are buying this, it would make sense to get it from newborn to make the most of the features. If you are buying it for an older child, I would definitely buy it from a shop where they have one you can try out with your child first, just in case they don’t like it.
Is it compact to store?
Not really, it’s a bit annoying having to hang up the newborn insert separately, especially at a baby group when your stuff tends to get shoved in a pile. But thankfully now I’m just using the main carrier it’s easy to store.
A top quality, long-lasting baby carrier that provides comfort for both mum and baby – it’s just a shame it’s so tricky to put on.