Neko Switch Baby Size Carrier review
In a nutshell
A stylish and great quality carrier that offers a choice of carries and, once mastered, is easy to use and extremely comfortable for both baby and wearer
What we tested
- Comfort for baby
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
- Comfort for you
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Ease of use
3.5A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
- Worth the money
3.7A star rating of 3.7 out of 5.
- Very comfortable, easy to adjust, looks great, breathable, well thought out design
- Instructions aren’t clear, small buckles a little tricky to do up, expensive, not ideal for toddlers, only two carrying positions
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The Neko Switch Baby Size Carrier is designed by a baby wearing consultant and the thoughtfulness of the design makes that clear. The carrier has a deep seat that supports the ergonomic ‘m’ position that encourages natural hip development and is recommended by the Hip Dysplasia Institute as ‘hip healthy’.
Made in Turkey, “Neko” means “cat” in Japanese, and the brand are inspired by how mother cats carry their kittens naturally with ease and care. Babywearing is instinctive. Neko’s motivation is to ensure mothers can carry their babies with the same ease and an instinctive elegance.
The carrier can be worn for front and back carries with straps that can be worn rucksack style or crossed over the back, depending on preference. It is not recommended for world-facing carries. It comes with teething pads, a removable hood and a little bag so when not wearing you can keep it all together.
The Neko Switch Baby Size carrier, £124.94, is suitable for newborns (3.5kg/8lb) to around 2 to 3 years with a maximum weight capacity of 15kg or 33lbs, similar to the Ergobaby Omni 360, £164.90 and the more budget-friendly Infantino Flip 4-in-1, £30
Rohese Devereux Taylor, an avid babywearer who has worn her 4-month-old daughter since birth. They live in Glasgow where they walk daily and use carriers to do almost every activity, including house cleaning, baby soothing and shopping.
What were your first impressions?
The Neko Switch arrived in a nicely packaged box and was a joy to unpack with its added extras, like the hood and teething pads. The design was gorgeous and the feel of the carrier soft to touch. I hadn’t heard of the brand before but was happily surprised at the quality and design features.
Although the waistband and shoulder pads are padded, it was easily rolled up quite small. It is a buckle carrier with the feel of a luxury woven carrier that supports baby extremely well.
How easy is the Neko Switch carrier to put on with your baby?
It did take a little while to work out, as the accompanying booklet was quite sparse. I headed to the internet where there are instruction videos online, from the company and babywearing consultants, which made things much clearer.
After adjusting the panels to fit my daughter – which was very easy with the popper system, drawstrings and series of buckles – it was easy to get her in by smoothing the panel up her back and doing up the straps, but as the buckles are quite small it took a bit of practice to be able to secure her in place alone.
Because the carrier is adjusted to fit baby perfectly, it is easy to take off and take baby out with no issues at all.
Is the carrier supportive?
The Neko Switch carrier is designed to support the baby in the Dr-recommended ‘m’ position that encourages natural hip health and it is very easy to get even the wriggliest of babies into the position. My daughter was very comfortable and fell asleep almost instantly on the first try.
The material is strong but soft enough not to be rough on her and the fabric is generous enough that she is very well held with no extra body parts exposed. The carrier is now our go-to if she is unsettled and needs to be held close as it is so well fitting.
How comfortable is the Neko Switch for you?
When worn with straps crossed over my back, it was extremely comfortable and not bulky at all. Even on 2-hour walks carrying a sturdy 5 month old, and with a dodgy back, my back feels supported. However, for me, the rucksack style carry did not work. The strap intended to connect between shoulders always ended up behind my neck and the straps would slip and chafe under my arms. This could be a very personal issue though, as different people and their body shapes prefer and work better with different styles of carrier.
I used the carrier to walk, do the shopping, do the housework and even settle baby back to sleep during the night, and it was comfortable throughout.
How many different positions does the Neko Switch Baby Size carrier offer?
The baby carrier offers front and back carry options, but not world facing. If you were after a carrier that also gives the option of outward facing, something like the Ergobaby Embrace, £79.90, might be more suited. We mostly used the front carry but, as my daughter got bigger, we experimented with the back carry and found it to still be really comfortable.
Although I often took her out with the front carry on walks alone, I was hesitant to do so with the back carry, as I was less confident, I could get her down quickly and safely when on my own. She loved the back carry though and seemed to really appreciate the different view point.
How easy is the Neko Switch to adjust?
One of the biggest benefits of this carrier is how easy it is to adjust. The design of the straps and buckles mean you can easily tighten and loosen when wearing, without having to contort into strange positions or losing the ends of the straps. This was very much appreciated, especially when back carrying.
The poppers at the base of the seat are really easy to adjust and the buckles click on really easily. The ability to tighten straps when on is top notch – I have used lots of different buckle carriers and this has been the easiest.
I prefer to wear it with the straps crossed over my back which is a little more awkward to manage as the buckles are quite small but after practice is does get easier.
How well does the Neko Switch Baby Size carrier fit?
Because of how easy it is to adjust and the generous length of the straps, my very tall partner also loved this carrier. I would say that because of the material type and multiple adjustments it offers, this carrier would be a good purchase if a family could only buy one carrier, that would allow different people to carry the baby.
Does this carrier follow the T.I.C.K.S guidelines?
Absolutely, the Neko Switch was designed with these in mind to ensure babies are carried safely and securely.
What age range is the Neko Switch Baby Size carrier suitable for?
The Neko Switch Baby Size carrier is suitable for newborns (3.5kg/8lb) to around 2 to 3 years with a maximum weight capacity of 15kg or 33lbs.
My daughter is tall and quite heavy, but she was well supported, and it feels like she has plenty of growing room left.
Neko also have a Switch Toddler size, suitable from 86/92cm to around 5 years old.
How would you rate the buckles?
When fitted, the buckles are very secure but are still able to be disconnected easily because of the size. They are small enough to fit in your palm, but this does make them harder to connect when using carrier alone and trying to do up with one hand, while keeping baby secure.
There are two different sets of buckles for the straps to fit to, according to baby’s size – one just above the waist band for babies 0 to 6 months, to avoid flattening their backs; and another hidden in the panel for babies over 6 months. We were able to test both, and they both felt very secure and baby’s spine was kept curved.
The buckles that aren't in use can easily be tucked away into their pockets so not getting in the way of baby or you when wearing.
What’s the fabric like on the Neko Switch Baby Size carrier?
The fabric, made of bio-cotton, is of good quality and is soft and breathable. The red and gold pattern is stylish and eye catching, and partner was happy to wear too.
How well does the Neko Switch wash?
The manufacturer recommends the carrier be washed on a cool wash. After the first wash, apart from some threads coming loose, the carrier was still in great condition with no colour loss. After drying it didn’t wrinkle at all. It was easy to wipe clean and the detachable teething pads, after a good suck, could be popped in washing machine ready for the next wear.
What are the safety elements/features of the Neko Switch Baby Size carrier?
Because the carrier is so easy to adjust with the poppers, drawstrings and buckles, it always felt very secure. The ease with which you could make little comfort changes was excellent and because of the depth of the seat, baby was very comfortable and no part of her ever slipped out. The adjustable panel also meant her neck was supported as she grew, and the ‘m’ position was easy to establish, even in the back carry.
The buckles were very secure when connected and while it meant they needed a fair bit of pressure to unlock, which was reassuring.
How does the Neko Switch compare to other carriers/wraps you have used?
I have used two-way stretchy wraps, buckle, half buckle and woven wraps to carry my daughter since she was born, of all the buckle carriers I have used, this has been my favourite thanks to the comfort for me and baby, but mostly the ease of adjustment. The straps are so easy to tighten and loosen when baby is in carrier and the buckles don’t stick as they slide along the straps.
Once mastered, this is a quick and easy carrier which can be left on without getting in the way if baby needs to get up and down frequently.
What’s in the box?
- Teething pads
- Removable hood
How does the Neko Switch compare to similar baby carriers?
|Product name||Age suitability||Number of carrying positions||Price|
|Neko Switch Baby Size carrier||Newborn to 3 years approx.||2||£124.94|
|Ergobaby Omni 360 carrier||Newborn to 4 years approx.||4||£164.90|
|Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 baby carrier||Newborn to 3 years approx.||4||£30.99|
|BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One||Newborn to 3 years approx.||4||£160|
Where can I buy the Neko Switch Baby Size carrier?
This is an excellent carrier and I would really recommend. It is extremely comfortable for both me and my daughter and is quick and easy to put on and take off. It did take a little while to get used to connecting the smaller buckles, but once mastered there is no issue.
It is a very well thought out carrier, but at £124.94, it is a little expensive and you would have to get a bigger size as baby grows into a toddler – however, because it is so easily adjustable, one carrier will suit all the family.
It has become a go to carrier when popping out to the shops or for long walks. It’s easy to put on and undo on my own and makes transitions from car to destination no problem at all.
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years|
|Child weight||8lb to 33lb|
|Washing instructions||Machine washable|
|Carrying positions||Back and front – 2|