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Patapum invite you to live life to the full (from shopping and housework to hiking and holidays) while being hugged by the person you love the most: your baby! But while any parent knows that life never continues completely uninterrupted in the company of your little one, the ability to sling your chunky pre-walker on your back and take off knowing you’ll still be feeling comfortable an hour later does give you a new lease of life.
The Patapum carrier, which can also be worn as a front carrier, comes in two sizes: baby (£54), for 5 months to -18 months, and toddler (£58), for 18 months to 24 months. It has a removable sleep hood to stop heavy heads from lolling if your little one drops off. The shoulder straps are padded, there’s a chest strap to keep everything in place, and an adjustable waistband that carries most of the weight of your baby.
When not being used the whole thing can be rolled up and popped together to be slung over the buggy handle or worn as a bumbag.
What we love
Slings and baby carriers have been a lifesaver for me since the birth of my second son Noah, now approaching 1. But as our old brand of baby carrier meant outings became literally backbreaking, I had resigned myself to being pushchair-bound until I discovered the Patapum. Noah’s a big boy but I was stunned to discover as I strapped him on my back (for a trip down a lot of stairs to the local port while on holiday), I barely felt him on my back. Ducking into shops and exploring off road made our holiday much more exciting.
Now back at home I don’t use the carrier instead of the pushchair but do love the flexibly of using it when I can’t use the pushchair – say, if my eldest Finn is on his bike and I need a spare hand to help him. And I love the fact that it’s foldable and frame-less.
What to watch out for
There’s a knack to the Patapum carrier – especially if you want to use it alone. The instructions tell you that to use it as a back carrier you need the help of another person to put the baby in, which isn’t practical. Most primary carers spend a lot of time alone with their babies. In fact, if you search online, there are sites that give you instructions on how to start your baby off on your hip then wiggle him round to your back.
I found the straps less adjustable than on some other carriers, which pull tight and loose with the flick of a finger.
And the sizes of the two versions (baby and toddler) seem a bit odd. My son is 10 months old yet is far more comfortable in the toddler carrier, which is supposedly for 18 months. The back support of the baby size only comes half way up his back and if I wanted to put the head hugger on it would be impossible. Definitely try the sizing before you buy.
As a front carrier I’ve seen better. Clipping the chest strap behind your back is fiddly and your baby can only face inwards. But the Patapum is so great as a back carrier I don’t think this should detract.
Who are the Patapum Baby and Toddler carriers best for?
Mums after a back carrier that makes their baby feel like they’re barely there.
The Patapum baby and toddler carriers allow amazing flexibility, giving you the option to put your baby or toddler on your back for long periods of time without feeling the pain. It’s a bit fiddly to get used to but once you’ve got the knack, these carriers work well. They can be worn as front carriers, but the Patapum carriers are at their best on your back. Also, you could find your baby needs the toddler size well before they’re 18 months.