Mother of two, qualified Doula and Oscha model Diana Warner put our toddler Cairis to the test. She also provides an insight into what her husband thinks of the carrier below.
The Toddler Cairis is fantastic. Oscha's design for this is wonderfully insightful. The little details that went into the design elements are evident.
Let's chat about the specifics of the carrier; I have measurements as seen in the picture below laid against the Baby Cairis so you can get a good idea of what to expect in hand if you're familiar with that one and other mei-tai carriers. I have also taken a picture of the toddler Cairis laid flat out so that you can understand its entire shape.
To start, the panel is impressively wide and has pleats perfectly placed to cradle your tot's bum (see image on our blog post here). It expands well to make a nice seat without too much slack for “leaners. The rounded top of the panel gives a tad bit extra head support and back support for “arms out tots. The panel is extremely soft and flexible so you can really get a snug fit to your child's body depending on how you tie off the tails. It also allows for fast adjustment if you'd like to nurse while carrying.
The toddler Cairis could last quite a while even as your little one grows due to the wide based seat on the panel providing excellent knee-to-knee support even for longer legs. In my experience I have come across many tots that are easily within the suggested weight limitations to be worn they may be too tall which can cause discomfort if no knee-to-knee support is provided. The Cairis does a good job at addressing this on top of the fact that the leg padding isn't too bulky to cause irritation in the knee joint.
The waistband is padded but is not rigid foam so it provides a great amount of cushion without too much pressure. The softer waistband also allows for greater manoeuvrability in instances of growing midsections. Expectant moms should really appreciate this. An extension on the padded portion of the waistband allows for the buckle insertion to be kept off your skin to avoid digging in.
They kept the minimalist vibe for the Toddler Cairis as with the Baby Cairis in the waistband but the added padding gives such a nice touch as your little one grows. With the baby Cairis you can cinch and even roll the waist if needed whereas with the toddler size now you have that cushioning built right around the band.
The tails offer just enough additional support under the bum without being too wide and bulky. The hood is fully detachable with snaps. The straps on the Toddler Cairis are narrow (but not un-padded) in comparison with some brands and as a smaller mom I prefer this. They are quite cushioned but the narrowness, combined with crossing at the back, keeps them very secure on my shoulders and even allows room for me to carry a shoulder bag. The straps are sewn into the panel with an angular placement. They rest perfectly on the shoulder and aren't encouraged to move inward due to the design placement meaning you don't get that feeling that they are too close to your neck.
The Little Things:
It has all the ease of a SSC with the lovely spreadable tails of a wrap. It is lighter in weight than many other SSC's I've tried meaning its very portable. You can stuff it in a bag and go as well as be confident that it wont add too much weight while being worn. One of my favourite features about wearing the Cairis it that, as opposed to many other SSC's, you don't have straps crossing under your arms. It's incredibly user friendly. The option to spread or not spread the tails underneath is great but the tails still don't seem to bulk up much at all under the knees if left un-spread because they are nice and thin.
My husband's thoughts: “I don't really want to learn all the wraps and carries like my wife does. I like something quicker where I can just get my daughters up, secure, and they are good to go in something I can wear for a long period of time. I like that I have the ease of a soft structure, which is kind of like a wrap has been “started for me", and I can adjust any way that I like. That's key. The adjustability on the Cairis is awesome. I love that it doesn't cross under my arms at all. So it's similar towhen I wrap in a FWCC but I can just buckle the waist and do the rest of it really fast. Flip up the panel, same type of wrap with the straps and bam done. I love that. It sits on my hips perfectly instead of tugging on my back. I can move it around pretty easy, too. Definitely a carrier good for dads who like to wear but aren't as good at wrapping."
I highly recommend this carrier for anyone who plans on wearing their kids for as long as their kids will allow. ☺