While buggies and prams are good for getting baby around safely when it comes to mobility they can get in the way a bit.
Take the Bugaboo Cameleon for example. Brilliant, but it’s the size of a small truck. So what's the alternative? Well one option is to get a baby carrier to ease the load. Tomy offer a number of solutions ranging from a couple of quid to nearly £100. The Tomy Freestyle Cool sits neatly in the middle costing £69.99.
So what do you get for your cash? Well a highly padded baby carrier for starters that will fit any tot between the ages of 0 and 12 months. A system of straps and poppers allow you to change the size of the carrier to fit your little one and you can position your child to either face you or face out so they get a view.
In addition to the front and back positions, the carrier also allows for a nursing position so the Missus can feed while you walk, although I get that's almost likely to be an impossibility.
So how does it perform our tests? Our first go ended up with us wanting to throw the carrier across the room in frustration. This is not a device that you can just slap on and run out the door without thinking about how it works and reading the instructions.
It's not that it is difficult to understand, its just there is a number of straps and buckles to confuse.
Get past this and the carrier is easy to use as long as you know what you are doing. The secret seems to be to get the carrier fitted to yourself before attempting to add your baby, in our case Emily.
Straps can be tightened according to your size and that of your child however we did find the top straps on the front of the carrier awkward to release. Of course, the catches have to be difficult to get out to stop your child falling out, but we found ourselves longing for Tomy's more expensive Click System we've heard about to make life easier.
Support wise, the carrier works well. There is a lumbar support you can use to stop your tot giving you back ache and the lumbar support even has a purse built-in. Strange though, as only others rather than yourself can access it, pick-pocketers included.
Out and about and mobility isn't an issue, although we did find ourselves more conscious of every step we took for fear of falling over.
Once we had got past our initial teething problems we found the Tomy Freestyle cool fairly easy to use. The Carrier is comfortable to wear and there is certainly enough padding to keep baby comfy - in fact whenever we did test it, Emily went straight to sleep.
The catch system could be made a lot easier, but Tomy has clearly saved this for its more expensive system.
One to consider, however we would recommend having a play with the Click System first before opting to buy.
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