So we just celebrated my son’s second birthday and right before my eyes my baby is not such a baby anymore but a nonstop, energetic, joyful toddler. My little guy was always a super snuggly baby and has always loved close, frequent contact, even now. He was never a big fan of his stroller and I regret buying that fancy pram before he was born because it’s never been his preferred mode of transportation. My husband and I have worn him on our bodies ever since he was a newborn and even now that he’s on the go and loves to walk and run on his own, his little legs still get tired after a while and he inevitably asks to be, “Up! Up!”
I’ve wanted a sling for some time now and I must say that I’m so impressed with my We Made Me Smile 5-in-1 sling (formerly known as the BabaSling) from Diono. (Yes, that Diono.) I used to think that slings were just for infants, but even though my son is two years old and 28 pounds he still fits comfortably in two out of the five positions – the Koala Cuddle and the Side Saddle hip carry for an older child – and I’m thrilled that the Smile sling’s weight limit goes up to 35 pounds so I’ll be able to continue wearing him for quite a while longer.
The Smile sling fits babies from 8-35 pounds (0-24 months) and easily adjusts using two straps in the back that feed into the quick release buckle. Because each strap adjusts independently, you can fit it comfortably on either shoulder. There’s a lot of room in the straps so the sling should easily fit most sizes of wearer. There’s also a smaller safety buckle under the bigger buckle for added security, and no extra insert needed for newborns!
Because the straps and buckle are on the back, you may find it easier to adjust the length before putting it on, but I had no issues adjusting it while wearing it by pulling on the loops. Once the sling is fitted to you, it’s very quick to put on and off. Just stick your head and shoulder through and you’re ready to put baby in.
I’ve used a soft structured carrier for a long time but now that my son is so busy and prefers to walk on his own whenever he can, the structured carrier has become a bit too cumbersome. I wanted something light and easy to carry around so that even if he wasn’t in it for long periods of time I could have it on hand for the home stretch when he gets a bit too tired and I can’t carry him on my own. The Smile is perfect for giving me the support I need to carry him longer distances and keeps him close and secure while still being able to get in and out quickly and easily without fiddling with clasps that need to be undone or straps that need to be loosened and tightened.
I like that the Smile comes in a sleek and useful carry bag that is easy to pack the sling back into and can even be used as a mini on the go diaper bag for walks or quick trips here and there. The instructions were easy to navigate and use very cute and clever animals to demonstrate the various carrying positions with lots of useful step-by-step pictures, including how to safely remove the child from the sling for each position.
The We Made Me Smile sling offers 5 carrying positions: Easy Tiger, Coyote Cradle, Koala Cuddle, March Hare, and Side Saddle.
The Superstar Grey Classic version that I received is light and breathable, made of soft 100% cotton, and can easily be thrown into the washing machine for a quick and easy wash when it inevitably gets a bit mucky with food, dirt, sand, or whatever else my little guy can get his hands on.
I really like the fact that there are two discreet breastfeeding positions that are safe and functional in the Easy Tiger and Coyote Cradle. Even though my son is too heavy for those particular carries, I’ve been able to safely and successfully breastfeed him in the other positions as he is developed enough to hold himself up at my breast while in the sling.
I’ve found that the sling is perfect to use for the age and stage of my son right now. Considering the fact that we want to grow our family in the near future I have no doubt that the Smile 5-in-1 sling will be extremely useful for our second child, and I look forward to exploring the other three carry positions. I would certainly recommend this carrier to friends and family, and hope that others will find it as stylish and functional as I do.
Oh, and dads will love the closeness and convenience too!
Disclosure: I received a sample to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.
Alisia is a Registered Massage Therapist, a recent nursing school graduate, and a brand new West Coast mom to an adorable baby boy! She’s loving every minute of this new adventure and determined to learn all the ins and outs of cloth diapering and babywearing.