As much as I would have liked to be, being a babywearing mum was not my thing when I had my first baby. I kind of wished I could prance around barefoot, bub attached to me, without a care. Alas, there was no prancing. The pram was too easy to get her to sleep and the carrier I had was not comfortable to wear. It was all too hard. Flash forward to bub number two and I’m converted. Finn, my little joey, loves being close to me in his ‘pouch’ – and this kangamumma is loving every minute of it.

Carriers are worth every cent if you can master how to carry your baby comfortably. Now I don’t have a mild panic attack when a venue has stairs or there’s no room for prams wherever we happen to visit. My hands are still free to hold on to Millie. I have the brilliant Manduca baby carrier and it has become the first travel option when out and about with Finn. Who’d have thought?

The Manduca organic baby carrier is so damn comfortable to wear. Judging by the amount of times Finn has fallen asleep while being carried, he must find it comfortable too. This is what babywearing should be like.

Even though Finn is now a heavy little monkey, his weight doesn’t pull on my shoulders or cause my back to ache, thanks to padded straps and a wide waist belt. The carrier distributes Finn’s weight and sits him in a recommended M position (where his bum sits lower than his knees).

Carrying Finn while MIllie explores a local playground

It’s peace of mind that Manduca is acknowledged as a hip-healthy product by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute and is the only carrier endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association.

Sweaty hair, don’t care – an after Kangatraining selfie with Finn still snoozing

The Manduca carrier is suitable for newborns and up to four years, or 20kg and can be worn with your bub on the front, back or on the hip.

With Millie at kinder on a Wednesday morning and armed with my new carrier, I joined a local Kangatraining class. Kangatraining is a postnatal exercise class where bub comes with you. Most of the class you wear your baby in an approved carrier while you work up a sweat, strengthen your core (and your pelvic floor!) and dance.

Kangatraining works exclusively with Manduca carriers and Kanga trainers are trained to fit and adjust the carriers, giving you the best fit before you start. My Kanga instructor Jo was able to make sure I was carrying Finn safely and I hardly notice the extra weight  – hello weight training! – while I exercise, thanks to the crossed shoulder straps and firm buckle fastening.

Our first Kangtraining class together. Here we go!

I love it. It’s the first formal exercise I’ve done since Millie was born and it’s great to be moving again. Finn and I get some face-to-face time and my little guy seems to enjoy the closeness of the Manduca carrier and the bouncy moves – he’s managed to fall asleep in every class so far. A hidden zip pocket reveals a headrest that I pull up when he has nodded off.

After finishing off the first Kangatraining term for the year I didn’t hesitate to sign up for more. I’m hooked. I’ve even made some new friendships at the class and we’ve been able to go and grab a coffee together afterwards.

Flying babies at Kangatraining in Middle Park. Can you spot Finn? PIC: Instagram/Kangatrainingjo

FInn is close to 10kg and he doesn’t look or feel too big for the Manduca. He snuggles in there and enjoys the ride (and I’m secretly loving all the cuddles). It’s said that bub is in the correct position when you can easily kiss the top of their head. There’s been lots of kisses going on since I started using the Manduca, which is something you miss out on while pushing a pram.

We’re off on an overseas trip at the end of the month and the Manduca carrier is the first item I’ll pack.

Snuggly Finn in the Manduca baby carrier

*MillieMummyMelbourne was gifted a classic Manduca baby carrier for the purposes of a review

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