Above from left: Storchenwiege Baby Carrier Turquoise stock image; 3 month old demo doll in back carry on narrowest setting
I will start this review by being totally honest.
I have been in business three years and stocked the Storchenwiege Baby Carrier early on. My motto is to stock beautiful, comfortable baby slings from brands we love. I always loved the concept of the carrier but I found myself that the toggles slipped a little when I pulled on the straps to tighten, and the straps hovered a bit where they met my body so that much of the weight pulled on my shoulders. I was confused about whether I should keep the hood out or zipped away.
It was a popular, loved carrier, and those that tried one often bought one, but I ceased stocking it eventually because I personally did not find it as comfortable as I'd hoped. I wanted to be a strong advocate and truly LOVE it myself.
When I heard about the new improved model I eagerly bought myself a demo version to replace my earlier version in my sling library. I then bought myself a second.
How well does it fit a newborn?
Very well. There is not only the adjustment at the bottom of the panel to make it really narrow to accommodate a newborn (see photo 2), but there are toggles at the top to be narrower to support little shoulders, and it goes shorter than it did before (see photo 3). The earlier version was often too tall for a newborn initially, so this is a fantastic improvement! Photo 5 shows the carrier on it's smallest settings with my newborn doll.
In photo 4 you will also see that the angle of the straps is a bit wider than before, and there are ties around the straps that cinch them in. This helps the straps to sit flatter to your body and keeps the straps away from your baby's face which was often an issue before.
How well does it fit a toddler?
I tested it with my nearly two year old and he is over 30lb so fairly big for his age. It did not quite go up to each of his kneepits, but I was able to use the straps to bring to the back to the knees to offer additional support. The panel came up to his shoulders.
There has been some compromise in the longevity of the carrier into toddlerhood to allow for the smaller dimensions now possible for newborn, but back when there wasn't 'toddler size' anything we just adapted carriers with the straps as our babies grew up into bigger children.
Photos 7, 8 and 9 below show the carrier with my toddler doll in front and back carries so you can see the contrast of how they fit in compared to newborn.
What I love
The depth and cut of the panel gives a wonderful rounded lower back shape for your baby, when at its widest for a toddler, down to its narrowest for a newborn. It allows a deep seat where baby's pelvis is tilted and their knees are raised higher than their bottom. The legs out padding is a wonderful addition on this new model to offer more comfort for the baby.
It goes smaller for a small baby and the extra adjustability
When carrying a toddler the fabric now extends below the waistband to help to offer more support with it spread across the lumbar region for back carries
Far more visibility for baby and a closer fit to the body for the parent
Photo 10 below shows the new addition of the chest belt for use in back carries.
The hood is far easier to use and keep clipped up, and it can also be tightened at the edges
Minimum waist is 28" when using the carrier at it's full width (smaller with a newborn) so it will not fit the most petite of wearers as your baby grows bigger. This can be remedied by having the waistband longer and round your waist twice, which some find works well. It is disappointing that this was not addressed in it's redesign, but all carriers do have a lower limit.
The waist adjustment webbing takes a little time to learn how to adjust, but the payoff is a very secure waistband that is not going to come loose.
Does not seem as large as the previous model, so the lifespan may be shorter. The straps can be used to widen the seat and support a toddler from knee to knee.
In summary, this is a carrier I now find very comfortable, with some well thought out improvements for a better fit, comfort and visibility for the baby.
If you like the sound of it take a look at our current range here
From bottom left clockwise: Photo 7, 8, 9, 10