Babies reach that 25 lb weight limit on our Beluga Wraps (bamboo stretchy wrap carriers) way too quickly, don’t they? I remember dreading it when my daughter, Sawyer, was little, losing the one tool I knew I could always count on to calm her down.
Ever since she outgrew the wrap, I’ve been working on a solution. A way to extend the babywearing period, to capture that snuggly, safe feeling for longer. To get that dang tool back in my parenting toolbox!
I started working on a Beluga Baby buckle carrier over four years ago. I have footage of two year old Sawyer napping under our giant pattern making and cutting table while I discuss design and prototypes of this new baby carrier with our sewer. I still have the dozens of fabric samples and swatches, the eventual endless number of prototypes, the notes for small tweaks here and there.
You see, if you want to go out and manufacture a basic buckle carrier like all the others, it’s actually quite easy.
But I didn’t want to to do that.
The Beluga Wrap is special because I made it just the way I wanted it, changing it until it was perfect. Until I could stand behind it and say, yes, I think this is the best newborn wrap in the world.
The Beluga Buckle is the same. It took so long to get just right, but I can guarantee you won’t find a comfier next step carrier. It is the best baby carrier in the world.
As we made prototypes, we tested out many different types of fabric. As a designer, my focus was on comfort first, style second, though both were important. I loved the look of pure linen, but didn’t love how it felt when it was fresh. Pure linen is stiff and starchy feeling before it’s “worked in”. Eventually it does become soft, but only after much use and washing. I wanted our buckle carriers to feel cushy right out of the box. Adding in 45% organic cotton was just the ticket! This combination gave the same linen look, but with a much softer hand-feel. And with two natural fibres, this fabric is breathable, washes incredibly well, and holds up over time with heirloom quality.
One of the best things about the Beluga Wrap you know and love is that it distributes the weight of your baby so evenly across your back and shoulders. Mimicking this with straps proved to be one of our hardest challenges. I actually ended up following a similar strap shape to some of the comfiest hiking backpacks in the world. A strap that can make 100 pounds of backpacking gear feel comfy would also be a great strap for your (up to) 50 pound baby.
The Beluga Buckle is a next step carrier - it is not intended for newborns. We (and over 2,000 five star reviews) know that the Beluga Wrap is the absolute best carrier for the newborn stage. Some other carriers offer a newborn setting, or sell a special newborn insert. By including a newborn setting, carriers are less comfy and less supportive in the higher weight limits of the carrier. By eliminating the options of wearing your newborn in the carrier, we extended the usability of the carrier by several years in the upper weight limits. In addition, newborn inserts are often close to the same price as our Beluga Wrap. Why pay for an inferior experience? The Beluga Wrap is your best bet for the newborn stage, and you can move on to the Beluga Buckle when they outgrow it. Beluga Baby has your entire babywearing journey covered comfortably from start to finish.
If you look closely at the area of the Beluga Buckle that sits behind your baby’s knees, you’ll see a diagonal seam on each side. This is where we removed a triangle of fabric, and sewed the edges together - called a dart! This specially designed dart makes a deeper pouch, or seat, for your baby to sink into. This makes it easier for their knees to stay above their bum for peak ergonomic safety. It’s also the reason your baby settles quickly into the Beluga Buckle, back gently curved away from you, in positional perfection.
The beauty of a carrier with an adjustable seat width is two-fold: safety AND comfort.
The Buckle Carrier is “hip-healthy approved” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. Part of being ergonomic is that the legs of your baby are supported all the way from knee to knee. Obviously this width changes as your baby grows. Having a seat width that widens with your baby allows the carrier to be hip safe for your entire wearing journey.
In addition, when your baby’s legs are supported across a wider section, it distributes their weight more evenly and allows for a more “weightless” feeling.
The Beluga Buckle can be worn on your back OR your front. When you’re tightening your straps, it’s way easier to tighten by pulling the adjuster straps forward (instead of trying to tighten them by pulling backwards and going full chicken arms). We added two directions of adjustment so you can tighten the carrier straps forwards when baby is on your front and when they’re on your back.
As an avid hiker, I had a lot of inspiration and experience to pull from in terms of what makes a heavy hiking backpack feel lighter. One of the main things that helps keep your neck, back, and shoulders comfy is a structured waistband. Like a great hiking backpack, the waistband on the Beluga Buckle is moldable but structured, distributing the weight of baby across your waist and hips. This means way less pull on your upper body, and way more comfort.
Beluga Buckles are now available in three colours. Shop the best baby carrier, the Beluga Buckle, here!
Read what some customers have to say about their new Beluga Buckles:
“Thank you for making the best carrier ever! I’ve tried every carrier ever made. I’ve spent thousands on different carriers, every one you can think of, and this one by far surpasses all the ones I’ve ever tried.” - Taylor D.
“Just wanted to let you know that I received my buckle yesterday and it is hands down the Best carrier I’ve ever worn! It is EXTREMELY comfy and feels so weightless. I’m in love!! Thank you for creating the perfect product.”
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