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We tried Gigi Hadid’s favourite BabyBjorn carrier to find out if it’s worth the hype

The supermodel was pictured using the leopard print carrier – we found out why you need one too 

Rosie Shephard
Friday 29 January 2021 08:35
<p>We reviewed safety, comfort, durability, style and value&nbsp;</p>

We reviewed safety, comfort, durability, style and value 

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Gigi Hadid was spotted wearing the BabyBjorn baby carrier mini in leopard print, before it was even available to buy. Classic celeb move. 

This caused an inevitable buzz around the product, so we got our hands on one to test, to find out if it’s worth the hype.

When reviewing baby carriers we look for safety first, then comfort, durability, style and value. Of course, the BabyBjorn mini carrier conforms to all the relevant safety standards, so we can concentrate on the cute and snuggle aspects of baby wearing. 

We are also pleased to learn that BabyBjorn also works closely with paediatric orthopaedists (who specialise in children’s bones, joints and muscles) to ensure the carriers hold the baby’s hips in the correct position.

BabyBjorn is one of the most trusted and coveted brands of baby accessories, known for its exceptional design and sleek style. 

Read more: Best baby carriers to keep your little ones safe

The Swedish family-owned company produces a range of baby accessories, including bouncers, baby carriers bibs and more.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

BabyBjorn baby carrier mini, cotton satin leopard print: £80, BabyBjorn ‒ Buy now

Good for baby

The carrier can be packed in your hospital bag and used from day one. It is designed for babies from 7-24 lbs, or 0-1 years and can be adjusted as they grow.

It positions the baby high up so that they can always hear their parent’s heartbeat. This, and the safe cocoon environment, is especially soothing for small babies and the closeness is great for early development and attachment as well as digestion, colic and flat-head syndrome. There is no fabric between the baby and adult, which is ideal for important skin-to-skin contact.

The baby carrier mini has its own “Slow down, snuggle up” advertising campaign. Karin Hoxter, art director of  BabyBjörn Sweden explains:

Read more: Best changing bags for all your baby essentials

“The campaign ‘Slow down, snuggle up’ is about living in the moment and letting your newborn baby set the pace, so you have time and peace to establish your parent-baby bond. The baby carrier mini’s focus is on simplicity, so you can focus on your baby.”

We love that it positions baby in the same way that they would be in a parent’s arms. It fully supports the neck and head and allows a natural curvature of the spine. It keeps them snug and secure while allowing their arms and legs to move freely. It also allows us parents to move freely too, which is much appreciated. We  also love how lightweight it is and how small it packs down – a great alternative to the pram.

A choice of fabrics

You can choose from three different fabrics depending on your baby carrying habits and style. First is the breathable 3D mesh is 100 per cent polyester and dries quickly after washing – ideal for outdoorsy parents or babies prone to losing their lunch.  

The soft-touch, flexible 3D jersey is super soft and made of 80 per cent polyester, 16 per cent cotton, 4 per cent elastane, while the shoulder straps are made of 100 per cent cotton. This is the snuggly and sturdy option, ideal for skin to skin wearing around the house and cosy trips out. 

Read more: Best baby monitors for peace of mind

The mesh and jersey baby carriers are made of 3D fabrics that consist of three layers – an inner layer, an outer layer and a middle layer. Instead of padding that might make the baby carrier too warm, the middle layer consists of a fine, single-fibre thread. This gives the baby carrier the stability of padding, yet ensures a very good airflow for both baby and parent. 

The final type is a satin-woven cotton option is 100 per cent cotton, making it soft, lightweight and thin enough to pack down very small. This is ideal for those who prefer a “barely-there” carrier, or those who want something lightweight to take on travels. 

All are machine washable at 40 degrees, but should not be tumble dried. They all comply with the requirements of the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, class one for baby products. Each option is child-friendly and safe to taste (as babies do). The material is so safe it doesn’t even need to be washed before its first wear.

The most exciting thing about the material is of course, that it comes in leopard print like Gigi’s carrier, as well as a range of other more subtle tones. It is available in charcoal grey, light grey, dark grey and dove blue in the 3D jersey. In 3D mesh it comes in grey, anthracite leopard, navy and pearly pink, and in the satin cotton it comes in dusty pink, beige leopard (the one we’ve reviewed), black and vintage indigo. 

Good for parents

It’s important to remember to look after your back when baby wearing. Even the tiniest babies will feel heavy after a while. This carrier has been well designed to look after both parent and child.

We found it simple to put on, even in the middle of the night. After a few tries of putting it on upside down and back to front we figured it out, without having to read the instructions (which would have been a good idea to start with). Once on, the front opens up, so it is easy to insert or remove a baby, even when it is sleeping. We managed to do this with one hand while standing up with our newborn tester, and sitting down with both hands with a bigger baby.

The carrier evenly supports the weight of the baby across the back, encouraging good posture. As it positions baby high up *in the same way you’d hold them in your arms) it feels natural and doesn’t bend your back. The straps are thick and soft, so they don’t dig in to your shoulders. It is super lightweight, too so it doesn’t add any extra strain. It is also great for wellbeing, as baby carrying has been shown to alleviate post-natal depression.

Once in, our little passengers felt safe and secure and we liked the full support of their head, neck and back. Our newborn tester fell asleep instantly and we got on with some housework – win! For trips out, we love that the head support protects little ones from chilly winds, and bigger babies over five months can turn around and enjoy the view. Our backs felt well supported even on long walks, with no side-effects to be felt afterwards.

The verdict: BabyBjorn baby carrier mini

Being machine washable is essential and the baby carrier mini washes well and dries quickly – especially the 3D Mesh version. The baby carrier mini is strong, sturdy and durable which means it can be passed down to siblings, making it good value at £80 for the quality that you get. Yes, there are cheaper baby carriers out there, but are they this good? And do they come in leopard print? Probably not.

For a restful trip away, read our round-up of the best travel cots for your little one

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