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Being from the North East of England and already having purchased the Babybjorn Classic Carrier, my wife and myself soon realized that we would need something to cover our baby when out and about during the 'colorful' weather we regularly get here whatever the season. Enter this handy cover that you can quite literally throw over the carrier and away you go, ready for any of the elements. This is the official compatible cover for the carrier so you know already proportionally you know it is going fit snugly and there is plenty of breathing space for your little one when they are in it; it easily accommodates those rapidly growing legs with extra space at the bottom.
The material is durable and luxurious keeping your baby snug in the already comfortable carrier from Babybjorn, and it handily has a hood that you will be grateful for if your baby is anything like mine and immediately gets distressed whenever a breeze whips up. You do sometime find yourself having to lift the hood up to check that your baby is still okay under there as it does tend to envelope their entire little heads, but there is plenty of space under the hood so there are no worries about suffocating your little one.
The carrier cover also matches the style of the classic black carrier so they obviously look good together for the more style conscious parent.
The only real snag I can find with the cover is that it is not apparent from the instructions that come with it exactly where to attach it to the carrier. There are a couple of tags either side of the top, but whenever my wife or myself have tried to attach these to the carrier, it seems to interfere with the catches and therefore we have just resorted to slinging it over the carrier once the baby is inside. I'm sure this is just me, but I did not find attaching properly at least terribly intuitive, but that being said the cover works just fine slung over and at least this means it can more easily be removed and put back on with minimal fuss, so I have never been to worried about this.
Overall, this cover is the perfect and somewhat necessary companion to the Babybjorn classic carrier, it keeps your baby safe and warm in harsher conditions, looks good and is a breeze to use, definitely get one if you have already plumed up for the carrier!
I was heavily reliant on my Baby Bjorn baby carrier when my youngest son was a baby. During early Autumn, my little one was very snug within the carrier, clothed in a warm padded snowsuit but as the weather became colder, I did start to worry that my son was a little too exposed to the elements and might need a little extra protection. The turning point came whilst heading out for the school run one afternoon, with perfectly clear skies on the horizon. And then out of nowhere came this enormous rain cloud and both my little one and I ended up getting absolutely drenched by the time we got home! I decided some form of cover was essential to keep my little one warm and dry whilst out in his sling.
Fortunately, a quick search online revealed that Baby Bjorn do offer a product specifically for that purpose, although I found the selling price to be pretty high, with prices around £25-£30 for the cover alone. There are different colours available, to match different colours of carrier, but for some reason the 'City Black' shade was considerably cheaper (and more widely available) than other shades, so I purchased that version, even though my carrier is a navy blue version. Fortunately, when in place, the cover only leaves the straps and back of the carrier visible and the difference in colour isn't a real issue. It certainly looks more stylish, with a simple colour scheme and the distinctive Baby Bjorn logo and reflective silver piping, than attempting to wrap blankets around the body of the carrier, as I've seen other parents do.
What you get for your money is not a great deal, in all honesty. The cover is simply a rather thin piece of shaped fleece fabric which is elasticated around the sides to fit over the front of any Baby Bjorn carrier. Mine was used to cover an original Baby Bjorn carrier and I found the sizing and fit to be perfect, with more than enough room to ensure that the cover can be used up to the point that baby will outgrow the sling itself.
The cover does come with a detachable fleece hood which fits on the cover itself using a series of secure poppers. This is quite a clever design as it means that the cover can be used when baby is faced inwards or outwards. The removable aspect makes the cover more versatile, especially as I always favoured hooded padded snowsuits or hooded jackets, so being able to remove the hood was a useful feature for me. In all honesty, the hood, despite its soft lining - like the fleece itself- is not particularly thick, so it is more likely to be used during milder weather with a thicker head covering needed for Autumn and Winter months.
Just as with the Baby Bjorn carrier itself, the fitting instructions are printed inside the cover itself which is a very useful addition, especially if the cover is purchased second hand or the original packaging is mislaid. The fitting instructions are given through simple pictorial diagrams. I was a little confused at the first attempt at attaching the cover, as I was trying to fit it over the wrong points. The cover has two holes, which are securely oversewn to ensure that they don't stretch or tear at all, which simply fit over the clip sections of the front of the padded carrier. (This is more intuitive than it may sound!) Once attached, and the carrier is clipped back into position, the cover is securely attached and cannot be removed without unclipping the front, although this is very easy to do without disturbing a sleeping baby.
Once in place, the cover acts as a kind of snug cocoon for a little one. One major advantage of using this cover is that it offers a covering for baby's arms and legs, as they are normally left exposed out of the carrier itself. I liked to tuck my son's arms and legs inside the cover, just leaving his head peeping out of the top. This was obviously a warm and comfortable environment for him and he tended to fall asleep like this much sooner than he would do without the cover in place! There is plenty of space within the cover, so my son's limbs were never restricted even towards the end of his time using the sling.
The main issue with the cover is that the fabric is not actually waterproof. The fleece is slightly 'water resistant', so it doesn't necessarily absorb water in the way that similar materials do, and offers some limited protection during wet weather but is not suitable to ward off heavy rainfall. I was also slightly disappointed with the thickness of the fabric, particularly given the high selling price. I found reviews on Amazon suggested that this cover could be used in the absence of a coat but, realistically, that would only be the case during warm Summer months or if the carrier was being used primarily indoors, so for a short dash from a car to indoor shopping centre. I used my carrier during Autumn, Winter and early Spring and certainly never felt confident about using it without also clothing my son in a substantial padded coat or all-in-one. Nonetheless, this does offer the benefit of being able to remove an added layer of warmth without the need to remove baby from the carrier and disturb them by undressing them.
At the full RRP of £34.99, this simple cover costs as much as some cheaper models of baby carrier! Fortunately, I paid much less than the full RRP but I do still feel that paying over £20 was paying over the odds. This cover currently costs £25.99 from Amazon. Despite the high price, I was able to justify the additional cost because the addition of the cover allowed me to feel more confident about using my Baby Bjorn carrier during unpredictable, windy and very cold weather as my baby wasn't so exposed to the elements.
The other advantage is that the resale value of second hand Baby Bjorn products is very high, given their reputation for good quality products, so I was able to sell my cover for only slightly less than the amount I originally paid for it. Fortunately the cover remained in as 'as new' condition, despite being machine washed at 40 degrees repeatedly, thanks to baby dribble and the odd spell of sickness!
Despite the high cost and the thin fabric, this is still a worthwhile purchase for anybody owning a Baby Bjorn carrier as it offers that extra element of comfort and reassurance, particularly during cold and windy weather. The high purchase price is offset by the quality of the product and the possibility of selling it on after use for a similar price.