“ Manufacturer: Bubba Lugga / Type: Sling / Carrier Position: Front „
The Bubba Lugga is an over-one-shoulder, ring-sling type fabric baby carrier. It's made by an Australian company, and sells for $50 to $60 Australian dollars (so around the £30 - £35 Sterling mark).
To start the review with a sober health warning: you see this type of sling / baby carrier in general, in which the child can be held in a horizontal pose (ie. lying across the mother's chest or stomach) often being recommended as a suitable carrier for a new-born baby but this really isn't the case. There have however been some terrible, fatal accidents involving newborn children suffocating in this sort of carrier recently, and although Bubba Lugga slings themselves have at no stage been implicated as being any sort of risk to young babies, current advice is that very young / newborn babies SHOULD NEVER be held in a horizontal-lying pose in this type of baby carrier - irrespective of who manufactures it. This advice is contrary to the guidelines still posted on the bubbalugga.com website where the sling is advertised as being suitable for newborns.
For older babies however - say, from about six months of age when the child is able to hold up his or her head, this type of sling can be an attractive and practical option. There are various 'poses' in which a child can be carried in a ring sling - again these are shown on the Bubba Lugga website, but the most basic of these would probably be supported by the sling and sitting upright on the adult carrier's hip. Notionally the slings are suitable for older babies right up until the toddler stage, although by this time of course, with a child weighing tens of kilograms, they are much heavier to carry.
Ring- slings in general are based on 'traditional' baby-carriers such as sarongs and shawls that when used for holding a baby, would be simply tied in place round an adult's body. With a ring-sling, a hammock-like 'pouch' for the baby to rest in is sewn in place in the fabric. The ring part consists of two sturdy rings (made of metal in the Bubba Lugga's case) that are used to adjust the shoulder strap / the height and fit of the sling on the adult's body, while the longer 'tails' of cloth at either end of the piece of fabric form adjustable fastenings / shoulder straps at either end of the sling. There are many subtle variations on the theme of ring sling currently available; Bubba Lugga is just one of many brands on the market.
Bubba Lugga's unique selling point I would say is the extremely attractive range of colours and patterns in which the slings are available. All the various Bubba Lugga slings on sale are made of cotton; while there are six plain colour options, there are also six Batik-printed versions in a range of colours that are eye-catching and great-looking too. We had the green yellow and white coloured one that's still shown on the website. It has a small pocket in the shoulder strap for keys and padded edges, so it is cushioned against a little ones' legs when in use.
Although I was a great fan of the look of the Bubba Lugga sling - and the notional use of it, I didn't find this type of carrier particularly comfortable to wear and my daughter, who was by then at the crawling / toddling stage and thus wanting to be on the move independently, also refused to stay in it reliably on long walks. This meant I had to take the pushchair along with us as well - to my mind defeating much of the purpose of having a ring sling in the first place. This isn't a comment on the Bubba Lugga, which I thought was a well designed and nicely made product - it's just a problem I would have encountered with any cross-body type sling on the market. It's something that I'd have liked to use more than I did, but which unfortunately didn't suit me.