“ Brand: Tomy / Carrier Type: Framed / Carrier Position: Front „
We were looking for a solid comfy sling at a reasonable cost. Having tried this one on, compared to shops own brands of similar value, there was no comparison. Others were more difficult to put on and less secure, and nowhere near as attractive as the Zanzibar.
The only drawback is that it is a struggle to get on and off in a hurry, although practice is making perfect. You do need to take the whole thing apart to get the baby out, but I would rather that be the case and her be secure whilst in it, than the the other way around.
The sleeping bag to go over the outside is a useful novelty for the deepest depths of winter.
I probably wouldn't have bought a sling if my buggy wasn't far too big and unwieldy to get round the shops or on and off public transport. I'm glad I did though as I now find I use it all the time with Leah, even when we are just pottering around the house or in the garden. She feels safe and secure being attached to me, and I feel happy as it's comfortable to wear and leaves me with my hands free to do the washing up or weed the garden. I was amazed at how easy it is to move around with it on, I have even cleaned the kitchen floor with Leah sleeping in it. It's also quite nostalgic as it's a bit like having a large bump at your front once again - and I actually quite miss that. A sling is about as close as you can get to carrying your baby, but without the ache!
Going shopping with Leah in it is great, as there's no big buggy to maneouvre round small shops or on and off buses, and she is quite content in the sling as she feels close to her mum.She isn't a big fan of the buggy as she is a little attention-seeker, and if she is in the sling I can talk into her ear or stroke her head and keep her comforted. There's a feeling of closeness that you just can't get with a buggy, and I think that's why I prefer the sling in general.
Of course you can't go overboard with buying shopping as you don't have a buggy to put it in so you have to carry it whatever you buy! Unloading and loading baby in isn't difficult once you get the hang of it, but it does mean that when out and about you haven't got anywhere to put the baby except the sling, which can be awkward if you want baby to sleep and you want to sit and drink coffee rather than walk about with a tired, grouchy baby in tow!
I chose the Tomy Zanzibar because it seemed like a versatile option and it looked really plush and comfortable for baby. You can carry baby three ways - baby facing you (great for small babies, and just like a mobile cuddle for mums), baby facing out (for slightly nosier, older babies who like to see what is going on) or piggy back (fun for babies and Dads!).
The Zanzibar comes in cream and coffee colours, which isn't everyone's cup of tea, but colour wasn't really my main priority. This is not the trendiest sling on the market, but then that wasn't my main priority either. After all Leah is just like her mother and doesn't give two hoots about fashion - she only really cares about milk, sleep, and cuddles, and with any luck it might stay like that for a while!
It looks like a very comfortable, cosy sling, which is another reason I was attracted to it. It's made of suede and fleece fabric which is nice and soft and very cushioned and padded. This means it's not only comfy for baby, but for the carrier as well. People seem to either love or hate slings - probably depending on the level of comfort they experience. I think the trick is making sure it is properly adjusted to suit the wearer - when it is, it doesn't cause backache or any sort of ache, as the weight is evenly spread and the person wearing it supported. It has a lumbar support and you can adjust the chest straps to make them more comfortable according to your height. The shoulder straps are really wide and padded. I've always found this sling comfortable to wear even for long periods of time, and never felt weighed down by it. Whereas just carrying Leah about on her own for 10 minutes makes everything ache!!
The Zanzibar comes with a removable head hugger for newborns and a cosy weather cover, with hood, which is great if the weather isn't. It also has a bib inside which is removable for washing, although it's probably only really suitable for newborns as it isn't very big or very absorbent. You can even attach a favourite toy to the cord inside the sling which is provided for that reason. It's got all the mod cons - bit like a stretch limo with in-car entertainment.
Getting the sling on and off takes some practise, and there are quite a few clips and buckles, but like all these things, it does get much easier the more you do it. (I remember it taking me about 20 minutes to get the car seat in the car, now I do it in seconds!) I put the sling almost totally on before loading Leah into it, and then I only have two more clips to do once she is in it. In total there are 6 clips, two at each side, one large one round the waist, and one at my back. I have the sling perfectly adjusted for me to use with a coat on - it's a pain to have to adjust it for each new person who wants to carry baby, and quite time consuming, so I find that I do most of the carrying!
I've had a shot of other slings that friends have, and the baby bjorn one was also good, I found that because Leah was positioned higher up on me she wasn't routing for food, whereas with the Zanzibar she couldn't help herself! But it's not a big complaint by any means.
When Leah was tiny, it was a godsend. She wouldn't sleep anywhere except in my arms until I discovered the sling, which made her feel nice and secure. Even though she is quite a bit older now, she still feels safe attached to me, and I'm quite happy to have her within reach!
The sling lasts from 0-12 months, or up to about 21lbs in weight.
Price I paid: £46.99
From birth carry your baby on your front; facing you. Once over 3 months old; you can carry your baby on your front facing outward; on your back; or in the nursing position. Padded leg holes and adjustable shoulder straps.