The Je Porte Mon Bebe (Renamed Love Radius in Jan 2019) PhysioCarrier zips open to reveal the best mesh panel I have ever seen. Most other carriers offering this 'all seasons' function open up to reveal only quite a thin slither of pretty dense mesh, and I often wonder how much of a difference it really makes. Especially when the whole rest of the carrier is quite sturdy cotton with lots of padding. I never feel like me or my baby are really any cooler. But not so at all with the JPMBB - the panel rolls up to reveal a huge section of mesh panel... almost as wide as the babies back. Furthermore the mesh itself its very light and airy, while being strong yet soft. Truly its lovely! And as this mesh is also found on the straps and padded parts of the carrier, in combination with a soft stroke-able cotton, this really is one of my picks during the summer.
And not just the summer, roll the panel down and zip it into place and you have a lovely year round carrier. And spacious pocket - made with JPMBB's trademark stretchy wrap fabric. I will confess to using this quite often to store things like my mobile phone, bus pass, muslin cloth etc while out and about with my kids!
The PhysioCarrier offers 3 carrying positions - on your front, hip and back. In each of these positions the baby faces your body. While front carrying, the straps can be worn crossed on the parents back or 'ruck sack' style with the chest strap done up. I often struggle to do chest straps up so usually prefer to cross. But interestingly, on the JPMBB this strap is mounted on really smooth runners so its possible to raise it to a point I can reach easily, do it up and then slide it back down to the right place. Which makes this a lot easier for those of us who aren't very flexible.
The carrier on its own can be used from about 5 or 6 months - once baby's legs are long enough so sit into the seat without being overspread. For my daughter (who is 50th percentile on weight but 90th on height) this was around 6 months. Until around 3 years of age, maybe even longer... I was shocked when ours arrived just how well Tom fitted into it. Tom is 4! The reason for this spectacular longevity is the back panel. While the seat width doesn't adjust the length of the back panel does. It can be shortened for a younger child (or for a nosey child who wants a good view or to take their arms out) then lengthens and lengthens as the child grows ensure a nice safe comfortable ride even for growing toddlers. Or in Tom's case children who are starting school next month! This is a carrier that will definitely last you for as long as you wish to carry your little ones.
It is possible to use this carrier prior to 5 or 6 months - even from newborn if you wish - so long as you purchase a separate 'booster pack'. This pack contains a pillow that goes into the base of the carrier and baby sits onto and a slender head support that threads into a specific pocket at the top of the carrier. As anyone whose been reading this blog a while will know, I am not normally a fan of infant inserts. However, as inserts go, I quite like these. Inserts for other brands are often hot, bulky and a slightly confusing to use! The JPMBB booster pack is however quite obvious and not overly bulky or warm. There are obvious pockets for both parts. The pocket for the pillow that goes into the base of the carrier even says "Sit Baby Here" in block capitals! So its really quite hard to get it wrong! Likewise, the simple straps to adjust the length of the carrier make it a doddle to line the neck support pillow up with the back of babies neck. Ensuring a great fit. Furthermore, if your at all worried about the positioning of your newborn and want to check its OK you can unzip to reveal the mesh panel and actually look at your baby's back. This really takes the guess work out of getting the positioning right and is a lovely feature for beginners and anyone who is a little nervous as they get used to using their sling. It can however suffer from a bit of a dead zone when baby gets a little big for the cushion but isn't yet fitting without it. It's not as bad as on some carriers with an insert but can be annoying for the month or two your in it.
Another thing I really liked about this carrier is that this seat pillow can also be used while back carrying. Developmentally, babies can be carried on the back in a buckle carrier like this one once they are able or almost to sit independently. Typically from around 6 months ish. However, most babies aren't massive fans of the back carry position until they are tall enough to see over their parents shoulder. This is often not until they are around a year old. By using the seat pillow, baby is raised higher and can see over parents shoulder months earlier. Again this is enabled by the very long, and adjustable back panel which will accommodate the length of a 6-12 month old plus this cushion safely.
In fact this adjustable back panel is one of my favourite features of this carrier. Not only does it really help this carrier work for different ages and sizes... but it also helps give a great seated position. As well as shortening the overall panel length, the straps also tighten the area around babies legs - helping to give the baby a nice deep squat position, with pelvis tilted to parent and spine rounded a developmentally optimal position.
All in all this is a really great, well thought out carrier. Most ideal for children aged 6 months to 3 years but will accommodate a newborn with the aid of the booster pack. Well worth trying on at your local sling library and seeing if it will work well for you. And if you wondering where to get one from, you can find them on Amazon here.
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