Manduca Baby Carrier Review
The Manduca is a German made soft-structured carrier (SSC) and is one of my favourites. It’s suited to fit a baby as small as 3.5kg (7.7lbs) to a 20kg (44lbs) toddler without the use of extra inserts. It is also fully adjustable to fit all body types and sizes.
It features the options of a front carry (facing inwards), a hip carry or a back carry. Also you have the option for crossed straps at the back when wearing it in the front carry position.
The Manduca also has an extensible back panel that unzips to accomodate a taller child or to support a sleeping child, a three-point release hip belt buckle for extra security and an inbuilt newborn/infant seat.
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- It’s my go-to baby carrier when I head to the shops or out for a walk.
- I love how easy it is to put on and go and my baby seems very content in there and falls asleep quite quickly.
- I also love the adjustable backrest as I can zip it together so my baby can see what’s happening around her. Once she falls asleep, I can easily unzip the back and extend it up higher over her back, or simply pull out the hood that is in a small pocket at the top of the carrier.
- I used the inbuilt infant seat when my baby was small which made her more supported.
- It can be hard and fiddly to adjust the straps by yourself to start with. I had to get my husband to help me out, but once it’s adjusted for your body then it’s easy to use.
- The buckle around the waist has a safety button which is almost impossible to undo with one hand. It’s easiest to undo by spinning the waist belt around and using both hands.
- Also it’s quite hard to close the zip on the backrest of the carrier while the baby is still in it, which you might want to do when your baby wakes from a sleep.
My Chiropractic opinion on the Manduca
In the Manduca the baby is in the seated position so their spine, pelvis and hips are sitting level. As a chiropractor this is a very important consideration when choosing a baby carrier. The baby’s hips and pelvis are in an optimal “M” position whereby their legs are drawn up and spread more than 90 degrees and their bottom is lower, which is good for healthy development of the hip socket.
The baby’s spine is held in the “C” curve which is good as it doesn’t hold them in a more upright position which could lead to spinal problems like spondylolisthesis.
Also, when the baby is tired there is a hood that can be pulled up over their head so it supports their neck and stops it rolling back which is also important.
For more information on good spinal health for baby and the baby-wearer can be found here: The Importance of Ergonomics
Also make sure you check out the babywearing safety checklist
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A Day In The Life Of…
A review of the Manduca baby carrier in my daily activities
It’s fairly easy for a front carry, just click on the waist belt, and make sure it’s on your front and centered on your waist. Next take baby out of car, hold them against your body with their legs on either side of you and their bottom centered in the middle of the carrier. Then, while holding the baby against you, bring the back of the Manduca up over their back and put your arms through the shoulder straps and fasten the clip at the back. The hardest part I have found is clicking the straps together at the back. Sometimes I find it quicker for my husband to do it for me, but it is possible to do it yourself.
Is it easier to put it on before leaving the house?
It doesn’t make much difference to put on the Manduca before you leave the house.
How supported is the baby in the Manduca?
Very supported. It allows for the pelvis to remain in a neutral seated position with the legs either tucked in for a newborn or frog-legged for older babies/ children.
Is it easy to carry my baby bag with carrier on?
Yes, it is quite easy.
Can I hold my older child’s hand with the carrier on?
Does it feel hands-free?
Yes, it does and I feel I can use both hands for other things.
How supported is baby when they fall asleep?
Reasonably supported. My baby is only 5 months so when she sleeps she does slouch off to the side a bit, so I unzip the backrest to make it higher then tighten the shoulder straps to hold her closer to me.
Can I breastfeed while wearing the baby in the carrier?
Yes! What I do is loosen the waist belt and move it a bit lower down, then move one shoulder strap slightly off my shoulder and position my daughter that way. It is very discreet.
Can I bend down to pick up toys, laundry etc?
Yes, but even though her body is well supported, I always put my hand behind her head for extra support.
Can I sit down while wearing it?
How does it feel after 30 minutes?
Great! I frequently wear it for prolonged periods.
Does it pass the late afternoon/dinner time test? ie; the witching hour!
Yes it does because I feel quite hands free it’s easier to do the quick afternoon clean-up and get dinner prepared (*read my post on safety) than if my baby was crying for my attention in the bouncer.
Can it hold a toddler?
Yes it does and I have tested it with my almost 3yr-old, but I haven’t worn her in it for prolonged periods yet.
Has my husband worn it?
Yes he has and he enjoyed it. She actually fell asleep a lot faster with him wearing it! Not sure what happened there! (Just a little hint for newbies- if you want your partner/husband to wear the carrier then choose a colour they won’t mind wearing!).
- Can be used from newborn to toddler ages (around 20kg/44lbs)
- Has a built in newborn/infant seat
- Can be worn front, hip or side carry
- Fully adjustable to suit different wearer body types and sizes
- Adjustable back heights
- Head rest that can be easily restored into a velcro pocket
- Baby sits in correct ergonomic posture for their hips, pelvis and spine (very important)
- Wide hip and shoulder straps for wearer’s comfort
- Made from organic cotton
- Nickel-free zippers and clip fasteners
- Lightweight at 600g