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Have you seen the newest carrier from Tula? The new Tula Free-to-Grow baby carrier is the first of their line up to be fully adjustable to fit a baby from birth without the use of an additional infant insert. Using multiple adjustable points on the carrier, the Tula Free-to-Grow can fit an impressive size range of 7-45 lb. To compare, the Tula Standard carrier range goes from 15-45 lb, but requires an infant insert for early use. The Tula Free-to-Grow back panel can be adjusted for height and width of the seat, guaranteeing a truly perfect fit from the beginning to the end.
The width of the seat can be adjusted by moving the snaps inside the waistband panel. Peaking in, you can see that there are six sets of snaps, three on each side.
To adjust the seat width to be the smallest (best for those itty bitty new babies), you would take the farthest outside snap on the actual panel and connect it to the farthest inner snap on the waistband on both sides.
Remember: the ideal coverage on your baby for the seat would be fabric that extends from under one knee, under the bum, all the way to the opposite knee, with the baby’s legs and bottom making a nice “M” shape (knees above the lowest point of their bottom). As baby’s legs grow longer, you will be able to adjust the snaps out on each size to continue to support their bodies with a seat that covers from knee to knee.
The back panel also adjusts in height. On the top corners of the outside of the carrier are two pulley adjustable straps.
By pulling the straps down, the back panel fabric cinches and folds in, creating a shorter panel without weird bunchy fabric.
Having an adjustable height panel ensures that you have the panel at the right height to have your baby fully supported, but not too tall of a back panel that your baby does not have the clearest airflow path for safe babywearing. The panel can easily be made shorter or taller by adjusting the pulley setting, so as your baby grows in length, you can continue to have back panel that offers full support and nice clear airflow.
Below is a picture of the carrier being fully let out for the higher end of the size range next to the carrier adjusted all the way down for a new baby, to give you an idea of how those adjustments change the look of the carrier.
Personal thoughts: THIS IS THE COOLEST THING EVER. I love using a soft structured carrier for long-term wearing, or very active wearing (like hiking), but I didn’t personally love having to use an extra piece for the new baby days. It was one more thing to buy and own and store forever, and one more thing to potentially forget. The other hang up about the traditional SSC and infant insert combo is that once baby outgrows the insert, there may be a weird inbetween time of the carrier not fitting at its very best. The Tula Free-to-Grow eliminates these issues completely. Also, they nailed it on the prints. I took pictures of my favorite print, but I don’t dislike any of them. The design is amazing and the prints are the cutest. Conclusion: if you (or someone you really love) are expecting a baby to join your family, you most definitely want to move the Tula Free-to-Grow to the top of your list.