Tula has long been the favorite carrier in and outside of the “babywearing” community and for good reason. Their carriers are as cute as they are comfortable. The Tula Free to Grow is no exception and is offered in a huge variety of cotton, cotton/mesh “coast” versions, and special edition woven wrap fabric options. It retails at $159.95 putting it right in line with previous Tula Baby Carriers.
Baby Tula carriers for many years came in two sizes the Standard (7-45lbs) and the Toddler (2t clothing and 25-60lb). The Standard though amazing, always left us with the conundrum of what to use between 7 and 15 pounds? Do we use the separately purchased (and bulky) infant insert, use a different carrier, or give up altogether. Now we can skip the waiting game and go straight to using a Tula carrier from birth.
With its innovative snapping panel width adjusters, the carrier can scrunch down narrow enough for tiny newborns. Height wise just adjust the outer webbing (up by your shoulder) to shorten the panel height.
With the carrier all adjusted down we are all ready to snuggle a sweet newborn baby. Some things to keep in mind when wearing a newborn in a soft structured carrier is to make sure they have an open area, are worn high (close enough to kiss), snug, and in pajamas that aren’t too tight on their legs. The left photo is a 8 pound 4 week old and the right is a 12 pound doll.
When do you switch widths? When you kiddos legs have started hanging down and the child no longer looks like they are seated in a hammock. You can also check with trial and error. If kiddo can sit comfortably and kick freely in the next size up then give it a shot. Once kiddo is over six months, knee to knee support though ideal is not required. An older kiddo (my daughter is 2 years and 25 pounds 32″ is modeling below).
Kiddo has outgrown the carrier when the carrier no longer reaches the mid upper back (about where a bra would hit an adult). Arms can be worn in or out. We still find the carrier very comfortable in the toddler age/stage. This carrier can be worn on the front or back, their is not a hip carry or outward facing options as the arm straps do not detach, and the waist buckle is side oriented.
Ultimately, we are in total love with the Tula Free to Grow and would have loved to own this carrier back when kiddos were tiny babies. We definitely think it is one of the easiest to use newborn friendly soft structured carrier options on the market.