Creating the Free-to-Grow Carrier
As parents who love bonding with our children through babywearing, we are always searching for ways to simplify the experience of holding your baby close. We strive to offer versatile options, yet one common request we heard from the community was for a simple, easy-to-use buckle carrier that could be used without an infant insert.
Along with an amazing team, our founder, Ula, worked to hone in on an intuitive design that still honored Baby Tula’s clean, stylish look. Born from their determined work was the newest addition to our Tula Carrier family, the Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier.
We set out to make a Tula Baby Carrier that could adjust to become small enough to support a comfortable ergonomic position for a newborn, without the use of an infant insert, as well as adjust to a size that could accommodate a growing child. We strived to keep the adjustments quick and absent of any additional zippers, buckles, straps, or metal that may have complicated the look and feel of the carrier. Through various revisions, each prototype became more streamlined and simplified. Each feature of the carrier was carefully designed to allow for the body panel of the carrier to become more narrow and shorten, without creating bulk or complicated settings. At each width and height setting, the carrier maintains the distinct look and feel of our existing award winning Tula Baby Carriers.
Once the final prototypes of the Free-to-Grow carrier was almost complete, we welcomed Joanna McNeilly of the Center for Babywearing Studies to the Tula headquarters. With Joanna’s long-standing expertise in babywearing education and industry standards, she provided a fresh, thoughtful perspective from someone not involved in the design project. During her visit, Joanna participated in test fittings with different families and reviewed our instructions to assess the ease of use of the carrier. Her time with us during the final stages of the project was so helpful to the process, and ensuring that instructions and use would be intuitive for even those brand new to babywearing! With her approval, we knew that we had reached the completion of a long desired, innovative carrier that mimicked the natural shape and size of a newborn while expanding to the comfortable size of a Standard Tula Baby Carrier (up to 45lbs).
The Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier has three width settings (narrow, middle, and wide) that are secured with snaps. The height can be adjusted into two height settings (short and tall) with webbing at the top of the body panel. This adjustable panel allows for the carrier to become small enough to support a comfortable ergonomic position for a newborn without the use of an infant insert.
At the tall and wide settings, the Free-to-Grow Carrier fits almost identically to the Standard sized Tula Baby Carrier and has the same signature, streamlined look. The Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier has a weight range of 7-45lbs. and can be used for the front and back carry position; mimicking our most natural way of holding our babies.
Ultra soft twill material is used instead of canvas in order to make the Free-to-Grow Carrier exceptionally moldable and welcoming to a newborn. The Free-to-Grow Carrier has a newly redesigned hood that will function in both the short and tall setting of the body panel, and features extended reach straps to aid with use. In addition, our signature contoured waist belt and padded, curved shoulders are used on the carrier to provide wearers of all shapes and sizes with optimal comfort.
Our first four prints of the Free-to-Grow Carrier are inspired by the joyful moments of childhood and are available on babytula.com and with retailers, with a retail price of $159USD. These prints will also be available in our Standard and Toddler sized Tula Carriers.