Sunday, November 13, 2011

Beco Gemini vs. Beco Butterfly (and why I returned the Gemini)

I ended up so enthralled by the Beco Gemini and Beco Butterfly 2 carriers that I wanted them both.  So I went to a real store (The Nurture Center) to try them on (novel concept, I know).

I went in, thinking I would purchase the Beco Butterfly because it is like the Ergo (which I love) but has an internal soft piece of fabric which holds the baby into the carrier and makes it easier to take it on and off.  It was better as a concept for me.   Because I spent over two years carrying my first baby (and we still carry him in carrier at times~ at over 3 years old and over 35 pounds), I am quite comfortable taking a baby in and out of a carrier.  The extra piece just slowed us down.  I put it on my back and baby struggled to find a view through the straps, then settled when he could see through a tiny opening (he is now 5 months old and 15 pounds).  Then it took help for us to get him clipped out of it.  I did like Beco's safety clips, though.

Then I tried the Beco Gemini and thought it was also a lot like the Ergo.  However, the body piece is a lot thinner.  It also has snaps at the bottom, where the main body meets the waistband.  These snap to make it even narrower, which allows a smaller baby to be comfortable facing in, or any size baby to look out.  My baby likes to look out, and I thought this would be better for my body than the kangaroo carry in a pouch sling that we are currently using.  I thought having the weight on both shoulders and my waist would be easier than having it just on one shoulder.  I bought it.

We got to the Farmer's Market (our next stop) and tried it out.  By this time, baby was tired.  He fussed and couldn't settle for a nap.  The lack of sleeping hood didn't help (instead of a hood, it has a head rest that clips to D-Rings with toggles).  Off went the Gemini and out came my pouch.  He nestled right in and fell asleep.  Oddly enough, he also felt lighter.  I think the pouch must also distribute the weight across the body instead of just on one shoulder, because he didn't feel heavy to me.  Maybe it was just habit.  I was also grateful to put away that new-carrier smell-- it was really strong on this organic carrier.

Later, at home, I put the 35 pound preschooler into it, since it is rated that high and he likes to be carried.  He felt heavy in it (he doesn't feel heavy in the Ergo- he just feels solid).  I readjusted and tried him on my front and back, and thought maybe I had made the wrong choice.  So I took it off.  In the process, those front snaps came undone.  If they are that loose brand new, I knew that with any use at all, the snaps would just get more pliable and less likely to stay shut.

But the preschooler wasn't who I bought it for (though I know the baby will get that big in time).  In went the baby.  The narrow size was nice, as it was in the store, and he was comfortable in it facing front and back.  But I kept thinking of the Baby Bjorn, and its terrible reviews.  I had read that it caused spinal stress on the baby (in addition to shoulder stress for the wearer).  I wasn't sure if it was the front-facing or the small base for sitting on, but, regardless, it was on my mind.  The design change of the Gemini from having fabric in front to having piping in front just reminded me even more of the Bjorn.  But we walked around a bit with him in it facing forward.  He liked it.  I couldn't see him at all, and his weight kept pulling away from me and making the straps tug.  I kept checking him out in the mirrors around the house, and I don't find the need to do that when he is in the pouch.  I took him off.

I gave it one last try, thinking it would be nice facing inwards to have a thinner silhouette.  We took a walk to visit our neighbor.  I grabbed my phone and an extra diaper, and put the baby in the carrier.  But~ no pockets! Where to put my stuff?  I love the Ergo pocket, and without one, any carrier needs to have a very redeeming feature to be chosen.  

So~ although the Gemini is great in theory, I need a pocket.  I also want to be able to see my baby (or at least easily maneuver him around for a view).  The sleeping hood is also necessary to block out stimulus.  I also didn't feel like it was an exceptionally sturdy carrier, since the snaps came open easily and my heavy child felt, well, heavy, in it.  

Thanks for the refund, Nurture Center.  Next up, the Boba 3G...

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