I remember the challenges of purchasing my first baby carrier. Selecting a carrier proved multi-faceted. A carrier should be safe, comfortable for mom and baby, aesthetically pleasing, and durable. Oh, and affordable. Price points were often a deal breaker. Once I bought my first carrier from a buy/trade site, I knew it was worth the investment. That carrier became my gateway to babywearing.
What if your budget (like mine) simply doesn’t allow you to purchase your dream carrier with all of its bells and whistles right now? Would you be interested in a version that offers the essentials – safety, comfort, fashion, and quality, all at a budget-friendly price point? How about if this carrier came from a trusted company, interested in making babywearing accessible for more families? What if I told you that LÍLLÉbaby just released such a carrier today?
LÍLLÉbaby recently sent me their new Essentials baby carrier to test and I couldn’t wait to try this new carrier, priced at just $89.99. I am a LÍLLÉbaby Ambassador and always travel with my All Seasons or Complete, so I wanted to know if I would have the #LilleLove for The Essentials. My goal as a babywearing advocate is to find solutions that work for a variety of families and I was excited to try this new LÍLLÉbaby release.
A Gateway Carrier
The Essentials is just what the name promises. It is the basic model of your favorite LÍLLÉbaby, offering an affordable gateway option. The Essentials features:
- Quality construction.
- The ability to front, back, and hip carry.
- A 15 to 45 lb weight capacity without an infant insert.
- A weight capacity starting at 7 or 8 lbs when separate infant insert is released.
- 3 way adjusting.
- The ability to wear crossed or backpack style.
- An attached hood.
- Large pocket on front.
- On-trend fabric.
- 1 year limited warranty.
What I Love About the LÍLLÉbaby Essentials
- The Price. I purchased what I consider a comparable carrier, The Olives and Applesauce, a few years ago. The O & A retails for $149.99 and I bought it used for $120.
- Ease of Use. The Essentials is so easy to switch from front to back carry. I even figured out how to side carry on the first try. You won’t need to search for how-to videos to use this carrier.
- Easy Adjustments. My husband and I can easily switch this carrier between us. I am 5’4″ and curvy and he is 6’1″ and trim. No need to purchase “him” and “her” carriers. Just a little tug here and there to switch.
- Comfortable Back Carry. This is probably my favorite feature of The Essentials. The carrier just sits so comfortably on your back and my son really loved the high carry.
- On Trend Fabric. The Essentials offers the style you expect from a Lillebaby carrier. I love the chevrons and I’m even thinking of trying my hand at adding a little rainbow flair with fabric markers.
- Infant to Toddler. This carrier will allow you to safely carry your baby from 15 to 45 lbs and earlier with the removable insert. If you carry your child for 2 to 3 years, that’s an investment of only $30 to $45 a year and longer if you use it with subsequent children.
- Removable Infant Insert. The insert is not yet available, but I like that you can remove it and potentially sell it when your baby outgrows it. No extra buckles or fabric to complicate things or press against baby.
- A Gateway. $130 or more is a big investment for many families, including mine. The Essentials makes it possible for families to try a soft structured carrier and see if/how it works for them, then save for a carrier with more bells and whistles in the future.
What I Would Change
- I’m spoiled by the lumbar support for front carries and it’s difficult for me to wear a carrier without it. I will say that I wore my O & A for years without this support and, while certainly not as comfortable, it met my family’s needs.
- Extended Padding. I wish the padding on the arm and waists straps extended a bit further for comfort.
Features Comparison to the Olives and Applesauce Soft Structured Carrier
I thought it would be helpful to compare the features of the Essentials to what I consider to be a similar style in the Olives and Applesauce, my first carrier.
The awesome LÍLLÉbaby Ambassadors have been hard at work creating feature comparisons to other popular carriers on the market! They are doing the work, so you don’t have to.
Disclosure: I am a LÍLLÉbaby Ambassador and share my experiences with the brand through social media. I received a carrier to test and to help promote. All opinions are my own and represent my honest experiences. Affiliate links included.