Carrier of the Month - The Kahubaby
By Susie Cooke, Babywearing Consultant, Helix Baby
AT A GLANCE:
Weight – from 7lb to 35lb (3.2 to 16kg), no infant insert needed
Positions – front inward facing, front world facing, hip and back carrying
Straps – rucksack and cross strap options
Fabric: 100% cotton, Sunshine is 100% Solarweave fabric
Hood: attached, adjustable
Adjustability: one size fits most, waist belt adjustment: up to 142cm
Gorgeous prints, simple adjustability, it’s compact and you can even wear it in the shower. . . What’s not to like about the KahuBaby carrier?
Its a relatively new buckle carrier to the market. Some really BEAUTIFUL designs (including the newest Tweed fabric!), and its a one-stop-shop for your carrier needs; you can use this carrier from birth (7lb) through to back carrying your toddler (up to 35lb) and can even forward face and hip carry too.
The Kahubaby is what we call an “apron-style” carrier. It doesn’t have a chunky waist belt and you put it on like an apron, without turning the bottom of the panel towards you to buckle it up. It also means it packs up very small, easily fitting in a compact change bag. Other brands of this style are Connecta and Integra, however the Kahu has a few integrated features, setting it apart from these other two brands.
Firstly, the straps. Similarly to Connecta and Integra, the straps of the Kahu can be used crossed OR as rucksack style, however, they are a lot more padded, offering more comfort for your shoulders. The chest strap is also attached; there is no chance of losing the chest strap, unlike the separate accessory strap on the other brands. However, I did find I couldn’t tighten the chest strap on the Kahu quite enough for my personal liking when back carrying. So this could be an issue for smaller framed individuals.
It also has 2-way buckle adjusters. These are so helpful because you can tighten the carrier either by pulling forwards or backwards, whichever you find easier. It means you can tighten in the same direction when doing a back carry too! You can also move the buckle along the strap if you are finding it uncomfortable; some large busted ladies I have helped found the side buckles dug into them, so by sliding the buckle towards your back, this doesn’t happen.
Secondly, the Kahu has a unique, panel cinch. This makes the panel infinitely adjustable, so you can get the perfect knee-to-knee fit, for your newborn or young baby, every time. It’s so easy to adjust and it’s all built in. This cinch also allows world facing, once babe has a bit of neck strength. I found the world or forward facing position difficult to achieve at first. I found the panel dug into babe’s legs if he wasn’t in a good enough M position, which could be a problem for less experienced wearers.
There is also an integrated head and neck support cinch too; as easy to adjust as the panel cinch, it gathers the fabric at the top of the panel to give extra neck support, for when babe still needs it. The hood isn’t detachable, so you can’t lose it, is elasticated, giving a nice snug fit, and can be adjusted once clipped up so it supports babe’s head well when asleep.
I found the adjustability in the waist and straps for the wearer was fairly wide ranging, but doesn’t go as big as some other carriers on the market. In my experience, I would say this carrier would fit up to a ladies size 18 and down to a size 8.
It is also available in their Sunshine version. It is the same carrier, but made with super thin, fast drying, water-friendly Solarweave fabric; perfectly cool for a hot, sunny holiday, using in the shower or at the swimming pool/seaside and for packing up compactly to travel with.
There are definitely some softer carrier options out there that I would suggest for a brand new baby. I have experienced a few parents found the KahuBaby fabric dug into their newborn’s legs slightly, or the panel cinch dug in as the Sunshine Solarweave fabric is so thin. So I personally think this carrier excels from about the 2/3 month age, about the time many are looking to move on from a stretchy sling to something with a bit more support. Although I have also fitted the Kahu well with some newborns too!
VERDICT: If being compact is important, this carrier can provide a perfect fit from newborn through to toddler hood, boasting 4 carrying positions, and also neatly fits into any bag!