Friday, March 25, 2016

Let's Compare! Standard Mj vs Standard Tula

Trying out our new MJ! MJ baby carriers are fairly new to the market and a definite up and comer! It's comparable to a standard Tula with a few key differences. 
1) Deeper seat
2) Taller back panel 
3) Dual adjustable waist strap is 4-6 inches longer than the Tula. 
4) Panel is a bit wider than a standard Tula. 
5) Waist padding is firmer and wider with a very large pocket. 

Comfort wise they are very similar, but as time has passed I am favoring the MJ slightly. Shoulder padding is very similar. I did feel like the waist padding on the MJ rested on my bottom in a back carry because of its width, though I don't see that as an issue as it breaks in. After having my MJ for a few months I found if I raised and tightened the waistband correctly this is no longer an issue. I will say this is a large carrier, even labeled as a standard, I wouldn't recommend it until baby is 10-12 months old due to the large size, MJ does not offer an infant insert.

I would recommend this for a few people in particular, plus size wearers (hubby is a 4xl and this fits him comfortably, whereas a standard Tula doesn't at all) and if you have a leaner this would be great since the panel is taller,or a little that loves riding arms in. My girl normally rides arms out! even with the taller panel she can still do so. I believe that this is perfect until she's ready for a toddler size. You can see due to the deeper seat and panel height the difference it makes in the fit. Jemma is 27lb and 32" if anyone is curious, size 18-24m. Also note, Jemma is sleeping in one of the MJ photos so the panel looks even larger due to her slight slumping.

With the addition of Fresh Mesh to the MJ line up, these cooler options for warm climates are definitely a plus for the MJ brand. Prices are similar, standard Tula retail $149, standard MJ retail $145. All in all, I can and do happily recommend this carrier but of course no carrier is perfect for everyone. 

Renee McBay is a happily married mother to one little girl so far. She enjoys volunteering for BWAT, watching Dr Who and Harry Potter, reading whenever possible, and snuggling all the squishy babies.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Is my carrier safe??? How you can trust your carrier not to fall apart and drop your baby.

I'm not talking about using a carrier that is too big for your baby, which poses a suffocation risk. Proper fit and support in a carrier is a completely different topic. I'm talking about being assured of the quality and safety of the materials and construction methods used to make your carrier. 

The Baby Carrier Industry Alliance (BCIA) regulates compliance with the US standards for baby carriers. These standards are set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates toxic chemical limits, flammability, strength, and hazards such as fall and choking for all products sold in the US. These standards ensure proper labeling, care, and usage information is on the product itself. All soft carriers, mei tais and front packs manufactured after Sept 29, 2014 must be tested and compliant to ASTM F2236.  When buying a carrier you need to know 3 things: that it is properly labeled, that it can be registered, and that it has been safety tested. The labeling and registration are used in the event of a recall. The safety testing label indicates that the carrier passes the safety requirements outlined in ASTM F2236. (Carriers made prior to September 29th, 2014 were not required to undergo ANY safety testing or conformity requirements.) This covers weight testing, choking and suffocation hazards, and permanently attached proper use information. 

The BCIA is made up of manufacturers, educators, and retailers who are compliant with CPSC standards. Buying a carrier from a BCIA retailer or manufacturer means you can trust that it is safe. Of course, always check your carrier for wear at the seams, buckles, and stress points, because everything eventually wears out. Each model and fabric content must be independently tested by a third party, which means that testing is very expensive. It is often cost prohibitive for very small businesses to make carriers. Please know that it is illegal to sell a non-compliant carrier.  Even if you made for yourself and then sell it when you are done with it, you must be compliant with CPSC regulations. (For more information about selling carriers go to .) Many of the knock-off, really cheap carriers that are available online are not tested or part of the BCIA. These carriers are very dangerous because of the possible chemical content, weak materials used, and poor construction methods. 

Before I understood the importance of compliance with CPSC regulations, I bought a WAHM made ring sling from a large swap group. Once I had it in hand the material seemed very thin, so I asked several experienced baby wearers for their opinions. They all recommended that I not put a baby in it because of the questionable material and lack of any labels. I found a safe use for it as a belly wrap during pregnancy and a doll sling for my kids. 

In the interest of your child's safety, please only buy BCIA carriers. For more information, go to If you are unsure of the safety of a carrier that you already own, look for the labeling and check the manufacturer's website. 

Jade lives in east Tulsa with her husband, two boys, and dog Crash. She is passionate about supporting parents. Jade is a Post Partum Doula with Better Birth Now