Belle Carriers: Like A Pretty Bjorn

08/29/2008 at 12:30 PM ET
CbbbellecheetahBelle Carrier in Cheetah

In a Nutshell: The Belle Baby Carrier ($89.95 to $99.95) is my replacement for the ubiquitous Bjorn, which until now has been the go-to babywearing device in our house: my husband approves of its "mannish" looks and our baby loves facing outward. The Belle is like Bjorn’s stylish sister. It carries the baby essentially the same way — either facing towards you or out, legs dangling – but with a lot less bulk. (Click here for detailed how-to-wear instructions).

Why It’s Great: It’s made of soft, lightweight fabric that is easily adjustable and undeniably cute (my favorites are the organic denim and fuzzy cheetah) The baby’s weight is distributed pretty evenly between your shoulders and hips — Isadora (who is 15 lbs) and I went for a 20 minute uphill walk, no problem. It’s small enough to toss in your purse or under the stroller, so you can be spontaneous.

Things I Didn’t Love: One downside to the Belle is that it doesn’t have any neck support. Isadora fell asleep when I was carrying her and I had to prop her head up with my arm as we walked. (Belle’s makers suggest you bring a blanket with you to fold around for extra head support.) It also seemed like the fabric — which has no stretch — was cutting into her a legs a little bit. Like any carrier, I would not want her in that position for very long.

The Verdict: For quick trips around the neighborhood, the Belle has become my new favorite accessory.

Celeb Fans: Julia Roberts has been spotted using a Belle with baby Henry Moder.

— Angela M.

Click here to check out more babywearing reviews!

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Heather on

Meh. Like all bjorn and snugli-type carriers, it puts all of the baby’s weight on the crotch. Baby is basically being dangled by their groin. Not the best for their hip development, or their comfort either.

If you like this type of structured carrier, mei tais offer the same convenience and comfort but give the baby a ‘seat’ for their bums and thighs, not just leaving them dangling. It’s both more supportive and comfortable for baby (would you want to dangle by your crotch for more than 20 minutes?) plus it keeps their hips in the ‘ideal’ position for healthy development (sometimes called ‘froggie’ heh)

I have 2 mei tais along with my wraps and slings. I used a snugli with my first baby — never will again!

Louise on

can totally picture Gwen with one of these for Zuma!

Megan on

Not my style at all. I am a total Babyhawk girl, though I am enjoying my new Beco Butterfly.

Jerry on

My understanding is that there is no real scientific evidence that carriers like the Belle, Bjorn, or Snugli cause any problems at all. Belle has a good article about it on their website. It seems like these accusations are really just rumors and marketing. I think the Belle carriers are really beautiful and super comfortable. And I can face my baby out, which is her favorite. Can’t do that with a mei tai. Huge fan of the Belle.

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