Keep them close

Reviews and information about babywearing, slings, wraps and carriers for keeping your baby close and content


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Babywearing dips – a word of caution

There has been some chitchat on a few Facebook babywearing pages about dips this week, and it is clear that a lot of people don’t really know much about them. While they say ignorance is bliss, on this topic I think being educated and informed is pretty important.

So what is a dip? A dip is like a raffle. In the babywearing community, Facebook pages are set up so people can offer their wrap or carrier as a “prize” and sell, for example, 100 tickets at $5 each, then randomly select a winner. So the seller gets $500 for their item, but the winner only pays the price of their ticket (or tickets if they buy more than one). Sounds great, right? I can’t afford a $500 carrier, but I can spend $5 and maybe win one! Sign me up!

feeling-lucky

Well, before you all run off to join as many dip pages as you can find, please read on. A raffle (or dip) is a form of gambling. Gambling can be very addictive and can often attract unscrupulous characters who’d like to get their hands on your money any way they can. For these reasons, amongst others, gambling is highly regulated (in Australia, and most western nations). A standard dip where the owner of the item up for grabs is the recipient of the money spent on tickets is illegal in Australia. This means that joining and participating in the many dip pages on Facebook is also questionable. That doesn’t stop some people, but you should make an informed and educated decision about what is right for you.

In NSW, a raffle is only legal if it is fundraising for a not-for-profit organisation, and the raffle is registered and approved by the organisation that will be receiving the funds. At least 40% of the proceeds of the raffle must go to the not-for-profit organisation. There are similar laws in place across Australia. There are other things to consider too. Only people over the age of 18 can participate in a raffle, and if a raffle is registered in a particular State of Australia it may only be legal to sell tickets to those who reside in that State.

On top of this, many dip pages ask you to pay for your tickets via PayPal. PayPal expressly prohibits using PayPal for this purpose, and can shut down your account if it chooses. Facebook also requires promotions and activities like raffles to meet a variety of requirements, which many dip pages don’t meet. Many of the dip pages are set to be “secret”, because when Facebook finds them they are often shut down for not meeting the terms of service.

Lastly, participating in a dip requires a great deal of trust in the person running it. How do you know that the person drawing the winning ticket is doing it randomly and not rigging it so that a certain person wins? How can you guarantee that you will get your prize if you do win? Certainly PayPal will not protect you like when you purchase an item legitimately. As I said, gambling attracts some shady characters, and scammers are not unheard of in babywearing dips, so please proceed with caution.

Problem gambling is no laughing matter. If you think that you may have a problem with gambling, even with something as seemingly innocent as babywearing dips, there are places you can call for support. In NSW, try Gambling Help on 1800 858 858. Gamble responsibly.

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Review: Beco Soleil soft structured carrier

My local babywearing group was fortunate to be given a Beco Soleil to try out, and while I am firmly a member of Team Tula, I thought I’d give the Beco a go and share the results with you.

To be honest, I haven’t really tried a lot of soft structured carriers. I’ve tried a few different versions of the Ergo, and the Tula. I find the Tula so comfortable I haven’t been inclined to try anything else. But the Beco Soleil pleasantly surprised me; it far exceeded my expectations.

Beco soleil baby carrier

The Beco Soleil with my 18 month old daughter

Here’s what I liked:

  • My daughter is 18 months old and above average height and weight (we’re using a Toddler Tula now), but she still fit in the Soleil quite well, better than she fits in an Ergo.
  • The waistband is slightly narrower than the Tula, which I liked because it didn’t push the waistband of my jeans down like my Tula can sometimes.
  • The top of the body panel has a padded, peaked design that provides nice firm coverage over baby’s upper back, which I also think is an improvement on the Tula design.
  • It has a removable hood, and also a large removable storage pocket (something the Tula is missing, and something many people like about the Ergo).
  • I could get a nice high back carry, much higher than the Ergo.
  • The straps felt a lot more comfortable than the Ergo, and didn’t feel too bulky or wide for my narrow shoulders. There are also perfect fit adjusters, similar to the Tula.
  • I liked the classic pattern; understated and subtle.

If I had to pick some downsides, I’d say:

  • The shoulder straps aren’t particularly padded, certainly less padded than the Tula, and with my almost 13kg big girl I could do with the extra padding. I did find this slightly less comfortable for me than the Tula.
  • At $179, it’s the same price as a standard canvas Tula. For the same money, I’d pick a Tula. But if you’ve found the Tula isn’t really for you, then this is a better option than an Ergo, in my opinion.
  • It has a similar buckle mechanism to the Manduca, which requires two hands to open. This irritates me, but that’s because I’ve only used Ergos and Tulas that have a one-handed buckle.

Some other things to know:

  • You can cross the straps for front carries.
  • It has a long waist belt, longer than a standard Ergo and Tula. A larger mum who uses the Ergo Xtra tried this on and found it much more comfortable than the Ergo Xtra.
  • It requires a separate infant insert to use from 3.5kg to approximately four months old.

If you’re in the market for a soft structured carrier and the Tula isn’t really for you, then I would definitely recommend the Beco Soleil. It can be purchased from a number of online vendors in Australia.