My 2-year-old has never fancied the pram much. When she was smaller, I took her around everywhere in the Ergo carrier which is a soft structured carrier; however, as she’s grown older this has become a bit too restrictive. At this age she goes back and forth between being carried and running about so I needed something that helped support her weight but allowed me to pop her on and off easily without being too fiddly.
Enter the hip seat….
I’d never heard of a hip seat before until someone advertised the I-Angel in a baby Facebook group I’m a part of. The I-Angel is a soft structured carrier (a Korean brand) that has the hip seat component. If it wasn’t self-explanatory, the hip seat is literally a little platform your baby can sit on. Since I already had the Ergo though I didn’t need the full carrier and just wanted the hip seat on its own. I looked up eBay and found this one pictured above by Mothercare. I can’t find this version on the official Mothercare website though so I’m thinking either it’s an old model still being sold on eBay or it’s a ripoff? Hopefully it’s the former.
The hip seat straps around the waist and also has a strap that goes around the shoulder. Obviously you still need a hand around bub when they’re on it but it supports a lot of their weight. The model I have has that extra mesh strap that you can see in the picture. If you don’t need it, it stores away in a little pocket beneath. Personally I don’t like using it. I’m not sure if my toddler is just already too big for it but I feel it’s quite flimsy and uncomfortable. I certainly wouldn’t trust it to support carrying my baby on my back like in the picture above.
I would also like to point out that this hip seat is obviously nowhere near as comfortable as a carrier like the Ergo. The Ergo has comfortable straps and distributes weight great over your hips and both shoulders. This hip seat only has one shoulder strap and it’s definitely not too cushy, but then again you are also paying a fraction of the price of a full baby carrier. The reality is also that carrying a toddler AND a bag containing all their essentials for a day out is not a leisurely walk in the park. It’s not like you will magically not feel the weight of your baby with a carrier! Believe me, it’s a good workout. BUT the hip seat appeals to me because:
- I cannot physically carry my toddler very far down the road without it.
- I rather carry my toddler around than lug around a pram she is only going to be in less than half the time AND chase after her.
- I do not drive and am someone who walks and catches public transport everywhere so getting up and down trams and crowded spaces with a pram is not appealing to me.
I’m thinking most mothers don’t mind pushing around a pram everywhere they go because I have never ever seen another person carrying their toddler around on a hip seat like I do. Either that or they don’t know such a product exists. So if there is someone out there like me who prefers babywearing to prams even in the toddler stage, this is my public service announcement to you that hip seats exist. It’s definitely made my life a whole lot easier and I hope it’ll do the same for you.