Frequently Asked Questions

CAN I WEAR MY BABY FACING OUTWARD IN YOUR CARRIERS?

Our Stage 1 & Stage 2 carriers have not been designed to be used in an outward facing position for the following reasons:

Tripping hazard – if you trip while wearing your baby in an outward facing position, their arms, legs and face would hit the ground first. When wearing your baby in an inward facing position, it is more likely that you will be able to use your hands to stop any part of your baby’s body from hitting the ground. This is because of the position of their limbs in relation to your body.

Breathing safety – when your baby is facing away from you, it is a lot more tricky to constantly monitor their breathing. If your baby were to fall asleep in this position, there is a great risk that their chin could fall to their chest, which can cause asphyxiation in young babies as it blocks their airways. With an inward facing position, your babies head would rest on your chest, avoiding the dropping of the chin.

Ergonomics for the wearer – your centre of gravity is totally different when you wear your baby facing outwards as opposed to facing inwards. This places a lot more pressure on your lower back and shoulders to make up for the extra gravitational force, meaning that you will feel the weight a lot sooner.

Ergonomics for your baby – the first year of life and the movement experiences you provide your baby are key to proper spinal development. All babies are born with their spine in a convex curve in the shape of the letter C. When you place your baby in an outward facing baby carrier, this natural C curve is forced into a reverse C shape, which is why you will always notice that when purchasing outward facing carriers, they will always recommend to not carry your baby in this position for more than 20 minutes at a time, as it is not optimal for spinal development. Your baby will only complete their spinal development between 12-18 months, once they have mastered walking upright.

WHAT MAKES YOUR BABY CARRIERS UNIQUE?

They’re light, breathable, easy to use and can quickly adjust to fit all shapes and sizes. Our waistbands are supportive yet very gentle on c-section healing.

WHY STAGE 1 AND STAGE 2?

Ubuntu Baba baby carriers are specifically designed to compliment the physical and emotional stage of your baby’s development. A newborn baby is very different to a toddler – they sleep differently, cuddle differently and they experience the world differently, so it makes sense that should be carried differently. A newborn baby requires more support to maintain an ergonomic position of the hips and spine, and when carrying a toddler, your body needs a little extra support to carry their extra weight.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STAGE 1 AND A STAGE 2?

Our Stage 1 carrier is designed first and foremost to help you meet the needs of your newborn baby quickly and easily. It’s made of a softer and more breathable organic hemp fabric than the Stage 2 (a young baby is still developing their system to be able to regulate their own body temperature) and grows with your baby from newborn to 14 months or 12kgs, whichever comes first. It can only be used in the inward facing front carry position and is more suitable for the ‘NINO period’ than the Stage 2. (Scroll down for more info on the NINO period.)

There is a drawstring across the body of the Stage 1 carrier which allows you to adjust the width of the seat – once your baby reaches the full width of the seat, that’s how you know they will be able to fit comfortably into the Stage 2. Most parents who own a Stage 1 carrier will upgrade to a Stage 2 between 10 and 12 months of age, for the main reason of wanting to be able to do a back carry, however many parents use the Stage 1 all the way through to 14 months.

The Stage 2 can be used from around 9 months+ and has a weight limit of 20kgs. It’s made from a cotton canvas and hemp blend, still more breathable than any other fabric of that thickness but less soft and breathable than a Stage 1. It’s a bigger carrier in general, and designed with a more emotionally mature toddler in mind and can be used for both front and back carry positions.

WHY ORGANIC HEMP?

Hemp is UV resistant and a great temperature conductor, keeping your baby cool in hot weather and snuggly and warm during the winter months. Hemp fabric “wears in, not out” so your carrier gets softer and comfier, the more it’s worn. The farming of hemp also offers significant benefits for the economic and environmental sustainability of our planet as it grows rapidly and requires little water and no pesticides or herbicides.

CAN I RETURN IT IF MY BABY DOESN’T LIKE IT?

We offer a 30 day money back guarantee, provided the product is returned in ‘as new’ condition. Email us on info@ubuntubaba.com and we will arrange collection.

CAN DAD’S WEAR IT TOO?

We love our Ubuntu Dads! Yes, babywearing is a wonderful way for Dad’s to bond with their babies.

I’M PLUS-SIZE / PETITE. WILL YOUR CARRIER FIT ME?

Our carriers are very easy to adjust to fit all body types and sizes, with extra long straps that can be neatly tucked away at the length needed.

WHAT ARE THE SHIPPING COSTS AND HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?

We offer free door-to-door delivery throughout South Africa on all orders over R1,000 and will deliver your carrier to your door within 2-3 working days. Please allow an extra 2-5 working days for farms or outlying areas. For any orders under R1,000 we charge a flat rate of R65.

DO YOU SHIP OVERSEAS?

Yes! We ship worldwide at a flat rate of R550.

WHERE ARE YOU CARRIERS MANUFACTURED?

Our factory is based in Retreat in Cape Town and we are proud to say that our products are all 100% South African manufactured.

DO YOU OFFER A QUALITY GUARANTEE?

Our carriers come with a lifetime guarantee on all stitching and workmanship.

WHAT IS THE NINO PERIOD? (nine months in, nine months out)

In babywearing, the NINO period stands for nine months in, nine months out. It’s the most important stage for emotional development, when your baby needs to feel the safety of being held close against your chest and the sound of your heartbeat will almost always calm them down. Babies often go through periods of being overstimulated and struggling to fall asleep so we designed our Stage 1 carrier to create more of a hugging feeling around baby, which mimics the feeling of being held snugly in the womb and helps to calm them down so they can fall asleep quickly.

ARE YOUR BABY CARRIERS ERGONOMIC AND DO THEY COMPLY TO THE STANDARDS OF THE INTERNATIONAL HIP DYSPLASIA INSTITUTE FOR NEWBORN HIP DEVELOPMENT?

Yes, our baby carriers have been designed to ergonomically grow with your baby, supporting their legs in the correct ‘M’ position from birth through to toddlerhood.

WON’T THE ‘M’ POSITION HURT MY NEWBORNS HIPS?

No, the ergonomic M position is the natural froggy position that your baby will assume if you hold them up onto your chest, there is absolutely no over-stretching of the hips involved as the seat width on our Stage 1 carrier is fully adjustable to suit the width of your babies hips. You can set the width to the tightest setting and then thread the carrier body through the small gap between your babies legs and spread the fabric up and over their bum to support their back. Their little feet can wrap around the carrier and back under their bum again.

HOW SOON CAN I USE YOUR STAGE 1 CARRIER AFTER MY C-SECTION?

As soon as you feel comfortable and able to walk and hold your baby safely, you will be able to use your carrier. When wearing your newborn the waistband will be positioned around belly button height which is much higher up than your incision, so it shouldn’t place any pressure on your scar. As with anything medical, it’s always best to listen to your medical practitioner’s advice.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO BREASTFEED IN YOUR CARRIERS?

It will take some practice, but yes! Please see our instructional video on how to breastfeed in our Stage 1 or Stage 2 carrier.

CAN BABYWEARING HELP WITH GAS, COLIC OR REFLUX?

Absolutely. Keeping your baby upright after a feed has been attributed to decreasing the effects of reflux by helping to stop the acid refluxing and your baby vomiting. As soon as your baby has settled after a feed you can put them in the carrier which will keep them in an upright position. The simple natural movement of walking with your baby in a carrier will help calm and settle them.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO WASH MY CARRIER?

Fasten all buckles and wash your carrier in your washing machine with like colours. Do not hang in direct sunlight to dry. Cool wash, do not soak. DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFTENER – it will make the breathable hemp fabric stiff and sticky. Do not tumble dry or dry clean.

WHERE CAN I TRY THEM ON?

Visit one of our UB Agents or Retailers in your area or visit us at our shop in Westlake Lifestyle Centre, Cape Town.

WON’T I BE SPOILING MY BABY OR CREATING BAD HABITS IF I WEAR THEM FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME?

No, there is no such thing as spoiling your baby. Your baby needs as much love and physical touch as possible to help them feel comfortable in their new environment. This is what baby expert Meg Faure has to say on the subject:
“Until 200 years ago all babies were carried on their moms and dad, in slings and carriers. Most babies love to be carried and those who spend a lot of time in a sling or carrier around their parents’ bodies tend to cry less than those who don’t. By keeping your baby close to you, you will provide him with physical contact, security, stimulation and movement, which are all excellent conditions for his development.” Read Meg’s full article here.

I HAVE A STAGE 1 AND WANT TO UPGRADE TO A STAGE 2, DO YOU DO TRADE-INS?

We don’t do trade-ins, however Ubuntu Baba baby carriers come with a lifetime guarantee on all stitching and workmanship, meaning they retain their resale value very well, so you should easily be able to sell your Stage 1 or Stage 2 carrier second hand on the Pre-loved Ubuntu Baba Facebook Group (please note this group is a community run group and we are not responsible for any purchases or sales made on this group).