Yesterday I tried out both the manduca and the sleepy wrap. Here’s a report. I didn’t end up buying either but will probably either buy the manduca or the ergo.
Sleepy wrap pros:
1) Supposedly good for breastfeeding, skilled user can just use it without needing even a nursing cover. I don’t really see myself doing that, just as I have never managed with a ring sling, which is the other recommendation of something good for breastfeeding.
2) Very soft and stretchy material that completely wraps around baby. According to the person explaining to us, all carriers essentially imitate the wrap but the buckles and straps are for ease of use, sacrificing the contouring around baby. Baby feels most safe and secure with maximum wrapping.
3) Good weight distribution, cannot even identify where the weight is being carried.
Sleepy wrap cons:
1) Quite difficult to use. Complicated tie around mum’s body required before slipping baby in. When baby is out, the carrier either has to leave the unsightly wrap tied all over her body or undo it and retie all over again. When we did it, the cloth was so long it was ievitably dragging on the floor a lot and thereafter Sophia kept chewing at it.
2) Only suitable for use up to 18 months.
3) Sophia did not fall asleep in it, which she did with the manduca.
1) Quite easy to use, especially now that Sophia’s neck is strong enough to not require the infant insert.
2) Infant insert is build in. I know I just said Sophia doesn’t really need it but I’m sure if I buy another carrier requiring an infant insert, I will buy it just in case. Afterall, her neck is only just about stable enough so I would probably use it for another month or two to be safe.
3) Also excellent weight distribution such that I don’t feel it on my shoulders unlike another brand I am currently using.
4) Material seems sturdy but not too thick.
5) Sophia fell asleep in it after walking around for a while.
6) Sophia was comfortable even when I was sitting down because her legs were to the side so the seat did not both her, unlike when using carriers where her legs are dangling downwards
7) Suitable for use up to probably such time that she doesn’t even require carrying anymore.
1) Not as close to mummy as sleepy wrap
2) Possibly because of 1 above, Sophia has some space to move her head such that she’s facing mummy and for a while was burrowing her head into my chest wanting to suckle.
3) Bulkier than sleepy wrap when not in use. Sleepy wrap can be folded into a small rectangular pouch while manduca will still be slightly bulky when folded up. However, the manduca can be left strapped on the body without looking too stupid but the sleepy wrap (to me) cannot.
There, here’s my assessment of 2 out of 3 of the carriers I shortlisted. Between the 2 I will get the manduca because of ease of use now its time to check out the ergo to see if the difference between the manduca and the ergo is worth the price difference between the 2. So far I have not seen any review by someone who has used both and preferring the ergo. Everyone who has tried both say that the manduca is better, although users of ergo who haven’t tried the manduca do say they love it so I guess the ergo is great but the manduca is probably THAT much better for all the small reasons that you can’t really put a finger on.