By Fran Grant
I’ve long been a fan of the “half buckle” style of baby carrier, since snapping up a well-priced used one to try out when my first baby was a year old. The speed and support of the buckle waist plus the adjust-ability and comfort of the long fabric shoulder straps was a winning combination. Half buckles are a variation on the Meh-Dai, a traditional baby carrier originating in China. Meh Dais typically have a soft fabric panel to support the baby, with long straps at the top and bottom that tie around the wearer. Contemporary variations may have structured or unstructured waistbands, padded or wrap-style straps, cinch-able panels to adjust for baby size, hoods, and a range of other features.
Fast forward a few years and a couple more kids, and along came the DidyKlick from Didymos. Holy tempting. With a simple buckle waist and one of my favourite features – wide wrap straps – it was hard to resist. But by baby number three I’d accrued a lot of carriers and another was hard to justify, so I tested one out through Little Zen One’s “Try Before You Buy” program. The DidyKlick that arrived on my doorstep – the simple but pretty Ocean twill – was brand new and in loom state, yet with a wash and air dry, and not even an iron to soften it up, it was pliable, comfortable, easy to use, and quickly on its way to floppiness. The support with my chunky 3-month-old was fabulous. It was a lot like wearing a wrap but with less of the guesswork, and none of the seat popping.
A bad case of shoulder tendinitis finally pushed me to buy my own. For a while I couldn’t babywear at all, and even when I started to wear again, I couldn’t wrap. The DidyKlick offered that wrap feeling, but was so much easier to maneuver and tighten. Now I just had to choose one! Ideally, I wanted something sturdy and cushy to protect my shoulders and often achy back, and support my tall, heavy baby. I also wanted something I could comfortably use in warm weather, to take on an upcoming six-week family trip. After much research and consideration, I chose the dreamily botanical Green Thicket (shown in pictures).
My wee baby is now over 18 months, still tall and solid, and our DidyKlick still serves us well. This can absolutely be a “one and done” carrier for most folks who carry their babies. The panel can be cinched narrow for a newborn (it’s secured to the waistband with internal Velcro), and adjusted for height by tightening the pull cord and toggle. At full extension, it works right into toddler-hood, provided the top of the panel reaches to the child’s armpits.
The wrap straps are lovely and wide, being half the width of the wrap fabric they’re cut from, so there’s plenty to spread out across your shoulders and back (if carrying on your front) and across your baby’s bottom. Extra length can be spread across the chest for extra support if back carrying, or tied into fancy finishes. The hood is easy to snap up or to cinch tight for added neck support. I love leg padding for little ones, and the Klick has generous cushioning under baby’s thighs, avoiding the digging that some cinchable panels cause along the edges when narrowed. This hybrid carrier is a brilliant option for many babywearers: comfortable, versatile, it really is like a wrap for buckle users, or a buckle carrier for wrappers, and it’s definitely worth a try.
Check out the full Didymos DidyKlick collection here.