CatBird Baby Pikkolo Review- and a thank you!

If you’ve been to a meeting, you’ve probably realized we talk a lot about Catbird Baby products.  Catbird Baby Pikkolos and Catbird Baby Mei Tais are well loved in our group.  We’d like to send some huge thank you’s and point out why they are such a hit here!  We received a donation of two newer style Pikkolos earlier this year, and are super excited and wanted to say thanks.   The four libraries have practically had to fight over them they are so popular… We also wanted to share why we love the Catbird Products.

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1.  They are fantastic quality, durable, and a great fit for differently sized babies, caregivers, and caregivers of different abilities.  

They work for small, petite parents, and also taller, fluffier parents alike.  The traditional mei tai is generously sized, easily adjustable, and high quality.  The Pikkolo soft structured carrier (SSC) fits many caregivers easily.   The dual adjust shoulder buckle can be adjusted from both directions.  This means it’s easier for parents who have limited mobility or shorter arms, to be able to adjust them easily.  The buckles can always be pre-set to allow the wearer to pull forward to adjust, which can be a make-it-or-break-it point for some parents.

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2.  They have a truly one-of-a-kind product in the market.  

They are the neatest form of “hybrid” for a carrier that is SSC based, with some of the more traditional, asian style mei tai features blended in.  How is that you ask??  Unlike other SSC’s, where there is a padded waist support, Pikkolo gives you the option to have a padded or unpadded waist.  Without the waist support belt, it is worn in the traditional “Mei Tai” style, also called apron-style, or J style.  Here is a great explanation on what that means:  Defining apron-style

Sometimes caregivers don’t like the waist padding, and prefer less “stuff” around the waist, or might just like the mei tai feel, but want an easy buckle adjust.  This Pikkolo SSC gives that option.  And as babe gets bigger and heavier, the optional support belt can be added!  The dual adjust buckles and strap length allows the carrier to be worn in the X pattern across the back for a front carry.  Many parents find this to be the ULTIMATE carrying position for a front carry.

It’s also a fantastic younger baby carrier because the combination of the unpadded waist and ladderlock buckle (to adjust down the base of the carrier) allows it to be used for smaller babies without any special inserts or attachments.  The buckle just gets adjusted as babe continues to grow, and is a great fit.

They can be worn on the front facing in, on the front facing out (when babe has good head, neck, and trunk control), on the hip, and also on the back!

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3.  They are helping us “spread the love”.

They have offered carriers in the past for the library, so we have some, and have used them extensively.   🙂  They have always been generous, and our group has all loved them… some past the point of retirement.

4.  They are local and we “know” them personally (full disclosure here).  

Catbird Baby is a Chicagoland based manufacturer and distributor, and we love that.  They started out in our neck of the woods.  And the two women who developed both the Mei Tai and the Pikkolo are both FANTASTIC, and we consider them friends.  They were also both involved in the leadership of the two previous groups that merged to form our combined group in January 2011-  (the previous BWI Chicago City Slingers group and Lake County Babywearers group).  One was with Slingers, and the other with Lake County Babywearers.  We love to support local based businesses that have fantastic products.

Beth, the owner of Catbird Baby sent us two newer style Pikkolos earlier this year.  They were so well received and well loved.  I say “newer style” since the version we had previously was the toggle adjust at the base of each side of the carrier, not the current ladderlock buckle.  We still have the older toggle adjust Pikkolo in the library, and they still works great, and are constantly checked out.  We hope to replace more with the newer version this year, since those are close to the point of “too loved to lend out”.

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Photo taken by the 5 year old brother 🙂

5.  They are super easy to find locally.  

It was really great to get the current styles in the library to show what can be found at some of the local stores.  Three local stores that carry her products also offer us free space for our free meetings  (Be By Baby, New Mother New Baby, and Cygnus Lactation).  We also want to say again thank you to these businesses as well!  You make our lives easier, and we appreciate your help!

It’s really nice when a parent is in the market to purchase one and we can show them a Pikkolo and they can actually order or buy it on the spot if they love it.  It’s great when parents find carriers they love and we can help make their lives easier!  Beth has been generous to Babywearing groups in the past (not just ours).

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We want to send a HUGE thank you to Catbird Baby for the donation!!

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Mundelein’s February Meeting

Mundelein’s morning meeting was alot of fun!  We had alot of new moms with us as well as older members of our group. 

Two of our members: Alisa on the left wearing her son Dominic in a Natibaby Fairytales. And Cassia on the right wearing her daughter Vida in a Natibaby Organic Ecru

We went over the various types of carriers that are used. There are 5 main types of carriers mei tais, ring slings, wraps, pouches and SSCs (soft structured carrier). Within all of these categories are many different brands and types.

Ring Slings: a piece of fabric with rings sewn on one end. Primarily worn on front or side/hip. Can be used for a nursing cover or blanket. Can be worn from newborn on up through toddlerhood.
Popular brands: Sakura Bloom, Maya Wrap, Sleeping Baby Production

Pouch: a sized tube of fabric. Primarily worn on front or side/hip. Daddy friendly, no fuss, quick and easy, small for diaper bag. These need to be sized, so most likely will need two different ones to fit mom and dad.
Popular brands: Hotsling, Peanut Shell

Mei Tai: rectangular body with two pairs of straps to tie; one for the waist and another over the shoulders
can be worn front, back or side/hip.
Popular brands: Catbird Baby, Kozy, Babyhawk, Freehand

Soft Structured Carrier (SSC): like a mei tai but with buckle style straps. Can be worn front, back and side/hip. Low learning curve
daddy friendly, no fuss, quick and easy
Popular brands: Ergo, Pikkolo, Action Baby Carrier, Beco, Olives & Applesauce

Wraps: a simple piece of cloth that wraps around the wearer to hold the baby. Worn in several carries in front, back and hip. This type has the highest learning curve but is the most versatile.
There are 2 types of wraps; stretchy(4 way stretch) and woven(diagonal give, most supportive)
Popular stretchy brands: Sleepywrap, Anaju and the Moby
Popular woven brands: Didymos, Natibaby, Ellevill, Storchenwiege

 Another very useful website is www.thebabywearer.com. It  can be like information overload at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to navigate.