Lots of our customers have been asking about some of the differences between the Coorie and Cairis carriers. Below is a comparison of the unique elements to each carrier.
Both carriers have been inspired by the traditional Mei-Tai. The main difference between them is the waist belt and shoulder straps. The Cairis has a padded waist belt with a buckle fastening and padded shoulder straps. The Coorie has a pleated waist belt with a ring fastening and carefully pleated shoulder straps with light padding. Both Carriers have been hand crafted in Scotland by highly skilled seamstresses. Read on for more details and info to help you choose.
Mother of two, qualified Doula and Oscha model Diana Warner put our toddler Cairis to the test. She also provides an insight into what her husband thinks of the carrier below.
The Toddler Cairis is fantastic. Oscha’s design for this is wonderfully insightful. The little details that went into the design elements are evident.
Lets chat about the specifics of the carrier; I have measurements as seen in the picture below laid against the Baby Cairis so you can get a good idea of what to expect in hand if you’re familiar with that one and other mei-tai carriers. I have also taken a picture of the toddler Cairis laid flat out so that you can understand its entire shape.
This week we are excited to launch our toddler sized Cairis. A development from the Baby Cairis it is specially designed to carry your bigger children. Suitable from approximately 2 – 5 years the Cairis will be comfortable for toddlers through to pre-school age.
The special features of the toddler Cairis include:
– Padded waist band that goes all the way around your middle for increased lumber support, which adds structure to the carrier yet adapts to the wearer.
– Straps flare to 1/2 wrap width giving a wider area for support for bigger children (the Baby has a more gentle flare of 1/3 wrap width keeping the Carrier light and easy to use for smaller children)
– Leg padding for your the child’s comfort
– Seat darts provide a contoured shape for childs comfort and easy positioning
The Toddler Cairis contains some of our most successful features from the baby Cairis, which we have had great feedback on from our customers; such as our unique Strata-linea® Waistband (patent pending). This provides elegance & comfort by preventing webbing digging into your waist, as well as giving support.
The International Hip Dysplasia Institute acknowledges Oscha Woven Wraps, Ring Slings, Baby Cairis and Coorie as “hip-healthy” baby carriers (when used as directed). This means that our slings provide the correct support to your child’s hips, which encourages the normal hip joint development that is especially important during the child’s first 6 months.
The IHDI has reviewed the Oscha products that are suitable for babies under 6 months as the risk of hip dysplasia or dislocation is greatest in the first few months of life. By six months of age, most babies have nearly doubled in size, the hips are more developed and the ligaments are stronger, so are less susceptible to developing hip dysplasia.
IHDI supports proper babywearing with the hips in the M-position as a method to encourage healthy hip development. Our Coorie and Todder Cairis also hold the hips in this position as recommended by the IHDI but as these products are for use with older babies, they are not eligible to be tested for ‘hip healthy’ positioning.
A little information about healthy hip positioning:
If you would like to read more about Hip Dysplasia and baby carriers, you may want to read Dr Rosie Knowles blog post about ‘Busting some Hip- Healthy Myths’. Rosie is a qualified GP and an experienced Sling Consultant. http://www.sheffieldslingsurgery.co.uk/healthy-hips-busting-some-myths/ she explores Hip Dysplasia in detail and recommends different styles of carriers for healthy hips.
You can explore the International Hip Dysplasia website to read more about hip healthy positioning and the research around preventing hip dysplasia here http://hipdysplasia.org/
We sent one of our Cairis carriers to a family who were just beginning to explore babywearing with their first child. We asked Lauren how she got on trying it out with her son. They received one of the first completed carriers 7 months ago just as he was born.
What were your first impressions of the Oscha Cairis?
The fabric- quality and design- were absolutely beautiful, and the sling as whole, extremely attractive; it had a real ‘wow’ factor (subsequently reflected in the number of comments I received when I wore it out and about). The accompanying instructions were very clear
How easy did you find using it and putting it on at the beginning? Were you used to using any other baby slings or woven wraps?
I had never used a sling or woven wrap before and found the Cairis very easy to use. We followed the instructions step-by-step and had the carrier in use within five minutes.
You can see how easy it is to use the Cairis with a new born by viewing our instructional video.
Do you find it comfortable to wear for long periods?
It is very comfortable to wear. When my baby was very young I commonly wore it for up to 6 hours. I am quite petite and it adapted very well to my size. Likewise, my son was a particularly small baby, and I loved how the sling could be adapted for him.
When do you tend to wear your baby in the Cairis?
Around the house, out shopping, running errands (particularly when using public transport). When Owen was younger (and the weather was nicer) I used it out on long country walks.
Is it easy to transport when you are out and about and your child is being carried?
Yes- I use the bag that came with it. It folds down well so it very convenient to transport.
How happy do you think your child is in the sling? Is it a good height for them to see out?
He’s always been very happy in the sling. I regularly use it to comfort him when he’s distressed and almost instantly calms. It is a good height for him to see out.
Do you prefer to use it on your back, front or both?
I’ve only recently starting using it on the back, and I now prefer it as it’s easier to go about tasks, and now he’s heavier, it is more comfortable for longer periods.
How easy do you find adjusting the size when sharing it with your partner?
With a little bit of practise, very easy.
Over all, how happy are you with the appearance and functionality of the carrier?
Very happy. Given I had never used a sling before, I wanted something easy to use, and the Cairis was certainly that; I felt confident using it almost immediately. A real advantage for us was being able to adapt the sling, using the cinch, for when our son was first born; he was of a relatively low birth weight so he would have been too small for mainstream carriers. It was lovely wearing something so attractive, and I constantly received compliments on the carrier when using it.
Will you continue to use the Cairis?
Do you have any other comments?
Receiving the sling instantly changed the way I went about the day. My son loved being in the carrier, and I would wear it for large chunks of the day; I knew he was happy, and I could talk to him as I went about activities. Because it is so convenient to use, it made it so much easier for my husband and I to go out- using for example public transport or out on long walks in the countryside. He would either sleep, or watch what was going on around him.
We asked Rosie Knowles from Sheffield Sling Surgery to review our new, half buckle, soft structured carrier.
Rosie is a family doctor based in Sheffield, UK and has been carrying her children for seven years; she is a Sling consultant and a certified babywearing consultant instructor.
It’s been a privilege to work with Oscha on the development of their new soft structured carriers. The Coorie ring-tai is a fabulous carrier, amazingly comfortable with painstaking attention to detail. The new baby Cairis half-buckle is a simpler soft structured carrier, once again made from Oscha wrap fabric, designed for use with children between 7 and 15lb. It is handmade in Scotland with the same loving care and with focus on comfort for both parent and child.
What is a Half-Buckle?
A half-buckle is a mei tai with a buckled waistband and long straps that can be wound around the body to distribute the weight of the child.
The waistband of the Cairis is minimalist, to avoid bulkiness for a younger baby, and to prevent any digginess around the hips for an adult. There is no padding in the very central section of the waist, with light, soft padding at the corners of the panel that moulds nicely around your contours. This light padding carries on into a long “tongue” of fabric which ensures that the side-positioned buckle doesn’t dig in. The webbing moves smoothly and is easy to tighten.
This minimalist style makes it easy to “cinch” the waistband to make it narrower for a younger child. Oscha provide a ruched semi-elastic strap that can be tied around the base of the panel, making it both shorter and narrower. This will ensure that a small baby’s legs are not over-spread and the panel isn’t too tall.
The Cairis has lightly padded shoulder straps that fan out into wrap straps that are about a quarter of the width of the full wrap. The angle of the straps has been carefully chosen to keep them resting on the flat of the shoulder, rather than riding too high towards the neck. This, combined with the breadth of the curved top panel, helps to avoid any feeling of constriction or restriction of view for baby. The padded straps are sewn in such a way to allow moulding and they stay in place well rather than sliding around (due to the grip of the fabric). The wrap straps are easy to tighten snugly and aren’t too bulky around baby’s knee. The little extra width keeps the bunching for the leg passes comfortable, and they can be spread a little for some extra seat support. The fact that the straps are not super wide is helpful to avoid getting tangled up in excess fabric and it would be easy to use this in windy weather, for example.
The panel is lovely and floppy, which allows for a good degree of snug fit, which you often don’t get with more structured panels, and allows adjustability for a range of sizes of child. There is no bulky padding at the sides, but the double thickness of the soft wrap means that it is still comfy around the legs. The top half of the panel has a little bit of very soft floppy padding that adds a little support around the upper body and neck. It has a fully removable hood that can be ruched up along the two fabric runners at the side, and can be attached to the panel and the straps by a clever system of loops and poppers that add plenty of adjustability.
How does it feel?
It feels lovely, as it is so lightweight and soft. It is very easy to use, being very simple without too much fabric to feel swamped by. The light padding to the waistband means it is mouldable and comfortable with no digging around my middle. The straps were a good width for me; not too wide and I was able to keep them central on my shoulders. The knot is easy to make as the straps are not at all bulky, and as they are fairly narrow compared to something like the Coorie, I felt more comfy when I took the time to spread the width around my side, and for heavier babies, to have them spread across baby’s bottom for extra lift. The panel is quite tall, but as it is so soft and lightweight it is very easy to allow it to fold down over the waistband slightly to reduce its height. Being double thickness, it doesn’t sag.
I had to take a little care with hip scooting into a back carry to ensure the long waistband tongue remained in place, but it was lovely to have the padding rather than webbing across my front. It was fairly easy to spread the wrap straps across baby’s bottom for extra lift due to their reduced width; this would be preferable for a heavy baby/small toddler. I found knotted finishes more useful than knotless, as the straps didn’t have the bulk and heaviness required for the friction-dependent knotless finishes like the Tibetan. To be honest, the padded straps were robust and supportive enough with no sliding around not to need this kind of finish.
The body panel is made of two layers of wrap fabric and is rectangular, 38 cm (15in) at the base of the panel where it meets the waistband and about 45cm high from the waistband to the top of the gentle curve. The top half of the panel has some light padding across the full width to add a little support. The hood is adjustable (by runners of fabric at the two sides), it rolls up and can be secured with cute little poppers.
The padded section of the shoulder straps is medium width – 8 cm wide and the padded part before the straps flare out into half the width of the wrap is 47 cm. The total length of the straps is about 215 cm. The wrap strap width is about 18cm.
It has been carefully and thoughtfully handmade with very neat stitching and hemming. There is appropriate sinkage at the shoulders with sturdy box stitching visible on the outside, and the panel feels well sunk into the waistband and the shoulder straps are the same. The hood loops are very sturdily sewn. I have not seen the internal structure of the carrier but it has passed all the relevant safety standards.
I really like this baby buckle tai. Much of the comfort and all the style of an Oscha wrap in a simple and easy to use package, that is suitable from birth. I’d be most happy to have this in my library and would have used one for my own children on the days when wrapping just wasn’t practical.
Making the Cairis – Style & comfort through simplicity
Each of our carriers has a slightly different focus – the Coorie embodies elegance and intricate tailoring, the Cairis is stylishly simple and easy to use. With both of them my focus has been on making an extremely comfortable waistband and trying to create the snug, supported feeling of being in a woven wrap.
The baby Cairis (meaning ‘to care for’ in traditional, colloquial Scots) is suitable from the newborn stage, it is accessible for new babywearers, and has a pretty, streamlined aesthetic, making it a pleasure to use. It is essentially a half-buckle but with a few very unique elements that make it quite special.
The really exciting new feature of the Cairis has to be our Strata-linea® waistband (patent pending). After much dreaming, puzzling, trial and error we came up with something that is simple, yet super effective. A padded ‘tongue’ extends the waist band – it sits behind the buckle and goes round the waist to protects the wearer from digging caused by narrow areas of pressure on a waistband.
Not only does the Strata-linea® waistband feel extremely comfortable, it also looks pretty, and, with the reduced digging, it creates a pleasing silhouette for the wearer. I’m so excited to finally bring out this new development as it was what I was always searching for when trying out so many carriers (really a lot!) with my children. We have used a lightweight, safety tested, YKK buckle and co-ordinate the webbing to keep the styled look throughout.
We carefully considered how to streamline the Cairis to showcase the beauty of the woven fabric and to offer a baby carrier that is simple to use and light-weight. We made the Cairis fully reversible and avoided using any stiff foam so that you can easily roll the waist to make the body panel exactly the right height for your baby. This allows the carrier to grow with your child.
We also created two accessories that further expand the time you can use the carrier with your child – the hood and the body panel cinch. The cinch can be tied around the body of the carrier and pushed down towards the waist band. Used in combination with rolling the waist, this makes the body panel the right height and width for newborn and very young babies.
The Cairis has a curved headrest which provides essential head support for infants and until your child is around 4-6 months. When you find your child has grown too tall for the headrest to provide support when they fall asleep, the hood can be used. We have made the hood detachable so that it does not get in the way when you are putting on the carrier and also when you don’t need it. It is simple to attach and easily adjustable, with poppers and rouches to create support where it is needed.
The carrier features unique Oscha ‘Flare’ straps; padded shoulder straps that fan out from a central join – we’re pleased with this feature, it is simple and effective yet looks very pretty and neatly displays the reverse of the fabric when the straps are spread. Flare straps provide cushioning over your shoulders but allow you to spread the fabric out under your child to increase support if desired.
The features we’ve included in the baby Cairis make it perfect for its intended age range (from newborn up to 2 years, 7lbs – 25lbs). We are also currently developing a toddler version with elements that will make it ideal for children of that age and we hope that this will be available to purchase within the next few months.
The baby Cairis has been safety tested to BS EN 13209-2:2005 & ASTM:F2236-14.
I am proud to introduce the Oscha Cairis to our carrier range, and can’t wait to see it coming to life in a wide selection of our patterns and colourways over the coming months. We have some reviews to share with you over the next few days and maybe even a give away ahead of the launch next week. I hope you will love it as much as we do!