My oldest son was born 5 weeks premature and spent time in the NICU. It was several days after he was born that I was finally able to hold him and it was pure magic! I held him for almost 2 hours doing skin-to-skin and his health drastically improved. My husband and I did as much skin-to-skin as we were able and each time he seemed to get stronger and thrive more. I knew I wanted to do skin-to-skin for my second child. So, when I heard about VIJA Design’s Kangaroo Care Shirt, I was instantly intrigued.
When my shirt first arrived, I was surprised how thick it was. I had been envisioning a much thinner shirt and was curious how long I’d comfortably be able to wear a baby. The thickness makes the shirt feel much more supportive and like a normal baby carrier.
I really like that they offer clear instructions about how to use this product on their website. And they send an instructional postcard in with your purchase that has pictures to show you how to get your newborn in the shirt. This makes it easy for new parents to figure out (especially those who are sleep-deprived.) I can’t tell you how many hours my husband and I spent looking at YouTube videos on how to work some of our baby carriers the first time around!
It did take me a few times of putting our baby in the shirt for me to get the hang of it. I originally put him in the outer pouch and then realized I should put him inside the inner criss-crossed parts. I had my husband help me one time and it was easy for him to slip our son into the shirt. The third time, I did it on my own and found it to be fast. My son loves snuggling next to me and it’s perfect now that the weather is getting chillier.
This shirt also converts to a nursing shirt, which makes it ideal if you are planning on traveling anywhere with your newborn. I’m a big fan of versatile clothing, especially when traveling, so the fact that it’s a carrier and a nursing shirt is a win for me! I can see this being especially useful on an airplane. I tested out the ease of nursing in it and I found it to be just as convenient as a regular nursing shirt. It can be worn as a nursing shirt out and about and then I can slip in my newborn for his post-nursing milk-drunk nap.
The only thing I don’t like about this shirt is that it feels a bit short. Granted, I have a longer torso, but I’d feel so much more comfortable if it were about 3 inches longer. I like to wear this shirt with yoga pants, which are usually medium to low-rise. I don’t like it when the shirt rides up to show an inch of skin.
I wore this shirt just 3 days after giving birth because I was really excited to try it out. Because the fabric is thick and designed to be supportive, it was perfect postpartum. It was snug around my ever-changing tummy, which felt really good. I also felt really confident having my super newborn inside the shirt. He was very snug to my body so I wasn’t worried about him flopping around. I could hear him breathing and cooing the whole time. This shirt made it easy for me to wear him while eating, drinking, checking email, packing the diaper bag, going up and down the stairs, etc.
What I especially like about this product is that I’m able to be more hands-on with my toddler. I’m able to sit on the floor and play trains with him while knowing my newborn is safe and snug inside my Kangaroo Care shirt. It also enables me to grab my toddler milk, make him lunch, hold his hand while heading up for nap time, and giving him snuggles with both arms. My toddler stills gets the physical attention that all kids crave.
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