• Hi lovelies! I’ve been wanting to write this post for a little while but well, time is rather limited at the moment and I have a lot to say about being an Ubuntu Baba Mama.

    Ubuntu Baba, if you don’t know them, is a locally made brand of baby carriers. Designed and manufactured by Capetonian Shannon McLaughlin, she started making these brilliant carriers when her son Leo was a baby. A direct result of not having any joy with carriers she could find here in South Africa.


    After many design trials and wearing tests (Shannon has a lifelike weighted doll she specially imported to help her with these), the Ubuntu Baba was born. And like many many other moms who have been lucky enough to experience wearing one, I couldn’t be more grateful.  I’ve now joined the babywearing cult sisterhood. I too am now espousing the miracle of babywearing to anyone who will hear, shouting my Ubuntu Baba love songs from the rooftops. And I’m not gonna stop anytime soon.

    My only regret with these amazing carriers is that I didn’t discover them sooner. With Charley, I had a very beautiful limited edition Baby Bjorn which I LOVED and which she absolutely hated. She screamed every time I put her into it. Because the one we had is very rigid I can only think she felt too squished in it. My attempts to wear one of those soft, t shirt baby wraps was nothing short of comical and after numerous YouTube tutorials tying myself up in knots and dropping the Baby out the bottom I gave up. Watching The Captain trying to get it right was also downright hilarious.


    Fastforward 2 and a half years after having our Charley Bird, life is a lot different and a little the same. Our toddler is a growing, chatty, curious, funny little girl. With a baby sister. And I only have two hands. Eek!! So here’s the part where I tell you how the Ubuntu Baba has become my best friend.

    When Ava was a week or two old, the novelty of her arrival, long gone, Charley started asking me over and over ‘why you holding her?’ Closely followed by ‘put her down’ and ‘come play Mama’. There were many tears (mostly mine). How could We have betrayed our first born so?! Enter the Ubuntu Baba. When she was three weeks old I was finally brave enough to pop our new little person into a carrier to free up my hands. And I haven’t looked back!!

    When Charley was a few months old I used to stare jealously at Moms nonchalantly wandering the aisles of Woolies with a baby in a carrier and a toddler in tow. Now I too can wander the aisles of Woolies with baby on board, trying desperately to remember what we came for while fending off my two year olds demands for cheese puffs. The baby sleeps through it all, none the wiser, cocooned from her big sister’s repeated ‘why’s’ and protected from the polar temperatures in Woolies.

    So from a practical perspective, my Ubuntu Baba can’t be beaten. It’s also become an afternoon essential when Charley hits the jungle gym and demands to be swung over and over (and over and over) again. I’ve written up a list of reasons for loving being an Ubuntu Baba Mama.

    • The record amount of time it has taken to calm Ava when she’s fractious – is 5 minutes in the Ubuntu Baba. On average she is ‘in tonic’ as The Captain likes to call it, in seconds
    • She’s happy to be awake in it and she loves being asleep in it
    • I can go for long walks with her and I won’t get stuck in any mud or sand as I used to with Charley and her pram
    • Did I mention I can shop and swing no problem?
    • Who knew that the Ubuntu Baba would be my best friend in burping? When Ava has a stubborn wind, into the carrier she goes, out comes the wind. It’s pretty amazing.
    • The Captain actually gets supper nowadays now that I can be hands free. Ok that’s pretty much a lie but I do make supper a couple of times a week thanks to the Ubuntu Baba.
    • Middle of the night can’t-sleep-won’t-sleep? When rocking won’t work, it’s into the Ubuntu Baba for her
    • It’s a LIFESAVER at weekend get togethers with friends. I can still be part of the mix, baby is warm and happy. Everyone is happy.
    • I can work using my Ubuntu Baba. I pop my laptop on the kitchen counter, Ava goes to her happy place and I stand and type. In fact this post was typed on my phone while wearing her and doing the bounce bounce that every Mom is born with and which is unleashed the minute a baby arrives.
    • I haven’t mentioned how easy it is to put on have I? Three clips is all it takes. No fancy twisting and turning of straps. No get-a-degree to figure the damn thing out. It’s a clip and go system.
    • I’ve had no back pain whatsoever from the Ubuntu Baba whereas all the other carriers i tried came with a back pain guarantee.
    If you’re worried about hip displasia, this carrier has a tick of approval for correct hip positioning.
    • Lets not forget the fabulous good looks of the Ubuntu Baba carrier. It’s made of 100%, breathable, UV resistant, super soft Hemp, comes in a few colour ways ( chose grey), has a nifty pocket for stashing keys and dummies and a soft silk hood to protect your baby’s little head.

    What I haven’t mentioned above is my main reason for loving my Ubuntu Baba as much as I do. Yes it’s incredibly practical and allows me to multitask while keeping my baby close to me. And yes it’s probably one of the most essential soothing items you can have in your baby gear arsenal. But if I’m absolutely honest it’s because I find wearing her very soothing for myself. After a fractious day where it’s been difficult to stay focused and to get much done, when I’ve sucked at being patient with our toddler, having this little soul against me, safe and snoozing happily is a priceless gift. It makes me feel I’m doing something very very right.

    Oh and did I mention that there are 2 Ubuntu Baba offerings? One for up to 12kg  and the Stage 2 which can hold kids up to 20kg. If Ava’s not careful I might be carrying her in one until she’s 6!

    So there you have it. Moms to be, aside from a monitor, a dummy and a breast pump (my holy trinity), I cannot recommend this carrier enough. Friends of moms to be, you may think she needs 20 adorable onesies. She doesn’t. She needs an Ubuntu Baba. I promise you. She’ll be grateful to you for ever.

    Here are the three colourways: grey, natural and navy




  • 9 Comments to “Why I’m an Ubuntu Baba Mama”

    1. Lois Carol Wessels on

      Wonderful present to give new mothers – thank you for the info

    2. Lalannie on

      Great review.

    3. Rose McClement on

      Fabulous punt Vicki – I had to crack a smile at your incredible description of life with a toddler and a new baba. It took me right back to those years back in the day ( was that this lifetime still I wonder?). My life changed forever at that stage of motherhood – and it was pure hell with a very sensitive and needy baba. So much so that I rushed back to work at the first chance I got. ( sadly for my little girl). Things have clearly gone a long way for making mom’s life so much better. Viva Ubuntu Baba !!!

    4. Kimberley on

      Baby wearing for the win! Makes life so much more manageable 🙂

    5. Tidi Esther on

      Oh my my my…. I am getting this!
      New baby coming anytime and I was dreading reusing her 3 year sister’s carrier (still good as new because we struggled using it thus kept it in the box). Now here’s something practical… thank you!

    6. Shannon on

      Haha, Vicki you make me laugh and cry at the same time! I’m so glad it’s helped you so much, you almost make me broody again 😉 xxx

    7. Janet on

      Definitely a lifesaver for every.single.new.mom!!!

    8. petra on

      Hi, thanks for this post! With baby no 2 arriving in Feb and a 2 year old running around I’m definitely getting one of these lovelies. xx

    9. Bridget McNulty on

      I’ve been wondering which baby carrier to get now that my newborn is out of her sling – this is it! Thanks Vicki 🙂

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