Gear Review: Cat Bird Baby Pikkolo Baby Carrier

    The CatBird Baby Pikkolo baby carrier is an excellent low-profile and highly versatile carrier that is well-made and extremely comfortable.  It is ideal for babies newborn to ~25 pounds (see reasoning why below), though is rated to 40 pounds.

     

    The seat on the carrier can be modified to increase or decrease the width so even a couple month old baby can be worn with their feet out and dangling in an ergonomic hold.  I find that my babies are putting weight on their legs between 2.5- 3 months (so a “froggy” hold can get a bit annoying when they are awake because they want to push off), but they aren’t big enough to spread their legs around me for a regular hold.  Because the seat can be adjusted means they can have their legs out if I want them to without extra bulk.

     

    Cat Bird Baby Pikkolo Baby Carrier

     

    The fact that you can change the width of the seat also means that it’s possible to wear Baby in an ergonomic (knees above hips) front-facing position.  I personally advise against this for a number of reasons (see why here), but it DOES allow that option if that is important to you.  Because of my strong opinion on this, I won’t be reviewing that aspect of the carrier right now.   The Pikkolo is worn “apron style” so the Baby is actually sitting on the folded up part of the carrier.  There is an option of adding a support belt ($25) for babies 20+ pounds.  However, it isn’t something you can easily take on and off so if you are switching often between kids being worn, it’s not a great accessory.  The idea is a good concept, but I didn’t like how it actually worked out.  The straps dug into my waist and I didn’t think it actually added that much support.

    Cat Bird Baby Pikkolo Baby Carrier

    26+ pound 3 year old in Pikkolo with Support Belt

    Best functions of the Pikkolo:

    – For wearing newborns with no insert needed (either with legs “froggy style” or hanging out using the more narrow seat option)

    – For low bulk and easy to store/carry for on-the-go wearing

    – For smaller babies who are old enough to have their feet out of the carrier, but aren’t big enough to reach a wider seat (my kids were all small and this was an issue.)

    – If you want the option to do a front-facing carry

     

    What I love:

    – The memory foam straps are comfortable on my shoulders AND lower profile which means less bulk.  When I am already wearing a baby, I don’t need any more “stuff” on my person than necessary.

    – The absence of a waist support strap on the original pikkolo means that you again have less bulk when you don’t need it (and can add it if you want it.)

    – The hood tucks into a hidden pocket in the carrier when not in use. It’s really low bulk (just like the rest of the carrier) AND provides ample coverage for most kids

    – The straps can cross when using a front carry, which translates into greater comfort for the wearer with heavier loads on front (loads = kids)

     

    Cat Bird Baby Pikkolo Baby Carrier

    – The straps also have two-way adjustment on the buckles so they can be pulled either direction (HUGE for me personally) – The design options are attractive

    Cat Bird Baby Pikkolo Baby Carrier

     

    What I am not so crazy about:

    – The way the support/shade hood attaches to the straps is really tricky.  It requires threading the strap through a loop in the strap, and I am always fumbling with it.  While I love how the hood is adjustable by toggle, I really miss snaps that are quick and easy for getting the hood over Baby.

    Cat Bird Baby Pikkolo Baby Carrier

    – While I love the idea of the support belt, it just isn’t as supportive as other carriers with integrated support belts.  The CatBird Baby Carrier excels with just it’s primary design and for smaller babies.  If you mean to carry a big child for extended periods of time (20+ pounds), this carrier isn’t the best.  Plus if you want to add the support belt, it’s an extra $25.

    – There are absolutely no pockets.  While I am not a huge fan of a bunch of bulk or objects poking Baby in the back, I miss having somewhere to keep my phone and keys.

    Cat Bird Baby Pikkolo Baby Carrier

    Putting the support belt on the Pikkolo


    The Bottom Line

    CatBird Baby is definitely a smaller company (compared to the "big name" carriers out there) that makes a carrier that measures up well with the competition for smaller children. It is ideal for front-carries (because of the ability to cross the straps for better support) and children up to about 25 pounds. After that point, I miss a padded support belt.



    In back carriers, with or without the support belt accessory, the straps dig into my waist (which means I am not comfortable for long periods of time.) However, it is my preferred carrier for front carries.

    I recommend it for people who plan to only wear their babies when they are small (at least in this carrier).



    © 2014, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

      Comments

      1. Melissa C. says:

        I agree 100%! I loved the Pikkolo from birth (9lbs for my little dude) to ~9mo, but once the support belt was necessary we switched to a different carrier. In addition to all the advantages you listed I found that the crossing dual-adjust straps made it the most nursing-friendly carrier I tried. I would loosen one side and tighten the other to rotate the carrier slightly on my body while only dropping it a touch. The hood combined with a cardigan or something else worn over the straps gave great coverage without restricting access. I also find the compact body of the carrier really good for my petite 5’3″ frame when there’s a small baby in there.

        • Great points, Melissa! Totally forgot to add in the bit about nursing. I found it very easy to nurse in too – will go and edit that! 🙂 Thanks!!!

      2. Morgan says:

        I love my Pikkolo too! I do have to disagree on your opinion of the support belt though! I think it very much depends on the waist size of the mama wearing it in my experience. I am a petite woman carrying a 23lb toddler and the support belt does just what it needs to. BUT I know some mamas who are larger than me and carry extra hip and abdomen weight and the support just isn’t the same for them. We have been using our carrier since Jan ’14 with a 3 week old now 16 months old. Thanks for your review! Love many of the points you made just didn’t want someone to be discouraged by the support belt. 🙂

      3. Thank you so much for this post. My baby likes to be carried on my hip. Is this carrier comfortable for hip carry? Can you send me a picture of the way it looks like on the back when is being worn as a hip carrier? thank you very much.

        • Hi Johana – I honestly can’t speak on that because I NEVER use any carrier on my hip. Just personal preference!

      4. I would also like to add that as a small person 156cm and weight of 49kg this is the only carrier that I’ve found I can comfortably wear. I started using it when my son was 6kg and can still carry him at 17 months happily and without discomfort and I’m still able to breastfeed him too while walking around. I don’t use the added support belt as it just isn’t comfortable for my small frame. I also need to have both arm adjustments completely closed for a comfortable high back carry so if you’re smaller than me I’d strongly suggest you try before you buy. Best things I love is the memory foam shoulders and that it is suitable to give a firm fit on a smaller person. I’ve never worn my son forward facing in this carrier.

      5. Thanks Sasha! So good to know and helpful to pass on 🙂 I always suggest trying them on too – so many body types and so many carriers… 😉

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