Squish D’Lish is a business run by a work-at-home-mama (WAHM) & a name I was familiar with, but I had never experienced any of her work first-hand. So when I was offered the chance to host a full buckle carrier as part of it travels around sling meets & libraries, I jumped at the opportunity.
Squish D’Lish offer custom carriers & wrap conversions in a variety of sizes & styles, even with the option of adding artwork such as appliqué to your carrier. The pricing for carriers will vary depending on the carrier you decide on (ring sling, full buckle, mei tai etc) & the options you choose, but prices start from £16.50 for a gathered shoulder ring-sling conversion (where you provide the wrap to be converted). In terms of the price for a carrier such as this full buckle, a wrap conversion (where you provide the wrap) starts at £75.00 & a standard carrier (fabric provided by Squish D’Lish) starts at £100.
This carrier is a standard-sized full buckle, with the body panel measuring at 16″ x 16″. This could also be referred to by some as an in-between size, as it is the size between the baby (14″ x 14″) & toddler (18″ x 18″) carrier sizes offered by this WAHM. It features a soft-structured waist & a flat hood which are both additions to the standard carrier. It also features perfect fit adjusters (PFAs) & an integrated chest strap.
The first person to have a go with the carrier was Rob, he found it fitted easy to use & get comfortable. One thing he did comment on was the chest strap being fixed. Being fixed, it means you are unable to remove it & he found it occasionally got caught under the strap, when carrying on the front with crossed straps, causing it to dig into him so he would prefer a removable chest strap for this reason.
The carrier also came along to a number of sling meets where quite a few people tried the carrier on so it was a great chance to gather some feedback! The fixed chest strap was commented on as a positive thing, with many members of the group having lost chest straps before! One member felt that the insertion of the buckle on the body panel was a little too high, finding it uncomfortable under her arms & on her chest. A number of members of the group also commented on the width of the straps, feeling that they were too wide for more petite frames.
I tried the carrier in a number of ways, cross & straight strapped in a front carry as well as straight strapped in a back carry. In general, I found the carrier was nice & comfortable although I did come across a few issues, none of which are particularly problematic.
In a front carry, I found that the carrier was generally more comfortable with crossed straps, although I did have the same issues with the chest strap as Rob did. I also found, as with the lady at the sling meet, that where the buckle is inserted into the body panel became a little uncomfortable after carrying for a while. It may be that if the buckle was inserted slightly lower that it wouldn’t become an issue or it may be down to the size of my bust because Rob didn’t have this issue!
With straight straps in a front carry, I did start to notice the width of the straps as mentioned by a number of people at the sling meet. I felt as though I needed the chest strap overly tight to feel like the straps weren’t going to slip off my shoulders. I also found that the padded section of the strap felt quite bulky under my arms. This may be why I found crossed straps, when carrying on my front, more comfortable.
However in a back carry, I really liked the width of the straps! They felt comfortable on my shoulders, didn’t feel at all like they would slip off & weren’t bulky under my arms. It is even possible to get the hood up on your own in a back carry as the straps for the hood are long enough to make it doable!
There are a few little touches I really liked with this carrier. The wrap fabric used for the body of the carrier is really nice & soft yet it feels like it will stand up to use without looking tired. The waistband is slightly padded but the padding is softer so that it doesn’t become uncomfortable when you sit down & it moulds to your shape, yet it is still supportive. The elastic tabs on the end of the webbing means that once the straps are adjusted, you are able to roll the webbing & secure it so that you aren’t left with bits of webbing flapping around everywhere! The PFAs are great to have on padded strap carriers such as this & the dual adjustable buckles on the shoulder straps make it much easier to adjust the straps under your arms & to get comfortable.
The difficulty in reviewing a carrier like this is that a lot of Squish D’Lish carriers are custom orders with the adjustments that are possible being almost endless & whilst that makes reviewing a carrier difficult, it makes the carrier you order truly personal! With a full buckle carrier such as this, you can choose from a variety of carrier sizes, you could remove the fixed chest belt, add a hood, have a firmer waistband or even no waistband at all. You can have petite straps or longer straps, a petite waist, add extra padding such as leg or neck padding. So many things to choose from! As with any carrier, it isn’t going to suit everyone but those it did suit really liked it & those who had things they would change, could have almost all the changes they desired if they were to order a custom!
Overall, this is a lovely carrier. Would I have a Squish D’Lish? Based on this carrier, yes. It is well constructed & well thought out, with lots of little touches that make it a really nice carrier to use.