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Tula love

At the risk of sounding like a crazy Tula lady, I decided to write a blog post on Tulas. A friend of mine was asking me about Tulas the other day and when I started explaining the different kinds {canvas, wrap conversions} and about the stockings and buy/sell/trade pages, I realized there is a lot of information to take in and that I must, indeed, sound like a crazy Tula lady. So here it goes....

{In this blog post, I am only going to discuss the Tula buckle carriers, not the ring slings or woven wraps.}

First of all, you are probably wondering what a Tula is. It is an ergonomical baby carrier, along the same lines as a Boba or an Ergo; all three of these are also in the same price point. I really like this blog post by the Happy Hippie Homemaker that explains the differences between the three, "Ergo vs Boba vs Tula carrier comparison." The blog post is biased towards Tulas, but it still does a good job showing the differences between each carrier. Why did I choose Tula? I needed a carrier that would be easy on my back and that would work well for our long babies. Tula sounded like the best option for those reasons. On top of that, I loved the pattern varieties. If I'm going to wear a baby, it might as well be in a fashionable carrier that matches my wardrobe! ;)

I'm not going to talk about Bobas or Ergos anymore, just Tulas. There are two different sizes of Tulas, standard and toddler. This is what the Tula website says on the sizing for a standard Tula:
• From 15 - 45 lbs
• Can be used for newborns 8 lbs+ if used with the Tula Infant Insert
 This is what the Tula website says on the sizing for the a toddler Tula:
TULA Toddler Carrier is design to wear children from about 18 months (and/or about 25 pounds) to 4+ year old. We typically recommend not using the Toddler size Tula until your child reaches 32 inches or taller. 
There are, however, many different types of Tulas. These come in the two different sizes, standard and toddler:
  1. Canvas
  2. Semi wrap conversion
  3. Half wrap conversion
  4. Full wrap conversion
You are like, whoa, whoa, whoa... What is a wrap conversion? Tula has a blog and they posted this guide, "What's the difference between canvas, semi, half, and full Tulas?" That guide shows the differences between the types of Tulas much better than I could. {If you looked at that blog post and are now wondering what a woven wrap is, check out this blog post buy Where in the World is Erin? called, "The Weird and Wonderful World of Woven Wraps."}

If you are wondering about price, canvas Tulas are much less expensive than a wrap conversion. Wrap conversions tend to come in far more beautiful colors and designs, though there are still a lot of pretty canvas prints {I have a canvas Tula that I love!}. Why are wrap conversions so much more expensive? Because you are paying for the price of the Tula plus the price of the wrap conversion that adorns your Tula. You are also buying a limited quantity product. There are often only a handful {and maybe only one!} of any given wrap conversion, whether it be semi, half, or full.

But do they work the same? Yes, they do work the same. I have a semi wrap conversion and a canvas Tula. I don't notice much of a difference between the two. There is a lot of debate on Tula boards whether wrap conversions give more support or not. I sometimes think that the semi wrap conversion does give more structure and support, but then I wear my canvas and it is so easy to wear and I think it is just as supportive... I know that isn't a very good answer, so go back to the straight answer: they do work the same. :)

Why would you buy a wrap conversion over a canvas if they work the same? Basically because they are beautiful. There are some gorgeous drool-worthy wrap conversions. I would absolutely love to own the entire collection! I love that Tula makes ergonomical baby wearing beautiful.

So now you are thinking, yes, I'm ready. I know which kind of Tula I want to buy, let's go buy it! Well... there's a few tips and tricks to buying a Tula.

The website has several canvas Tulas always in stock. Check out these links for "standard Tula" and "toddler Tula." Tula will often release new prints for canvas, probably about every month or so. If they sell out of a popular print, they will have a restocking for those prints fairly often. On the other hand, they often switch up their inventory, so if there is a canvas print you love, it might be a good idea to snatch it up in case they stop carrying it. The best way to find out about new prints and canvas stockings is on Tula's Facebook page.

Wrap conversions are a different story. If you notice on their webpage when you scroll over the "Shop" tab, the wrap conversion link says, "Wrap conversions-- sold out." If you click on that link, you will see pages and pages of beautiful wrap conversions, none of which are in stock. Wrap conversions are stocked in, basically, a flash sale style. A fairly small selection of wrap conversions {a mix between semi, half, and full wrap conversions in standard and toddler sizes} gets stocked on the Tula webpage every two weeks, mostly on Sundays. On Friday and Saturday, Tula will post previews of the stocking on their Facebook page. The stocking may include only what is on those previews or it may include even more beautiful wrap conversions. Shortly before the stocking goes live, Tula posts the wrap conversions on their webpage. Instead of the tab that says "Wrap conversions-- sold out" under "Shop," there are two new links: "Wrap conversions standard" and "Wrap conversions toddler." My mom and I got online for a stocking one time and watched all the wrap conversions sell out in twenty minutes, standard and toddler. When the link goes live for purchasing, the Tulas go fast.

All right, you are thinking. I'm ready for a stocking! But the link went live and you didn't score. Now how do you get a wrap conversion? Or a no longer carried canvas?

My best tip is Facebook. If you look up local baby wearing buy/sell/trade pages to you, you may find a Tula pop up on there. There is also a huge Tula buy/sell/trade page that is very active and has strict page guidelines.

If you go on those pages, you'll notice that most of those wrap conversions are being sold well over retail prices, some of them nowhere near retail prices. Why is that? Because a lot of those wrap conversions are very hard to find. As I said before, some of them are the one and only and some are made with beautiful and also hard to find woven wraps. If you are looking to score a wrap conversion near retail on the buy/sell/trade Facebook page, my best tip is turn on all notifications for the group and stalk it. It may take time, but there are good deals and wrap conversions sold near retail. They are snatched up fast so be vigilant {and Pay Pal ready}. Keep stalking the buy/sell/trade pages and you definitely can score a wrap conversion for close to retail.

As for scoring a canvas on a buy/sell/trade page, I'd be wary about paying over retail unless it is a print you have to have. You might have your reasons for paying over retail for a canvas Tula, but it probably won't hold its value at over retail. The only exception, obviously, being an out of print canvas, but, even then, I would be hesitant to pay much over retail for even that.

Well, Facebook buy/sell/trade pages aren't for me, you might be thinking. Where can I buy these in store? Wrap conversions you will most likely not be able to buy in a store outside of a Tula stocking. There are *few* wrap conversions sold anywhere else and most of those are up for giveaways or drawings or chance to buys... Not just walking in to a store and seeing a lovely half wrap conversion and thinking, "My, I'll buy that one..." There are a lot of stores that carry canvas Tulas, especially local baby boutiques. If you are on the Facebook page Tula Love, there is a whole document in the Files section called, "Tula Retailers." {That link will not work for you unless you are a member of the group Tula Love.}

Note: Tula Love also has several other useful files, like tips for scoring in a stocking and deciphering the acronyms on the buy/sell/trade pages and tips on whether you need a standard or toddler size for your child.

Now that you have found your Tula and bought your Tula, what else do you need? My recommendation is to wait on buying the infant insert. There is a chance you will not need it, even with a newborn. Our baby #4 was a large baby and very long. I was able just to tuck his legs into the Tula and carry him that way. When he was finally too long to wear that way, a friend recommended rolling a blanket under his bottom. This picture of putting a blanket under the newborn is shared on the baby wearing pages:

There is also a world of accessories you can add to your Tula: suck pads, drool pads, hoodies... You can get your Tula customized, such as this site, "Pimp my carrier" or at PaxBaby. My recommendation, again, wait. You may want suck pads; you may not. Wait until you decide if you need them/want them. Another tip: if you are concerned about the resale value of your Tula, a customized Tula will probably not sell for what you paid to customize it. Still want a customized Tula? Consider a cover to pull over yours without affecting the resale value. Want everyone to know how much you love your Tula? Maybe you need a Tula decal.

Why is everyone so crazy about Tula? I don't consider myself a hardcore babywearer. I like baby wearing because it lets me keep up with my older three children without pushing a stroller {even our fabulous Baby Jogger City Select}. It gives me the freedom to do things around the house without having to balance a baby as well. I homeschool, clean house, make dinner, and write while putting our Tula to work. I even went to a painting class with my girlfriends while wearing baby #4 in our Tula. I don't always wear baby #4. I put our baby products to good use-- our swing, bouncey seat, high chair, and stroller-- but there are times when he just wants up, especially since with three older siblings he's already caught two colds. As for the Tula love, I don't know, but I got it too. I always give a shout out to someone I see wearing a Tula. They are pretty carriers. I was over the moon when I scored our semi wrap conversion. I think Tula has magic dust, like Disney, and so it is easy to obsess. :)

Do you have any Tula tips to share? Or a baby carrier that you love? How has baby wearing made your life easier?


Chanel Brackett said…
OMG! What print is that blue camo print called???
Kimber said…
Yes! It is called Fleet! It is all I have been wearing lately. I love it. I pretend the digi-camo is a neutral and have been wearing it with all my spring outfits. :)
Ramya Leela said…
Nice Blog, thanks for sharing the great information.
Printing Malaysia
Anonymous said…
I found your blog quite interesting and the concern in the blog is really impressive.

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aavala anitha said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wow, this must be a super comfortable thing. Thanks for highlighting the pros of a Tula!

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