I’m no “Tula Expert” but I am a mom of a little guy who is currently in that place somewhere between baby and toddler, and not in the way you think. He is full on Toddler. Running, jumping, playing, climbing, screaming, hugging, kissing toddler. I mean he is somewhere in between a standard size Tula and a toddler size tula. Most kids reach this point and parents think that they should just go with the toddler size so that they don’t have to buy another carrier down the line, but this isn’t always the case! Most people don’t realize that the standard tula can actually get you a lot further than you think it will. I have tried many different SSC (soft structured carriers), many of which simply didn’t fit my tall-torsoed babe. I was surprised by how well the standard Tula fit us. It has a wide and tall panel. For me, this was a good thing. I like the secure feeling of fabric wrapped comfortably around me and baby.
- Your baby’s weight
- Your baby’s height
- Your baby’s clothing size
If your baby is under 25 lbs, your decision is very easy. The Toddler Tula is only for children between 25-50lbs. Go with a standard.
A lot of people think “well my baby is growing fast! I only want to buy one carrier, so I will just get the Toddler Tula and grow into it.” This is not always a great idea. The extra fabric can bunch up and cause baby’s legs to hyperextend. It also can be uncomfortable for the wearer. Not to mention, your quickly growing baby will eventually slow down on the marathon growth-spurts around this time and you might find yourself stuck with a carrier that doesn’t fit for much longer than you expected.
The Standard Tula can be used for babies 15-45 lbs (without an infant insert) and is generally the best fitting option until children are about 32 inches tall AND comfortably wearing 2T pants.
Leg extenders are another great option to extend the life of your standard Tula. They essentially turn any standard sized carrier into a toddler size without all the extra bulk, AND they are more adjustable.
In reality you can probably make your standard sized carrier work for you and your baby for a lot longer than you expected. If you are trying to decide if the standard size is right for you, don’t size up just to avoid buying another carrier. Make sure you choose the carrier that will fit you and your baby the best!
Below you will see a comparison of the three Tula options (standard, standard with extenders, and the toddler size) these photos were all taken within the same week. This adorable little model is 33 inches tall, 26 lbs, and is teeter-tottering somewhere between 24 month and 2T pants. We found that the toddler size was a better fit as far as the back panel was concerned (he has a super long torso and shorter legs), but it was still just a tiny bit too big for us. In the standard, you can see that he was beginning to loose that knee-to-knee support (the extenders made a huge difference!).
Pictured below is a Toddler Tula on the bottom and a Standard Tula on top. You can see that there is a significant size difference in panel height and width. What does not change is the length of the arm strap padding and the waist band.
Pictured below is a Standard Tula with attached extensions on top of a Toddler Tula. You can see that it basically gives you extra width without adding too much height. The toddler Tula is too tall for even my tall-torsoed baby!
In reality, most people in the market for a Tula are probably looking for a standard. You can wear it comfortably until your child is 45 lbs. In most cases, you are only looking to purchase a toddler because you know you have grown out of your standard size. However, if your child is over 32 inches, and is wearing 2T pants you could very likely be ready for the toddler!
Best of luck! Happy Babywearing!
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