Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Beco Butterfly or Pikkolo?

Julie writes:
"Hi There! Just looking for a little advice... I have been trying to decide between the Beco and Pikkolo for some time now. A friend of mine has the Beco 4th generation and LOVES it. I have tried it a couple of times with my 21 lb. 6 month old son and found it pretty comfy- it didn't hurt my back at all which was awesome! However it did push the top of my pants down and I kept feeling like I should scoot my son's behind up so it stopped pulling down on my waistband. My son loved it- both times he fell asleep within about 10 minutes- and was totally content while I walked, talked, played with my niece. I am buying it for this summer as a convenient way to keep him close and get things done around the house and as we run errands, take day hikes, etc. As for the pikkolo- the reviews are fabulous. I was just unsure about the unpadded waistband- and I know you are supposed to wear it on your natural waist- which I would think dug in- and may not distribute the weight as well as your hips would?? Cool thing is it looks like the baby can see out better- but can they sleep or feel as secure because they aren't as supported? We are planning on having another baby in the not too distant future- so I'd like something that can last me for a couple years if possible. If you had to but only one- what would it be?... Thanks for your advice in advance!" Julie
Hi Julie,

Hmmm, a Beco or a Pikkolo? Really good question! :)

I loved the Beco 4th Generation too. As I'm sure you are aware, Beco has discontinued making it in favor of the Butterfly model, which is quite a bit different than the 4th Generation.

I know what you mean about the padded waistbelt pushing the top of your pants down. I also find this a minor annoyance of that feature, despite it making the carrier very comfy to wear for long periods. I too was skeptical about the unpadded waistbelt of the Pikkolo... until I tried it! I found it surprisingly comfortable. It didn't cut into me at all and the top of my pants stayed put! You do wear it a bit higher but I find that once my toddler is in it ends up settling right on top of my hipbones anyways, so it still distributes her weight evenly and properly. The body of the Beco and Pikkolo are about the same length, so baby will be equally supported in either.

The Butterfly takes a bit of getting used to, especially if you're not used to putting baby in the internal sling of the carrier first, then putting the carrier on. A nice thing about the internal sling though, is that baby is perfectly positioned in the carrier every time. The Butterfly is a great carrier for those new to doing a back carry, and makes it easy to do a back carry with a very young infant using the built-in infant insert. The internal sling also allows you to adjust the distance of baby from your body, totally separate from the shoulder strap adjustment. Wearing baby very close with the sling buckles tightened up, but keeping the shoulder straps fairly loose, makes it so that baby's weight sinks down and is supported by your hips, not your shoulders.

I really like the unique cinching mechanism in the body of the Pikkolo. Not only does that enable you to do ergonomic forward facing front carries (only with babies under 20 lbs though, otherwise it kills your back!), but smaller babies don't have to spread their legs as wide while riding. The Beco Butterfly achieves the same thing with their infant insert, which is narrower than the main body of the carrier. Oh, and you can do hip carries with the Pikkolo, but not with the Butterfly.

The Pikkolo has great memory foam shoulder straps which I found really conformed nicely to my body. The Butterfly has narrower, ergonomically curved shoulder straps which makes for a very nice fit and is especially great for narrow-shouldered wearers. The fabrics used in the Butterfly are softer quilter cottons and twills. They are gorgeous, unique and colorful designer prints. The Pikkolo fabrics are more neutral, subtle, heavier canvas-like fabrics that soften up great with washing and are ultimately probably more durable.

Also, you will be able to get a padded waistband sleeve for the Pikkolo as an accessory option that will attach to current models -- should be available in the next couple of months and will make that carrier even more versatile.

As for which one I'd personally choose? Hard to say - they're both great! I do reach for the Pikkolo more often at this point because my youngest is 2.5 and I find it too awkward to get her into the internal sling of the Butterfly. I'm also an experienced babywearer so don't like having to put her in the carrier first, I like to just quickly hoist her onto my back. But, if we were to have another baby, I think I'd lean towards the Butterfly as the fabric is softer and I like the idea of the built in infant insert to do early back carries.

Another important consideration for many when choosing a carrier is -- which one has the fabric/pattern you like best?

Hope this helps you some!

1 comment:

Tasha said...

Excellent comparison! These are both excellent baby carriers. If I had to pick I'd probably go with the Pikkolo. I love the internal sling on the Beco Butterfly, but it's a pain to breastfeed while carrying. I also love having the option of hip carry, and forward facing-out.

Just had to leave my two-cents.