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Is Tushbaby Worth It? One Mom’s Honest Review

There’s no avoiding a certain amount of lower-back pain when you’re regularly carrying 30 pounds of toddler. But the Tushbaby helps make things more comfortable.
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By Natalie Gontcharova, Senior Editor
Updated April 4, 2024
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In a nutshell:
The viral Tushbaby carrier may look a bit unusual, but with an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5, the hip carrier is a huge help for parents whose babies and toddlers love being carried, even if the price tag is a bit on the high side.

I bought the Tushbaby hip carrier late one night in the middle of a long scroll through TikTok. The enticing ad came at the right time: My toddler had recently turned 2 (he’s now almost 3) and I desperately needed an alternative to the hefty carrier he had outgrown at 18 months old. That carrier was everything to us. My toddler had (and still has) a curious vendetta against his stroller—sometimes absolutely nothing will get him to sit in it—and loves the closeness of being carried. Now I needed something else that would minimize the strain on my lower back while supporting his 28-pound weight. When I first saw the Tushbaby carrier, I wasn’t convinced it could take the place of my trusty carrier; on first glance it looks a little crazy, like a giant fanny pack that baby sits on top of! But the ads wore me down—and it ended up being an awesome tool, not just for carrying my toddler, but also for storing stuff on the go. Read on for my honest review.

Overview of the Tushbaby Features

About the Tushbaby

Tushbaby
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Holds up to 45 pounds
  • Easy to put on and adjust
  • Room for diapers and more
Things To Consider
  • Not a hands-free carrier
  • Positioning has to be done carefully
  • A bit pricey

The Tushbaby carrier is a hip seat designed for newborns all the way up to 36 months, and can hold weights up to 45 pounds. It’s adjustable, fitting parent waists from 23 to 44 inches (you can add up to 23 inches of waist length with its separately sold extender). It offers four main carry positions: side, facing out, face-to-face and baby-feeding (aka, you can use it as a breastfeeding or bottle-feeding prop) and the seat features memory foam lining and an anti-slip fabric patch to help keep your wiggling baby or toddler in place. With five pockets and a bottle holder, it also has a good amount of storage space: For a short trip out, this might mean you can leave your diaper bag at home. It comes in stain-resistant, machine-washable fabrics, and lots of fun color and print options like Orchid and Snow Leopard, as well as an array of neutrals.

Dimensions (waistband): 47" (L) x 6" (H) | Dimensions (seat): 6" (L) x 7.5" (W) | Weight: 1 lb. | Weight capacity: 45 lbs. | Age rating: Newborn to 3 years

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How We Tested the Tushbaby

To help you see how the Tushbaby carrier might work for your family, we did the following:

  • In addition to being a senior editor at The Bump, I’m also a mom—I’ve used the Tushbaby with my son several times a week for the better part of a year, and tested its features in a variety of situations, from short walks to longer day trips (aka several hours of carrying).
  • To see how the Tushbaby hip carrier worked for a variety of families, we conducted exhaustive market research, scouring forums and message boards and reading user reviews to find out what a broad range of parents liked—and didn’t like—about this carrier.

Editorial integrity is at the heart of everything we publish. Read about how The Bump develops and reviews all articles, including product reviews.

Tushbaby Review

I’ve used the Tushbaby carrier in multiple situations, from short walks to day trips with my 2.5-year-old toddler. I evaluated it for ease of use, comfort for the parent (hi!), positioning of the child, features, style and value for money. Keep reading to find out what I thought and how it scored in each category.

Ease of use

Using the Tushbaby carrier is easy to figure out: You Velcro it around your hips, adjust and close the buckle, and you’re ready to go. But while it’s easy to use, there’s a lot to keep in mind when it comes to positioning it comfortably.

It’s important to support baby’s weight (and your back!) by wrapping the carrier “high and tight” above your natural waist, per the company’s instruction manual. This way, you’ll alleviate pressure on your back and shoulders and reduce arm and wrist strain so you can carry baby longer and more comfortably. I didn’t find this positioning difficult, but it is something you need to pay attention to when putting on the Tushbaby or switching carry positions.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Comfort for the parent

For me, the Tushbaby hip carrier was more comfortable than I had expected. Of course, it’s not the same as using a hands-free carrier that offers full support—those were the days! But when my toddler inevitably yells “Mommy, carry!” it’s much more comfortable than not using any carrier at all. When I carry him for long periods of time without a carrier, I often resort to jutting out one hip and messing up my posture, which puts a lot of strain on my lower back and pelvic muscles. The Tushbaby helps me avoid this chiropractic nightmare. It’s also very light on its own. It does tend to slip down a bit for me even when securely strapped—but it’s clearly designed with the wearer—a tired parent—in mind.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Positioning of your child

The Tushbaby carrier offers four main carry positions: side-carrying, baby or toddler facing out, face-to-face and feeding. I mainly use it in a side-carrying position, which I’ve found to be the most comfortable for both my toddler and myself. It’s important to keep in mind that unlike a traditional carrier, it’s not hands-free: You have to keep one arm around your child at all times while using it, and watch your balance. This means you can’t use it while trying to get chores done—sorry!

Tushbaby says its wide seat base puts baby’s hips in the proper “M” position with their thighs supported, which “allows for a straighter spine and keeps their hips in a healthy position, with their legs lifted rather than dangling or hanging.” The shelf-like seat is the feature I was skeptical about at first, and you might be too: Would he actually stay on there? Obviously everyone’s child is different, but my son got used to the Tushbaby pretty quickly, since it allowed him to be snugly close to me in the same way as he is when being carried.

It’s also important to note that not every carry position is recommended to be used from birth. The feeding position is good for newborns onward, but the side position I prefer to use with my son only works from 4 months and up, and the other two positions also require a child to be old enough to support their own head and neck.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Features

The features are another area where the Tushbaby hip seat shines. It has a huge storage pocket that fits my wallet, a diaper and wipes with room left over, a side zipper pocket for small stuff, a front pocket—which I’ve found perfect for things like hand sanitizer, crayons and those little Hot Wheels cars my toddler loves—and a special phone pocket. There’s also a mesh bottle holder and loops for things like keys.

If you’re going to a playdate or on a walk with your Tushbaby carrier, you might not even need to bring another purse with you. One bag and done—I love it!

The company also makes a smaller and less expensive counterpart, and if you’re wondering how the features hold up on Tushbaby vs. Tushbaby lite, the latter has a slimmer profile, with a waistband that’s 4 inches in height rather than 6 inches. It also has three storage pockets rather than five, and doesn’t include a bottle holder.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Style

Since fanny packs have been experiencing a comeback in recent years, the Tushbaby’s style fits right in. Despite the looks I sometimes get since it is a little funny to have a child sitting atop a bag on your hip, I love the way it looks. The carrier is available in a variety of colors and fabrics, including black with gold hardware, a fancy-looking tweed, metallic silver, Orchid and Snow Leopard. I have a classic jean-colored Tushbaby, which goes with pretty much everything I own. But if I were to get another one, I’d take the purplish-pink Orchid one for a spin next.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Value for money

The big question: Is Tushbaby worth it? There are some Tushbaby dupes out there, and there’s no shortage of parents who wish the Tushbaby were cheaper. While I haven’t tried any of the dupes, I have used my Tushbaby for the good part of a year and found it to be a good value. I was happy to get it at a discount price, but now that I know how good it is, I wouldn’t hesitate to pay full price if I was buying it today.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary

I would recommend the Tushbaby carrier to anyone who carries their baby or toddler—particularly to those toddler parents whose kids have outgrown their traditional carriers but still love being carried. It’s also great for parents of multiple children who may be carrying one child and pushing the other in a stroller. It’s helped prolong our “Mommy, carry!” walks and saved us many times on day trips where my toddler didn’t want to stay in the stroller. Because carrying babies and toddlers can help promote closeness and regulate emotions, it’s a great tool that can replace the stroller without hurting your back. Of course, if you have a toddler who loves to be carried, the Tushbaby likely won’t magically alleviate the lower-back pain that comes with it. But if you wear it snugly and above your waist, it’ll make the carrying experience much easier.

Overall, the Tushbaby carrier is designed with parent and child in mind. It’s a big yes from this toddler-carrying mom!

Average rating: 4.8 out of 5

About the writer:
Natalie Gontcharova is the senior editor of lifecycle content at The Bump, where she develops ideas, reports, writes and edits content about pregnancy and new parenting. She is passionate about providing informative, nonjudgmental service journalism for people who are navigating pregnancy or those topsy-turvy first months and years. Her own pregnancy and parenting journey—one with many unexpected twists and turns—has inspired her to want to help others find advice and solutions that work for them, so they can feel supported along the way. Natalie lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband and son.

Sources

Carrying Matters: Dr. Rosie Knowles, Carrying and the Learning Brain

Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial process.

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