Product Recommendations

Review: Soul™ AnoonA Baby Carrier from India

By Denise Chua | February 28, 2019

Highlights

Video Tutorial: How to adjust the Soul™ AnoonA baby carrier for a newborn


Product Summary

A soft structured adjustable buckle baby carrier that is suitable for newborns (min. 3.2kg) without requiring an insert.

Available at Soul™ Singapore Online Store, Oasis Terrace #03-21 (Daily 10am to 10pm) & Primz Bizhub #06-20 (By APPOINTMENT ONLY)
hellosg@soulslings.com     Website     Shop
What I Like:
  • Linen AnoonA is super absorbent and comfy. It is also thinner than most carriers, making it perfect for our hot weather. Cotton AnoonA is also available (thicker but cheaper and has more designs).
  • Well-designed for newborns.
    In my opinion, Soul AnoonA is one of the best carriers to baby carry a newborn.
  • Comes with detachable hood.
    We can wash the hood without the carrier so there is less downtime for using the carrier. In case you are wondering, not all baby carriers offer detachable hood.
  • Equipped with a small sewn on pouch that can be used to keep handkerchief for baby. This is super handy!
  • Does not require bulky baby insert to carry newborns.
What I Dislike:
  • Fully adjustable so it has more areas to adjust (shoulder, mid-panel and waistband). This makes the set-up more complicated and a little daunting for a first time mum.
  • Panel base is not wide enough.
    AnoonA's panel base width (for support of baby's thighs) is only adjustable from 7” to 15”.
    18" might be a better width considering that the AnoonA is marketed as suitable from birth to toddler-hood.
  • Lack of official certifications such GOTS, Oeko Tex 100.
    Soul™ promises to use only 100% natural fiber textiles and baby safe dyes but official certification will offer mummies more assurance.

Product Review

Where Does Soul™ Baby Carriers Originate From?
Soul™ is a family run business from India. It was founded in 2014 by Madam Chinmayie, who loves baby-wearing but could not find a good quality baby carrier in India at that time. Since then, together with her partner Mr Ravindra, Madam Chinmayie has built Soul™ to become the largest baby carrier brand in India. In 2018, Soul™ expanded out out of India with Singapore as the first overseas office.

How I Found Out About Soul™ Baby Carriers?
As part of Soul™ Singapore's social media marketing efforts when they launched in 2018, I was offered their AnoonA baby carrier in exchange for some coverage on social media.

More about AnoonA:
AnoonA is a fully adjustable baby carrier that is suitable for children weighing 3.2kg to 20kg. Being fully adjustable (cinches at the shoulder, mid-panel and base-panel to ensure perfect support), it can be used to wear a newborn without requiring any bulky carrier insert.

As with all Soul™ carriers, the AnoonA is made with 100% natural fiber textile (premium linen or cotton), which makes it thin, light and breathable, perfect for Singapore's hot weather. It can be used in 5 carry options – newborn, front, front facing out, hip and back carry.

Which Soul™ AnoonA Did I Choose?

My AnoonA Baby Carrier in Merlot
Both baby Eachern and I sweat easily so I chose the Linen AnoonA for linen's superior moisture absorbency. I picked the Linen AnoonA in Merlot, a plain "red wine coloured" design.

First Impressions Of My Soul™ AnoonA Baby Carrier:
If based solely on first impressions (country of origin, packaging, design and certifications), I thought Soul™ was second rate compared to the European brand baby carrier that I already owned. So my initial plan was to use the Soul™ AnoonA as a backup baby carrier.

However, with time, Soul™ won me over with its dependability and user-friendliness. In the end, I used my European baby carrier only a couple of times in 6 months before Eachern outgrew it.

What Made Me Change My Mind About Soul™?
Country of Origin
I am superficial; I judge brands by the perceived affluence of the countries they are from. So between India and Europe, I somehow assumed that an European carrier will naturally be better than an Indian one. This is groundless and I recant.

Packaging
To be honest, Soul™'s packaging looks downmarket; my AnoonA carrier was packed simply in a cream-coloured dust bag and a white box with their brand sticker. No prints.

I later found out that Soul™ had deliberately left out printing on the packaging to avoid the use of harmful chemicals. Logically speaking, packaging does not impact the quality of a product anyway. I was briefly blinded but I repent.

Design and Looks
On the get-go, my Soul™ linen baby carrier didn't look as pretty and classy as my European brand cotton baby carrier (with prints). This was partly my fault because I chose a plain Linen AnoonA and and I washed it before use. Straight after unboxing, my Merlot Linen AnoonA was crisp and nice. But it looked wrinkly after wash.

Soul™ carriers are dry-washed before packing so we can use them straight from the box. Alas, as an over-protective first-time mum, I still washed mine before use. Despite linen's many good qualities (soft, absorbent, durable and naturally hypoallergenic), it also wrinkles easily after wash. Luckily, after a few wears, my Merlot Linen AnoonA regained its former glory and linen's laid-back beauty grew on me. It wasn't fair of me to compare linen and cotton anyway.

Certifications
While Soul™ self-declares that it uses 100% natural fiber textiles and baby safe dyes, it does not have any official certifications like GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) or Oeko Tex 100 to show.

In contrast, my European brand baby carrier is GOTS certified. Naturally, I compared the two and was a little bothered. However, I soon discovered that Soul™ AnoonA was better designed and more suitable for a newborn. With that, I began to see Soul™ as a brand that I can trust. Consequently, the lack of certifications ceased to matter.

My husband with the Soul™ AnoonA

Why? First, the design of Soul™ AnoonA is such that the shoulder strap is secured at mid-panel so it can be used to keep a newborn's hands bent upwards and within the carrier at all times. This gives the baby more security so he sleeps better. When in my European brand baby carrier, my baby's hands will often be left hanging down. Although this looks good as he gets freedom, it is not ideal for a newborn.

Baby Eachern sleeping in Soul™ AnoonA when he was 2 months old

Another major advantage of the Soul™ AnoonA is its neck support. Initially, I thought that its neck support design looked unsophisticated (just a padding at the top of the body panel) but such a design allows more headroom for a newborn baby so he is more comfortable.

On the other hand, my European brand baby carrier offers adjustable neck support, which has to be adjusted to the tightest for a newborn. But at that setting, the neck support fully wraps around my newborn's ears, which looks so cramped and uncomfortable. For an older baby, this wouldn't be an issue but baby and I hated it when he was younger (less than 3 months old).

Soul™ AnoonA is also more user-friendly as it includes thoughtful details like a waist-pouch where we can keep a handkerchief (to wipe baby) and a removable hood. Hood is the part of the carrier that gets soiled most easily. With a removable hood, we don't have to wash the whole baby carrier just because of the stained hood.

Lastly but the most important of all, my baby preferred to be in the Soul™ AnoonA when he was a newborn. When I first started out, my baby kicked up a fuss whenever he was put in a carrier. With the Soul™ AnoonA, he will calm down once I snapped all the buckles closed and start moving. But with the European brand carrier, he will continue to be cranky until I removed him from the carrier.

What I Dislike About Soul™ AnoonA Baby Carrier?
Although I like Soul™ AnoonA alot, it is not without flaws. The AnoonA is marketed as being suitable for newborns (3.2kg and up) to toddlers up to 20kg. However, its panel base is not wide enough for a toddler unless you use the front facing out carry. (For front facing out carry, the panel base must be at the narrowest setting.)

Baby Eachern at 7 months old in Soul™ AnoonA

To prevent Hip Dysplasia, the panel base of a baby carrier must be able to support the child's thighs up to his knee joints (so that he maintains a knee above hip position). The base panel of the AnoonA can only be adjusted to a maximum of 15", so when I front carry Baby Eachern when he was 7 months old (8kg, 70cm), the panel base can no longer support Baby Eachern's thighs to his knee joints.

In my opinion, although the AnoonA is tested to sustain 20kg of weight, its dimensions are unable to support a toddler. Admittedly, baby Eachern is tall for his age (>75% percentile) so petite babies may be worn in the AnoonA for slightly longer. But I think it unlikely that the AnoonA can be used on a toddler unless he is being worn front facing out instead. However, do note that the front facing out position is not recommended for sleeping babies.

Another pitfall of the AnoonA is the more complicated carrier adjustments because there are many areas to adjust. For example there are 2 areas of the shoulder strap that can be adjusted, neck support can be folded in or out and there is also a mid-body panel adjuster. As a baby-wearing newbie, I was confused about how to adjust the baby carrier whenever my baby outgrew his old setting.

But don't worry, you can watch this video for details on how to adjust the Soul™ AnoonA baby carrier for a newborn!

For my European carrier, adjustments were more intuitive. For panel height adjustments, I tighten or loosen the shoulder straps. For neck support, I tighten or loosen the elastic band near the hood. For the thigh support, I simply adjust the velcro at the panel base. Alas, although it is easy to adjust, baby Eachern didn't like to be in the carrier when he was less than 3 months old.

Will I Recommend The Soul™ AnoonA Baby Carrier?
I find that the Soul™ AnoonA is a well-designed adjustable full buckle newborn baby carrier so I will recommend it to parents who are looking to baby-wear their newborn without using a sling or a baby carrier with insert. The AnoonA will continue to serve you well until your child is 70cm long. Beyond that, you will have to use the AnoonA for front facing out when your baby is awake. However, if you are looking for a baby carrier that can be used for longer term (front carry from birth until your child is 1 year old and beyond), the Soul™ AseemA may be a better choice.


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Product Recommendations

Review: Soul™ AnoonA Baby Carrier from India

By Denise Chua | February 28, 2019

Highlights

Video Tutorial: How to adjust the Soul™ AnoonA baby carrier for a newborn


Product Summary

A soft structured adjustable buckle baby carrier that is suitable for newborns (min. 3.2kg) without requiring an insert.

Available at Soul™ Singapore Online Store, Oasis Terrace #03-21 (Daily 10am to 10pm) & Primz Bizhub #06-20 (By APPOINTMENT ONLY)
hellosg@soulslings.com     Website     Shop
What I Like:
  • Linen AnoonA is super absorbent and comfy. It is also thinner than most carriers, making it perfect for our hot weather. Cotton AnoonA is also available (thicker but cheaper and has more designs).
  • Well-designed for newborns.
    In my opinion, Soul AnoonA is one of the best carriers to baby carry a newborn.
  • Comes with detachable hood.
    We can wash the hood without the carrier so there is less downtime for using the carrier. In case you are wondering, not all baby carriers offer detachable hood.
  • Equipped with a small sewn on pouch that can be used to keep handkerchief for baby. This is super handy!
  • Does not require bulky baby insert to carry newborns.
What I Dislike:
  • Fully adjustable so it has more areas to adjust (shoulder, mid-panel and waistband). This makes the set-up more complicated and a little daunting for a first time mum.
  • Panel base is not wide enough.
    AnoonA's panel base width (for support of baby's thighs) is only adjustable from 7” to 15”.
    18" might be a better width considering that the AnoonA is marketed as suitable from birth to toddler-hood.
  • Lack of official certifications such GOTS, Oeko Tex 100.
    Soul™ promises to use only 100% natural fiber textiles and baby safe dyes but official certification will offer mummies more assurance.

Product Review

Where Does Soul™ Baby Carriers Originate From?
Soul™ is a family run business from India. It was founded in 2014 by Madam Chinmayie, who loves baby-wearing but could not find a good quality baby carrier in India at that time. Since then, together with her partner Mr Ravindra, Madam Chinmayie has built Soul™ to become the largest baby carrier brand in India. In 2018, Soul™ expanded out out of India with Singapore as the first overseas office.

How I Found Out About Soul™ Baby Carriers?
As part of Soul™ Singapore's social media marketing efforts when they launched in 2018, I was offered their AnoonA baby carrier in exchange for some coverage on social media.

More about AnoonA:
AnoonA is a fully adjustable baby carrier that is suitable for children weighing 3.2kg to 20kg. Being fully adjustable (cinches at the shoulder, mid-panel and base-panel to ensure perfect support), it can be used to wear a newborn without requiring any bulky carrier insert.

As with all Soul™ carriers, the AnoonA is made with 100% natural fiber textile (premium linen or cotton), which makes it thin, light and breathable, perfect for Singapore's hot weather. It can be used in 5 carry options – newborn, front, front facing out, hip and back carry.

Which Soul™ AnoonA Did I Choose?

My AnoonA Baby Carrier in Merlot
Both baby Eachern and I sweat easily so I chose the Linen AnoonA for linen's superior moisture absorbency. I picked the Linen AnoonA in Merlot, a plain "red wine coloured" design.

First Impressions Of My Soul™ AnoonA Baby Carrier:
If based solely on first impressions (country of origin, packaging, design and certifications), I thought Soul™ was second rate compared to the European brand baby carrier that I already owned. So my initial plan was to use the Soul™ AnoonA as a backup baby carrier.

However, with time, Soul™ won me over with its dependability and user-friendliness. In the end, I used my European baby carrier only a couple of times in 6 months before Eachern outgrew it.

What Made Me Change My Mind About Soul™?
Country of Origin
I am superficial; I judge brands by the perceived affluence of the countries they are from. So between India and Europe, I somehow assumed that an European carrier will naturally be better than an Indian one. This is groundless and I recant.

Packaging
To be honest, Soul™'s packaging looks downmarket; my AnoonA carrier was packed simply in a cream-coloured dust bag and a white box with their brand sticker. No prints.

I later found out that Soul™ had deliberately left out printing on the packaging to avoid the use of harmful chemicals. Logically speaking, packaging does not impact the quality of a product anyway. I was briefly blinded but I repent.

Design and Looks
On the get-go, my Soul™ linen baby carrier didn't look as pretty and classy as my European brand cotton baby carrier (with prints). This was partly my fault because I chose a plain Linen AnoonA and and I washed it before use. Straight after unboxing, my Merlot Linen AnoonA was crisp and nice. But it looked wrinkly after wash.

Soul™ carriers are dry-washed before packing so we can use them straight from the box. Alas, as an over-protective first-time mum, I still washed mine before use. Despite linen's many good qualities (soft, absorbent, durable and naturally hypoallergenic), it also wrinkles easily after wash. Luckily, after a few wears, my Merlot Linen AnoonA regained its former glory and linen's laid-back beauty grew on me. It wasn't fair of me to compare linen and cotton anyway.

Certifications
While Soul™ self-declares that it uses 100% natural fiber textiles and baby safe dyes, it does not have any official certifications like GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) or Oeko Tex 100 to show.

In contrast, my European brand baby carrier is GOTS certified. Naturally, I compared the two and was a little bothered. However, I soon discovered that Soul™ AnoonA was better designed and more suitable for a newborn. With that, I began to see Soul™ as a brand that I can trust. Consequently, the lack of certifications ceased to matter.

My husband with the Soul™ AnoonA

Why? First, the design of Soul™ AnoonA is such that the shoulder strap is secured at mid-panel so it can be used to keep a newborn's hands bent upwards and within the carrier at all times. This gives the baby more security so he sleeps better. When in my European brand baby carrier, my baby's hands will often be left hanging down. Although this looks good as he gets freedom, it is not ideal for a newborn.

Baby Eachern sleeping in Soul™ AnoonA when he was 2 months old

Another major advantage of the Soul™ AnoonA is its neck support. Initially, I thought that its neck support design looked unsophisticated (just a padding at the top of the body panel) but such a design allows more headroom for a newborn baby so he is more comfortable.

On the other hand, my European brand baby carrier offers adjustable neck support, which has to be adjusted to the tightest for a newborn. But at that setting, the neck support fully wraps around my newborn's ears, which looks so cramped and uncomfortable. For an older baby, this wouldn't be an issue but baby and I hated it when he was younger (less than 3 months old).

Soul™ AnoonA is also more user-friendly as it includes thoughtful details like a waist-pouch where we can keep a handkerchief (to wipe baby) and a removable hood. Hood is the part of the carrier that gets soiled most easily. With a removable hood, we don't have to wash the whole baby carrier just because of the stained hood.

Lastly but the most important of all, my baby preferred to be in the Soul™ AnoonA when he was a newborn. When I first started out, my baby kicked up a fuss whenever he was put in a carrier. With the Soul™ AnoonA, he will calm down once I snapped all the buckles closed and start moving. But with the European brand carrier, he will continue to be cranky until I removed him from the carrier.

What I Dislike About Soul™ AnoonA Baby Carrier?
Although I like Soul™ AnoonA alot, it is not without flaws. The AnoonA is marketed as being suitable for newborns (3.2kg and up) to toddlers up to 20kg. However, its panel base is not wide enough for a toddler unless you use the front facing out carry. (For front facing out carry, the panel base must be at the narrowest setting.)

Baby Eachern at 7 months old in Soul™ AnoonA

To prevent Hip Dysplasia, the panel base of a baby carrier must be able to support the child's thighs up to his knee joints (so that he maintains a knee above hip position). The base panel of the AnoonA can only be adjusted to a maximum of 15", so when I front carry Baby Eachern when he was 7 months old (8kg, 70cm), the panel base can no longer support Baby Eachern's thighs to his knee joints.

In my opinion, although the AnoonA is tested to sustain 20kg of weight, its dimensions are unable to support a toddler. Admittedly, baby Eachern is tall for his age (>75% percentile) so petite babies may be worn in the AnoonA for slightly longer. But I think it unlikely that the AnoonA can be used on a toddler unless he is being worn front facing out instead. However, do note that the front facing out position is not recommended for sleeping babies.

Another pitfall of the AnoonA is the more complicated carrier adjustments because there are many areas to adjust. For example there are 2 areas of the shoulder strap that can be adjusted, neck support can be folded in or out and there is also a mid-body panel adjuster. As a baby-wearing newbie, I was confused about how to adjust the baby carrier whenever my baby outgrew his old setting.

But don't worry, you can watch this video for details on how to adjust the Soul™ AnoonA baby carrier for a newborn!

For my European carrier, adjustments were more intuitive. For panel height adjustments, I tighten or loosen the shoulder straps. For neck support, I tighten or loosen the elastic band near the hood. For the thigh support, I simply adjust the velcro at the panel base. Alas, although it is easy to adjust, baby Eachern didn't like to be in the carrier when he was less than 3 months old.

Will I Recommend The Soul™ AnoonA Baby Carrier?
I find that the Soul™ AnoonA is a well-designed adjustable full buckle newborn baby carrier so I will recommend it to parents who are looking to baby-wear their newborn without using a sling or a baby carrier with insert. The AnoonA will continue to serve you well until your child is 70cm long. Beyond that, you will have to use the AnoonA for front facing out when your baby is awake. However, if you are looking for a baby carrier that can be used for longer term (front carry from birth until your child is 1 year old and beyond), the Soul™ AseemA may be a better choice.

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