By peoplestaff225
Updated August 29, 2008 12:30 PM

Belle Carrier in Cheetah

In a Nutshell: The Belle Baby Carrier ($89.95 to $99.95) is my replacement for the ubiquitous Bjorn, which until now has been the go-to babywearing device in our house: my husband approves of its "mannish" looks and our baby loves facing outward. The Belle is like Bjorn’s stylish sister. It carries the baby essentially the same way — either facing towards you or out, legs dangling – but with a lot less bulk. (Click here for detailed how-to-wear instructions).

Why It’s Great: It’s made of soft, lightweight fabric that is easily adjustable and undeniably cute (my favorites are the organic denim and fuzzy cheetah) The baby’s weight is distributed pretty evenly between your shoulders and hips — Isadora (who is 15 lbs) and I went for a 20 minute uphill walk, no problem. It’s small enough to toss in your purse or under the stroller, so you can be spontaneous.

Things I Didn’t Love: One downside to the Belle is that it doesn’t have any neck support. Isadora fell asleep when I was carrying her and I had to prop her head up with my arm as we walked. (Belle’s makers suggest you bring a blanket with you to fold around for extra head support.) It also seemed like the fabric — which has no stretch — was cutting into her a legs a little bit. Like any carrier, I would not want her in that position for very long.

The Verdict: For quick trips around the neighborhood, the Belle has become my new favorite accessory.

Celeb Fans: Julia Roberts has been spotted using a Belle with baby Henry Moder.

— Angela M.