If I had to name ONE item that I couldn’t imagine mothering without for all these years, it would have to be the ERGOBABY carrier. Hands down and without a question, apart from cloth diapers, ERGO has been the most useful baby item I’ve ever bought!
I never really saw myself as the babywearing kind of mom until I became one out of sheer necessity. I needed my hands, my baby needed my constant touch, something obviously had to give.
When my first child was born, however, baby wearing wasn’t yet very common, and the choices of baby carriers were therefore very limited.
I started off with BABY BJORN which seemed like a great idea. In theory. And it worked, too – as long as I stood still. I didn’t like the way my baby’s head bounced back and forth and kind of flopped around every time I moved or leaned forward. BABY BJORN just didn’t seem comfortable for my baby, and my back and neck were starting to throw a fit every time I even laid my eyes on it. So I moved on and got the Evenflo SNUGLI baby carrier instead. SNUGLI was slightly more comfortable for me but still left my baby dangling and couldn’t be worn for extended periods of time either.
There HAD to be a better way!?!
The ERGOBABY carrier.
Desperate as I was, after a bit of a research I quickly ordered the organic version of what is now sold as the ORIGINAL (3 POSITION) ERGOBABY carrier.
And let me tell you…
Best $148 ever spent.
I’m pretty sure I heard the harp playing and the angels singing when I was first trying it on.
Not only was ERGO easy to use and surprisingly comfortable to wear (and really cute, I might add), it kept my baby safe while supporting her spine and preventing her head from bouncing around. It truly met everything on my wish list.
As of right now I’ve been wearing my kids in the same carrier for 7 years straight. And the only regret I have when it comes to ERGO is that I didn’t get it right away! The ERGOBABY carrier is really a jack of all trades and an excellent option for all kinds of activities and adventures. I also like the fact that ERGOBABY makes at least some of their baby carriers organic.
Before I tell you about why I think ERGOBABY makes the best baby carriers, I want to make it clear that ERGOBABY isn’t compensating me in any way, shape, or form. I just want to share with you how much I’ve been enjoying our ERGO, and if you decide to get one as well and end up loving it as much as I do, I’ve done my job! If you’re interested, please do check the color combinations currently available through the following affiliate links.
ORIGINAL ERGOBABY – ORGANIC:
PROS of ERGO:
COMFORT FOR YOUR CHILD
A natural sitting position as opposed to hanging by your crotch is not only more comfortable for your child but also supported and recommended by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. Babies and older kids alike love to be carried in ERGO because it offers comfort and a sense of security.
↓ How would you prefer to be carried??? ↓
COMFORT FOR YOU
The ergonomic design of ERGO puts the weight of your child on your HIPS, not your back. Carrying your child is therefore comfortable even for extended periods of time. Both the shoulder straps and the waist belt are padded, and all straps are adjustable.
ERGO is perfect for hiking with kids. Whether they’re too young to complete the trip on their own, get tired, or the hike becomes too strenuous for them, carrying your child in the ERGOBABY carrier will feel no different than carrying a backpack. (For the record, my 4-year-old weighs 34.5 lbs and I can still comfortably wear her both in the front and back.)
The ERGOBABY carrier offers 3 CARRY POSITIONS – FRONT (facing in*), BACK, and SIDE. I can’t speak for the hip (side) carry position because even though I tried hip wearing, I never really felt the need for it. Over the years I did, however, enjoy both front and back carrying equally. I carry my kids in the front carry position exclusively when they’re little and in crowded places when they’re older for their comfort and safety (and my piece of mind) while the back carry position is really useful for older kids on longer outings, hikes, etc.
The front inward facing position* may seem strange at first. If you’re used to seeing traditional baby carriers, you may assume that babies can’t enjoy facing inward since they don’t have a clear view of what’s going on around them. It’s just a matter of perception though because kids CAN see if they’re interested in seeing, and they actually seem to enjoy the closeness this carry position offers.
EASY TO PUT ON
Undoubtedly there will be some people that will find it hard to use the ERGOBABY carrier. I personally found ERGO incredibly easy to use, even more so when compared with other baby carriers I had used before.
FRONT WEARING is very straightforward.
Place the carrier around your waist as instructed, buckle it up in the front, then turn the waist buckle around to your back (you may need to lift the carrier slightly at this point to turn it all the way around). Let the body of the carrier drop down and place the baby on your chest, facing you. While supporting the baby with one hand, grab the shoulder pads with your other hand and slide them over your shoulders. With shoulder pads securely on, reach with both hands to your upper back to locate the chest strap buckle and snap it close. At this point your baby is secure in the carrier and you can adjust the straps and baby’s position as necessary.
BACK WEARING, while not being inherently difficult by any means, might need to be practiced at home a few times before mastering.
There are several ways to it, and I personally found tossing my kids straight onto my back while leaning forward much easier than starting on my hip and then shuffling the whole carrier and my child around to the correct position. (But then again, I didn’t start back babywearing until much later, making back tossing easier.) A soft raised surface (e.g. a bed) is ideal for practicing the back toss and probably any other back wearing method as well.
Despite of being a safe, comfortable, and heavy-duty baby carrier, ERGO folds down to an impressively compact size. It’s not bulky at all.
The fabric itself is thick yet very soft, and I can honestly say that the quality of ERGO seems to be excellent. During all 7 years of fairly frequent use and after multiple washings, not one buckle or a piece of elastic has failed, and there have been no rips in the fabric or unraveled seems. Clearly, the ERGOBABY carrier is made to last.
Spot cleaning is recommended, but ERGO is machine washable. I wouldn’t, however, recommend frequent washing, at least not with bright colors. I have washed ours quite a number of times as it really needed to get a good clean and noticed that the color gradually started to fade a bit. It’s not a big deal by any means though, and ERGO will hold up just fine if you wash it once in a while. (I used both front and top loader and line dried.)
THE OPTION TO BREASTFEED IN ERGO
One thing I was really missing in the first two baby carriers was being able to nurse while wearing my baby. ERGO makes nursing on the go happen – how cool is that?!?
Keep in mind that you may need to loosen the shoulder straps under your arms to lower the baby down a bit to make nursing possible.
For a sense of privacy and to limit distractions for a nursing baby, consider clipping ERGO’s hood on.
Before you know it you’ll be strolling around a store, waiting at the checkout lane, or boarding a plane and wearing AND nursing your baby without anyone really noticing.
The hood is really helpful for when you either nurse in the public while wearing your baby, or for shielding your baby from the elements. It’s also a must for keeping a sleeping baby’s head contained. The hood, unlike the rest of the carrier, is lightweight and breathable yet thick enough to keep sun or light out.
If you need to support a sleeping child’s head and the straps still seem too long on the shortest setting, place the hood over your child’s head safely, cross the hood straps and snap on the opposing sides, and/or twist the hood straps several times before snapping them close to adjust their length as necessary.
This is another great feature of the ORIGINAL ERGO. There is an open pocket that holds the hood when not in use (with some extra space as well though not much) and another decent-sized pocket with a zipper. The zipper pocket is large enough to hold your personal items like your wallet, keys, and a pocket pack of tissues, etc.
ERGO IS THE ONLY CARRIER YOU’LL EVER NEED
There is no need to switch to a different baby carrier when your child outgrows a certain, typically relatively low weight limit. You also won’t need to buy a new carrier because your back can’t handle babywearing as your child grows. You’ll be able to continue using ERGO beyond the baby stage as long as your child isn’t over 45 lbs**.
CONS of ERGO:
I had to think long and hard about the cons of ERGOBABY. And the only (possibly) negative things I was able to come up with are (and are NOT deal breakers by any means):
- While hiking in hot temperatures (think °F90+), I get really hot. But I have a feeling this comes with the babywearing territory and isn’t a fault of the carrier’s fabric.
- ERGO doesn’t usually come with a bag to carry or store the baby carrier in. (Easy fix: I keep the carrier in a lightweight tote bag which I place in the hood or zipper pocket while using ERGO.
- The price can initially seem high. You get what you pay for though.
The ORIGINAL ERGOBABY carrier is intended to be used for children in the weight range 7-45 lbs.**
☞ The ERGOBABY carrier shouldn’t be used with children under 7 lbs ( 3.2 kg).
☞ Babies in the range of 7-12 lbs (3.2 – 5.5 kg) and 0-4 months can be worn in the FRONT carry position but REQUIRE the use of the infant insert.
☞ FRONT carry position without the infant insert is recommended for babies weighing at least 12 lbs (5.5 kg), while both HIP and BACK carry positions require babies to reach at least 17.2 lbs (7.8 kg).
☞ **ERGO can be safely used up to at least 40 lbs (the ORIGINAL ERGOBABY carrier currently sold states up to 45 lbs while ours says 40 lbs.)