Mom, babywearing. Text overlay - (Free) Alternative for the Ergobaby infant insert.

Ergobaby Infant Insert: Necessary? (Ergobaby Hack)

Ergobaby infant insert – is it really necessary to purchase one for your Ergobaby carrier??? Or, is there an Ergobaby infant insert alternative you can use instead?

Look, I’m not saying that you should do this, all right? But I’ll tell you what I did so I could use Ergobaby with my newborn without the infant insert.

If you’re planning to wear your newborn regularly and often and want/need to have both hands free, this Ergobaby infant insert alternative is NOT for you and you should definitely purchase the infant insert from Ergobaby.

Why Ergobaby infant insert?

The Ergobaby infant insert (AKA Ergobaby Easy Snug Infant Insert) is compatible with Ergobaby Original and Ergobaby 360 All Positions baby carriers and is recommended for:

  • babies that weigh 7-12 lbs (3.2-5.5 kg)
  • babies weighing more than 12 lbs but younger than 4 months
  • babies 4 months and older without strong head and neck control
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The reason Ergobaby makes strong recommendation for the use of the infant insert is that Ergobaby Original and Ergobaby 360 All Positions baby carriers are simply too bulky and potentially unsafe for newborns and very young infants.

The infant insert provides adequate head and neck support in the early months and by raising the baby up a bit in the baby carrier it also keeps your baby in a comfortable ergonomic position that Ergobaby is known for.

Is the Ergobaby infant insert necessary?

If you’re planning to use either Ergobaby Original or Ergobaby 360 All Positions baby carrier with your newborn, you’ll need something to prop your baby up in the carrier to keep your baby safe. But, it doesn’t necessarily need to be the infant insert sold by Ergobaby.

Ergobaby infant insert alternative

A well-sized blanket or a towel can work well in a very similar fashion the infant insert would.

Your baby should weigh at least 7 lbs (3.2 kg) when using either the actual infant insert or an alternative.

  1. Put Ergobaby on (in the front carry inward-facing position).
  2. Roll up or fold a larger blanket OR a medium-sized towel and place it inside your Ergobaby carrier. You’ll want to play with different sizes to pick the one that is just right. The goal is to raise the seating area of the baby carrier by a few inches.
  3. Put your baby in, froggy-legs style (legs tucked to tummy – essentially the exact same way you would hold your baby on your chest), and tighten the shoulder straps of the carrier to keep baby comfy but as close to your body as possible. Your baby’s legs will be tucked in the carrier against your body, NOT in the carrier’s leg openings(!).
  4. If necessary, use another blanket (smaller this time) that’s fully breathable to fill out the space around the bottom of the carrier if there is still too much room behind the baby and on the sides. You’ll want your baby to be snug (but comfortable) in the baby carrier, not wobbling around too much.
  5. Keep the carrier’s hood on a short setting (twist and/or cross the straps if necessary) to support baby’s neck and/or hold your arm gently around the back of your baby’s head/neck while wearing. Always keep your baby visible (and in the ‘kissable height’) and monitor your baby closely.
Newborn in Ergobaby Original baby carrier - using Ergobaby infant insert alternative.

Just so we’re clear, I’m in no way advocating that’s what you should do instead of using the infant insert as suggested by Ergobaby. But, if you don’t own the actual insert, this alternative can be safely used in place of the Ergobaby infant insert in the early stages of babywearing AS LONG AS you’re following basic safety precautions and are keeping an eye on your baby at all times.

Related: Ergobaby Original Carrier: Pros & Cons

Related: The ONE Must-Have Ergobaby Accessory

When to stop using Ergobaby infant insert or this alternative?

You can stop padding Ergobaby and start using the carrier on its own when your baby:

  • weighs at least 12 pounds
  • demonstrates strong neck control
  • can sit comfortably in the baby carrier with legs splayed (as opposed to the froggy-legs position)

Ergobaby recommends that the infant insert should be used until a baby weighs at least 12 pounds AND is at least 4 months old.

We were able to stop padding Ergobaby when our baby was a little over 2 months. She was well over the minimum weight limit at that point and had very good neck control. She seemed more comfortable without any padding from that point onward.

Babywearing a newborn on a family outing. Text overlay - A very simple alternative for the recommended Ergobaby infant insert (if you don't have one).

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