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Before our little one was born my husband was very excited about being "Superdad" with the baby in the carrier walking round the shopping centre while people go "ahhhhhh". So, with my handy boots points accumulated buying tons of baby things I purchased the baby bjorn classic and it must be said - without a lot of research! I once again fell into the "yummy mummy" trap of everyone is walking round with these it must be good.
We have the classic navy blue carrier though I believe you can get it in other colours (red and pink I have seen) but we didn't know whether we were having a boy or girl so went back to basics (plus it was all boots stocked at the time!)
The carrier arrived and we took our trusty baby size teddy to try it out. Now this poor teddy had already been subject to nappy changes, trying the pram out, the car seat so in it went to the carrier!
The carrier comes in 2 pieces, the "harness" for want of a better word which is worn across your back. And the front piece which supports the baby. You simply put the harness on your back, think like a pair of braces, and clip the front piece to the 2 clips at the bottom which joins the whole thing together. The baby (or teddy) then sits across the join and you pull the piece up and clip it around them (more on this shortly!)
Firstly - the harness, there is NO lower back support, all the weight is carried across the top of your back and shoulders. Though the weight is evenly distributed by the cross strap section, even more so when you position it correctly with the baby bjorn logo between your shoulder blades, you find that after a while the top of your back aches, the bottom of your back aches and you want to take the baby off!
The "front piece" a padded and relatively comfortable support for your baby. Depending on age and head strength you can wear the baby either forward facing to see the world or against you. Most parents start easing this with newborns as I did, so we start with the parent facing position. So you wrangle yourself into the straps in your sleep deprived state, your newborn looking up at you from their Moses basket thinking what on earth are you doing, clip the front piece on, pick the baby up and position the baby so their crotch is over the clips, still holding the baby to you think how on earth am I going to do this, sit and have a hormonal cry, work out you can do it (and it does get easier with practice!) and proceed as follows:
1. Baby sat across the bottom of the baby bjorn, facing you
2. One hand supporting your precious cargo use the other to pull the piece to your baby's back
3. 2 long clips either side around baby chest height, you lift up and slide in one ach side. These are colour coded so you know you are putting the right clip in the right hole
4. Bring the rest of the piece up, make sure your baby's arms are through the holes and clip on either side of their head
5. Use the straps to pull this tighter if needed creating a secure head support for baby
6. Pull straps on harness so comfortable as you would with a rucksack
7. Go about your business, hands free and more likely with a baby asleep on your chest as they are comforted by your heartbeat and being close to you.
This was a godsend during those first few weeks when he had his little fussy hour meltdowns, especially when said husband who was going to use this all the time (ahem another story) had gone back to work and I was alone in the day. I pottered round and sometimes it was the only way he would sleep.
WORD OF WARNING; our little one was small when he was born, only 6lbs7oz (or 2.9kg for anyone who wants new money) you can't use the bjorn until they are at least 8lbs (3.6kg) we had to shelve this until he was about 6 weeks old.
Moving on - your baby is aware of the world, they don't want to snuggle to mummy any more (yes its still mainly mummy that uses this despite daddy's big chat) so at around 3.5 months we switched to forward facing. Same process as above follows, but baby faces out instead of in (well duh) and instead of the top being uses as a head support you fold this over and clip, again with their little arms poking through the 2 holes so it is right up to their chin. This often results in a soggy carrier from teething dribble babies biting down on this! Most of the time we still use it this way (little man now 9 months old) but we do sometimes rather than putting him into a restricted star shape position, clip the top piece under his arms so he has his whole upper body free.
Now even as they get older you can still wear them parent facing, especially useful for nap time. In this case now he is older I only put one arm through into star position as he is a finger sucker to get to sleep and needs his hand by his mouth, not possible when they are at right angles to your body!
- can be forward and parent facing
- good to settle an upset newborn as their head is directly on your chest and by your heart
- not too expensive (we paid £64.99 and of course used advantage points so that was good)
- easy to store as its small
- great for travelling; airports and planes especially!
- small and squashy so easy to store and carry round with you
- is what as known as a crotch dangler ie baby is supported by their crotch which is not good for hip development
- as baby gets bigger it gets more and more difficult to wear and I have started wearing it for shorter time periods
- as baby gets more wriggly it gets more difficult to put on and often they don't like being contained
- I find it difficult to sit with it on, so if he's gone to sleep and I try to sit down I often wake him unless I squat and I look a bit strange!!
- changing it between my settings and my husbands settings, whilst easy (just like changing the straps on a rucksack) is still more of a pain than I'd like and it ends up me wearing it the majority of the time!
*WOULD I BUY AGAIN*
Knowing what I know now I probably would not buy this again, or if I was to buy a bjorn I would go for one of the newer (and more expensive) ones which has lower back support. We don't really use it as much as I thought we would, especially now he is a lot bigger its generally tossed in the bottom of the pram in case of emergency when out and requiring constant holding, or in airports when putting the pram through security/getting on the plane. Saying that it was fantastic in the house when he was a tiny (and light!) tot!
If you only want to use sporadically and you have good back strength then this is ok for you! Otherwise go out and look at what else is out there. I would look to buy another but I think I am firmly in the I am a pram user camp!
This is the second carrier that myself and my wife have purchased, the first being the Tomy All Seasons Carrier after reading a number of positive reviews for it for our first baby. I can safely say that Tomy carrier did nothing but frustrate and upset our baby with the clunky way you attached it, meaning it was all but impossible to do it on your own. Well I'm pleased to report that if you are thinking of buying this Babybojrn carrier you will not suffer these problems as this is a totally more satisfying affair.
The attaching mechanism on this carrier is so well thought out you won't be forever rereading complicated diagrams and wondering which strap goes where. This carrier, unlike the aforementioned Tomy one, is fairly rigid in structure and therefore the fitting is obvious after you've had it on you once. Connecting everything is logical and comfortable to do either standing up and sliding the baby in, or if they are getting bigger, you may be better lying your baby down on it and connecting them lying flat. Either way, I found this carrier simple and stress free to attach and detach.
The other main selling point is that it is extremely comfortable to wear, your baby is at a good height in it, with a comfortable head support if they (inevitably!) fall asleep and the baby always feels well supported right up to the maximum weight it will allow.
It would be advisable to buy the optional carrier cover from Babybojrn if you are out in cold weather, as the baby's arms and legs do stick out and can easily get cold (especially in the North East wind here!).
The only drawbacks really with the carrier could also be applied to all carriers in general; that is when your baby is a few months old you may well be reaching for the buggy more and more, as no matter how comfortable this is, it does become a pain in the back lugging him round for a day out shopping!
Overall, does a great job in the early months, lets you feel close to your little one when out and about, but just bear in mind it has quite a limited shelf life of a few months before it becomes basically impractical to use.
At a Glance The BabyBj?rn? Baby Carrier Original is a two-position carrier as your little one can face you from birth (3.5kg) or face outwards when their neck is strong enough (from 3 months). It is suitable from birth to 10kg (approximately 12 months). The BabyBj?rn? Baby Carrier Original is designed to make sure that you are little one are as comfortable as possible when its in use. Features and benefits for BabyBjorn Baby Carrier Original - City Black BabyBj?rn? Baby Carrier Original is a two-position carrier as your little one can face you from birth (3.5kg) or face outwards when their neck is strong enough (from 3 months) Suitable from birth up to a maximum weight of 10kg (approximately 12 months) Extra lumbar support to disperce weight of baby across your body Additional back support for even more comfort for you The BabyBj?rn? Baby Carrier Original folds out flat so it is very easy to put your child in there The seat height adjusts as your child grows so they are always safe and comfortable in the BabyBj?rn? Baby Carrier Original Free 2 year guarantee Mothercare Loves:.The lumbar support spreads your baby's weight evenly across your body to increase comfort for you.Want To Know More?The BabyBj÷rn? Baby Carrier Original is a two-position carrier as your little one can face you from birth (3.5kg) or face outwards when their neck is strong enough (from 3 months). It is suitable from birth to 10kg (approximately 12 months).The BabyBj÷rn? Baby Carrier Original is designed to make sure that you are little one are as comfortable as possible when its in use. The lumbar support spreads the baby's weight evenly across your body, together with the additional lower back support, the BabyBj÷rn? Baby Carrier Original really is comfortable for mums and dads to wear.It is super easy to place your little one in the carrier as it folds out flat. The seat height adjusts as your child grows so they are always safe and comfortable when in the BabyBj÷rn? Baby Carrier Original.Don't Forget...Mothercare stock a great range of travel accessories to keep your little one content whilst on the move with you. Fabric composition: 100% Cotton Care Instructions: Machine wash, warm (40°C). Wash separately using a gentle, bleach-free detergent.