“ Brand: Ergo / Carrier Type: Frameless / Carrier Position: Back „
As a new mum, I wanted to pick the best baby carrier that would be comfortable for my baby yet compliment my lifestyle as well. We are a very active family and I needed something sturdy but uncomplicated at the same time- the last thing you want to deal with is straps and clips everywhere when you're just trying to go out and enjoy the day. My little girl is 6 months old and she absolutely loves the Ergo Carrier! With the Ergo Carrier, I can carry her on my front, on my back and on my hip. It is super easy to switch her from the front to the back and with a little practice, I can do it in less than a minute now. The best thing about this carrier is that I don't even notice that I'm carrying her. She's 18 pounds and her weight is distributed in such a way that it is comfortable to walk long distances with her and it's not a problem at all! In fact yesterday we walked over 6 miles and we were both happy and comfortable.
The carrier is ergonomically designed in a way so that the baby's legs straddle your waist/back or hip and it is so comfortable for them. They basically sit in this cozy little pocket of ultra sturdy material and enjoy watching the world- so they are more "seated" than "suspended" like many other carriers on the market. There is also a sleep hood that can be used for the baby when they fall asleep when you are out and about which happens quite often! Another feature is that the baby can breastfeed while in the carrier which is very convenient, easy and discreet.
The carrier is so well made and very high-quality. All of the stitching is reinforced and the buckles are strong and tested at 90 pounds. There are several colours to choose from, we got the galaxy grey because it's not gender specific, so will suit girls and boys. The little embroidered stars add such a nice little touch.
I would recommend this carrier hands down over any other that we have tried (which is about 8 others). While it may be a little on the pricey side, it is absolutely worth it and I couldn't recommend it enough!
Having a fussy baby I have used a wide variety of carriers; this was and remains a firm favourite.
The Ergo can be used on front or back (and apparently also as a hip carrier, but I have not tried this), is very comfortable for both parent and child and has its own range of useful accessories, including a daypack which clips onto the carrier itself and a smaller pack which fits handily onto the waistband.The pocket on the back is just big enough for essentials and has a zip for access from the side without having to take the carrier off.
When not in use the Ergo can be folded down to a small bundle (about 35cm x 20cm x 10cm) and popped in a bag. Alternatively you can keep it clipped round your waist ready for use, either hanging down (faster but odd-looking) or rolled down into a bum-bag-sized lump.
The Ergo comes in a number of different colourways with contrasting (or matching if you prefer) lining and sleep hood. The outer is made of heavyweight cotton which will withstand considerable use and abuse, but is soft enough for comfort and does not feel hot and sweaty in use, while the lining and sleep hood (the parts which will be in contact with baby/child) are made of very soft cotton poplin. Spot cleaning is recommended for small marks, but since it is all cotton it can be machine-washed if need be. Mine has been through the machine a few times and came out looking as good as new.
The most recent, and more expensive, versions of the Ergo use organic cotton, so that you need have no worries about your baby chomping or sucking on the straps. Embroidered versions are also available, which look cool but require slightly more care in washing.
Comfort for baby:
The sleep hood is well-shaped to support baby's head and adjustable in size to suit from about 5 months to 2 years. The thin cotton means that a sleeping baby will not overheat and it can be rolled up out of the way when not in use. Beyond 2 years (or with a baby taller than the average 2 year old) the sleephood is rather less useful as it will be too low down and too small to fit comfortably and support the head.
The body of the carrier is lightly padded with cotton batting for extra comfort and support and is slightly shaped with darts to make a pouch which holds your baby close to you. This is not only cosier for your baby but it is also far more comfortable for you, since the closer to your body you are carrying weight the less you will feel it. The height of the body also means that even the wriggliest child cannot fall out and a sleepy baby is very well supported.
Comfort for you:
The waistband is wide and well-padded to distribute the weight comfortably and fastens with a wide buckle; there is also a safety loop to make completely sure that the carrier cannot fall off even if you have not fastened it properly. It is designed to fit from a 25" waist up to 43", but this will depend on exactly where you choose to wear it (I wear mine on my waist, some find it more comfortable on their hips) and very slim users may find that it will not go small enough for them. I am a UK size 10 and wear it nearly as tight as it will go. Larger users can buy a Waist Extender for around £6, which adds an extra 8" to the waistband.
The shoulder straps are well padded and fasten with buckles, although you will probably find that you never need to undo them unless you wish to do hip carrying. Loosening the straps is all that is necessary for most carries for most people. There is a chest strap, which can be moved up and down and adjusted in length to help hold the shoulder straps in just the right place and stop them from slipping. I find this very useful if I have a bag to carry as well as a child, since I can slip a bag strap over my shoulder and use the chest strap to hold that in place too! The chest strap also facilitates front carries by holding the straps together at the back (which means, I guess, that I should be calling it a chest/back strap!) so that they do not slip off your shoulders.
Thanks to all the padding and adjustability I have carried a 3 year old on my back in the Ergo comfortably for several hours on more than one occasion - the sleep hood would not have fitted her, but she was secure and cosy enough to have slept cuddled up against my neck had she wanted to. She was also in a great position to see what was going on and to chat to me easily, while I had my hands free to help my two older children with the activities they were doing, hold their hands and so on - and I did not need to worry about her running riot in a quiet museum!
I have found that the padding can be almost too much at times, though. When I am extra skinny (these things happen!) I have to be careful what I wear as the firmly padded waist/hip band has caused bruising on my hip bones more than once if I wear trousers with seams in the wrong places. It can also push the waistband of your trousers down, so that you feel you are constantly having to hitch them up - not the coolest look, I feel! Once I remembered which trousers were the culprits, though, all was well and I was able to carry my daughter in comfort and dignity.
A smaller baby can be carried if you use the infant insert (or a folded blanket) which allows them to be placed in a cradle-hold position but the Ergo really comes into its own for babies over 4-5 months and up to about 4 years. It is particularly useful for a toddler who wants to be up and down all the time, as it can be left clipped around your waist ready for use and the child popped in or out in seconds.
Personally I would not bother to use it for front carries, as I have other carriers which work much better for me. Fastening the chest/back strap behind my own back needed a degree of dexterity one step beyond my comfort zone, which meant that I could achieve an easy front carry when I had someone with me to help fasten it, but had to do a one-woman contortionist act when alone. I suspect, having seen others manage it with practised ease, that I could have found the knack if I had persevered but as I said I have other carriers I prefer. The infant insert did not work well for me either (but that's a whole other review!) and in general my advice would be that this carrier is okay for young babies but excels for older babies and toddlers.
Since the carrier is so easy to adjust my husband (over 6ft) and I can both use it with baby, toddler and even, when absolutely necessary, with an older child - it is much easier on the arms than a piggy back but holds a child in the same sort of position. It's an ideal carrier to keep tucked in the car boot or in a day bag for emergencies.
It is worth noting that there are different variants of the Ergo baby carrier. This review is based on the New Generation, rather than the Classic. You are unlikely to find a Classic new any more, but if buying second-hand it is worth checking which model you are getting, as the NG, although considerably more expensive, has more features, is more adjustable and longer in the body so will generally be useful for longer.
In fact even the Ergo New Generation has been slightly tweaked and revamped, with minor adjustments to placement of buckles and a much wider range of fabrics and colourways available. This is reflected in the price, however. A basic NG should set you back around £90, which sounds like a lot until you compare it to a premium pram or buggy, or divide it by the number of months of comfortable carrying time in a potential 3 years or more of use. The new organic version is a rather pricier £120 or you can add another £10 - £20 and opt for snazzy embroidery to pimp your baby's ride!
As for me, I bought mine second-hand and it's still going strong...
Padded hip, waist and shoulder straps makes this carrier comfortable for you. This carrier helps to support the growth of your child by carrying them in a seated position, making it more comfortable for them.