Ergo Baby Carrier

Ergo Baby Carrier – How to Stop Your Baby Crying

Before my son was born, we purchased a baby carrier. Very stupidly, I didn’t really do any research back then, and ended up purchasing a Baby Bjorn “leg dangler” carrier, which I now know to be the cause of hip development problems in some babies. When he was around 8 months old and getting too heavy for the Baby Bjorn, I decided to invest in a new carrier, and this is when I stumbled across the Ergo Baby Carrier. The Ergo Baby Carrier is ergonomically designed (hence the “Ergo” in the name), and I liked the fact that I could carry my son on my back to save myself any further pain as he grew heavier. Here’s a quick guide to the features of the Ergo Baby Carrier, and how you can use it to help stop your baby crying.

 

The Good:

  • Ergonomically designed to hold your baby in the correct “M” leg and hips positioning
  • Allows you to carry your baby in 3 close positions
  • Breastfeeding with your child still in the carrier is possible
  • Suitable from birth to 20kg (approximately 4 – 5 years)
  • Fits adults of most shapes and sizes
  • Comfortable wide, padded straps
  • Built-in hood

 

The Bad:

  • More expensive than some other carriers
  • Newborn insert is purchased separately or as an add-on
  • Difficult to get a younger child into the back position

The Details:

Frog leg position

The main advice I can give you when choosing a baby carrier is to ensure that the carrier allows your baby to assume the so-called “frog leg” positioning, also known as the “M” position. What this means is that when your baby’s hips and legs are supported in the carrier, they should create an “M” shape, rather than your baby just dangling from their crotch with their legs straight down. This crucial piece of information is something which I either missed, or totally disregarded when I purchased our first carrier, the Baby Bjorn. However, if you read all of the paediatric advice, you will find that all studies on baby and toddler physical development suggest that “leg dangling” carriers are bad for the hips of your child.

The Ergo Baby Carrier has been designed with this piece of advice in mind, and you will find that when you sit your baby or toddler correctly into the carrier, their legs are bent slightly upwards at the hip, and then bent downwards at the knee, forming that recommended “M” shape.

3 carrying positions

The Original Ergo Baby Carrier allows you to carry your child in 3 positions.

  1. Front carrying facing inwards towards parent
  2. Back carrying
  3. Hip carrying

It’s worth highlighting here that there’s also the Ergo Baby 360 which allows for a fourth position: front carrying but facing outwards from parent. But back onto the Original Ergo Baby Carrier’s three positions…

Front carrying – this is perfect for when your baby is younger and you require the extra closeness that carrying on your front brings with it. You will be able to easily see your child and communicate with them in this position. It’s also the position that’s required in order to use the carrier with from birth (see further detail below regarding the newborn insert). Once your child starts to get heavier, front carrying may put some strain on your back, however I find the carrier to be much more comfortable for carrying even a heavier baby on your front than when I was using the Baby Bjorn.

My son asleep in our Ergo Baby carrier

Our son asleep in our Ergo Baby carrier

Back carrying – once your child can sit fairly well and has full head control, usually from around 6 months, you can start to use the back carrying position. The benefit of this position is that your baby will be able to see everything from your perspective, since they will be facing forwards. I find that the position is probably a little bit too low down to offer the best view for my son, but that could be because I’m 5’9″ so have a fairly long back. The best thing for me is that carrying on the back doesn’t give you back ache! Even now that he is 13kg I can easily tote him around for an hour or so when in the back carrying position and I don’t get any kind of pain from it. From my experience of using the carrier since my son was 8 months old, I’ve not really had any difficulty in achieving the back carrying position, but I can definitely see how it would be a struggle by yourself with a younger baby. To get your child onto your back, you basically sit them in the front position and then swivel them around whilst trying to hold them upright so they don’t topple backwards. It’s something you can practise until you master it though, and it definitely gets easier as both you and your child get used to what’s going on!

Hip carrying – again, from the time that your child can sit well by themselves, you can use the hip carrying position on the Ergo Baby carrier. It’s also great for babies who want to look around whilst being carried, as although they are still facing in towards your body, they are positioned so that they can turn their head and look around you. I do find the hip carrying is less strenuous on your back than when you are front carrying, however you should try to alternate the hip that you carry your child on so that you don’t start to strain your back in other ways. The hip carry position is also a little tricky to get used to. It’s easier than back carrying to get your child into the right place, but I find that you have to really study how the straps should be attached to make sure you are carrying your child correctly.

Breastfeeding position

Something which isn’t actually marketed by Ergo Baby, but is definitely possible, is that you can breastfeed your baby quite easily with them in the carrier. As a newborn, you can use the newborn insert to position them sideways and loosen the straps to allow your baby sufficient space to latch on in a cradle hold position. As they grow older and are freely sitting  upright, you can drop the straps down so that your child is lower down on your hips and allow them to latch on that way.

Obviously you should always take care to ensure your baby is secure and comfortable when breastfeeding in the carrier, and always check that they have sufficient airflow whilst feeding. With a little practise, it’s not too difficult to do, and can free up your hands for a big chunk of time that you would have had to sit holding your baby to breastfeed. This is something which I’m going to rely on heavily when I have a newborn baby and still have to deal with my 2 year old son running around and no luxury of sitting down to feed for an hour!

Suitable from birth to 4 or 5 years old

The Ergo Baby is one of few baby carriers that can be used from birth, but there’s a catch. You have to use an additional newborn insert, which comes at an additional cost. In fact, you shouldn’t Ergo Baby Newborn Insertuse the carrier until your baby has good head and neck control unless you use the newborn insert.

Aside from the additional cost, the newborn insert does turn this into the only carrier you should need for your child. The insert can be used in a few different ways depending on the size, shape and development of your baby, and then once they hit the 4 to 6 months stage when they are strong enough to go into the carrier without the insert, you have the full flexibility of baby wearing in the three different positions described above.

The maximum weight advised for the carrier is 20kg, which would put the average child at around 4 or 5 years old. That’s not to say that your child won’t outgrow the carrier sooner though, once they are too big shapewise, they won’t find the carrier comfortable, so the weight limit shouldn’t be your only guide as to when to stop using the carrier.

Baby wearing comfort

This carrier is comfortable to wear. Really comfortable. The shoulder and hip straps are really padded with foam, and the hip strap can be positioned perfectly so that you are carrying the weight of your child on your hips, rather than on your waist, which can be a common flaw of many baby carriers. The straps can be adjusted to fit most adults, with the waist strap extending from 66cm – 140cm (26″ – 55″).

If you have a particularly clingy baby, baby wearing could be the answer you are looking for, and comfort is definitely going to be a major factor playing on your mind after holding your baby for 2, 3 or 4 hours at a time. We had a little boy with reflux and gastro-intestinal difficulties resulting from his allergies, and he just wanted to be held close and upright all the time. Further to that, we had a horrendous experience with him requiring surgery at 14 months old and had two days of nil by mouth when he was in hospital. With a young child, it’s quite difficult to explain why they are not being allowed any food or milk, and you can imagine the crying that this led to. It’s no secret that this carrier was the saving grace that my husband delivered to my rescue in the hospital ward, when my arms felt like they were about to drop off from pacing the floor holding him.

Baby wearing has also been found to reduce crying in babies with colic, since the pressure on their tummy from being held close to your body can help them to work the wind out of their system. I can definitely recommend baby wearing to reduce all the crying during the daily witching hour in those first 12 weeks or so.

Extra features

A couple of extra bonuses of the Ergo Baby carrier:

  • Built-in hood which can be folded away – great for when you have a sleeping baby or you are breastfeeding and want to cover up a little.
  • Large zippered pocket – big enough to fit your mobile phone, keys and wallet in which is great when you just need to nip out of the house for a short while without having to take the full changing bag with you.
  • Fully machine washable – as the carrier is made of natural materials such as cotton and linen, you can safely wash it, which isn’t possible with some of the sturdier carriers.

Ergo Baby Carrier

Overall conclusion

Value for money: 4/5

Style: 4/5

Quality: 5/5

Usefulness: 4/5

Price: RRP £99.90

Buy from: Amazon.com (currently £89.90 at time of writing)

As I said above, it’s an expensive purchase, but one that will last you for as many years as your child will want to be carried, and one which you will be thankful for paying a little more for the extra comfort factor. A baby carrier can definitely save your sanity and sense of independence when you have the freedom to move around carrying your baby whilst having the ability to use both arms. If you have a newborn who won’t stop crying, I recommend you try the Ergo Baby carrier for your baby wearing, and note the reduction in time that your baby cries and then comment on it below!

Please share this post with your friends with newborns with colic, reflux or anybody who’s struggling with those first few weeks. You may just help them to reduce their baby’s crying and to help them to realise that they CAN do this parenting thing!

 

8 responses to “Ergo Baby Carrier – How to Stop Your Baby Crying

  1. jschicanha

    This so wonderful. I never saw the type of this baby carrier before.This Ergobaby carrier is good and it looks strong.This is so good as it can make the baby to stop crying because it’s comfortable.Thank you for teaching us to make our baby comfort and share the love.

    Yours
    Jose

    Reply
    1. Caroline Post author

      Hi Jose,

      Spot on, the Ergobaby is strong and comfy and little ones love being held close to their parents or carers in the carrier. Even now, my two year old has to be carried around when he is sick, and it’s often the only way he will stop crying.

      Good luck with your baby and I hope the carrier works for you!

      Caroline

      Reply
  2. thestayathomedaddy

    I have a new baby and we have a carrier for him, not sure the brand. I believe it is the kind you say not to use. I have never heard that it could be bad for your baby’s hip but it is certainly something for me to think about. Your post was very well written and informative.

    Reply
    1. Caroline Post author

      Hi stayathomedaddy,

      We were exactly the same, we had heard of the big brand and so we assumed it would be one of the best on the market but after researching (after baby was born!), found the M leg position is crucial so that a carrier doesn’t affect your baby’s hip development. The Ergobaby is one of the few structured carriers that allows the M leg position, otherwise you really need to look at stretchy wraps/slings.

      If you have any other questions on the M leg position, please ask away!

      Caroline

      Reply
  3. Amanda

    Hi! Thank you so much for the detailed review. Do you know if a baby can be swaddled and then put into the carrier instead of purchasing the separate insert? Very neat product, it looks like it could last forever! I would love to see the different patterns or colors available.

    Reply
    1. Caroline Post author

      Hi Amanda,

      Thanks for the feedback! I’ll add a few more photos of different colours available to the post, there are quite a number to choose from 🙂

      Unfortunately, you need to use the special newborn insert in order to provide your baby with the adequate head and neck support whilst they cannot hold their own head up. I would also be worried about restricting the baby’s airflow if you were to swaddle and put them into the carrier.

      The insert is only needed for the first 4-6 months until your baby’s neck control is strong, so if you don’t want the added expense, you can always wait to start using the carrier until they are a little older.

      We’re had our carrier for 18 months now and it’s still going strong, looking forward to using it with baby number two in January!

      Caroline

      Reply
  4. Iain

    very interesting indeed. We are just in the process now of reinvesting in a baby carrier. We initially bought an el cheapo one coz our little one was so tiny that we actually just hand carried her everywhere. Then we went upmarket to a $70 one but I don’t really like it. Interesting you say that the baby Bjorn carrier causes hip issues….they are all the rage here in Japan. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Caroline Post author

      Hi Iain,

      Yes Baby’s Bjorn are popular everywhere and they have started to make changes to the design to make them better for hip development, but many of the problem carriers are still on sale unfortunately. Carriers become so useful once they weigh more than around 10lb and you need to give your arms a break! If you get the opportunity to try an Ergobaby out before purchasing, I think you will appreciate the quality 🙂

      Caroline

      Reply

Leave a Reply to jschicanha Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *