As a mom of two, I get asked fairly often which piece of baby gear I consider to be the most essential or to suggest a baby shower gift. I always recommend a baby carrier. To me, this is one of the most important must-have pieces of baby gear. A good carrier will serve you well from those first newborn days right through to toddlerhood. From walking your colicky newborn around at two in the morning, to grocery shopping with a sleeping infant, to nursing your baby on the go, to running errands with a toddler, and then pretty much anything you have to do when you have an older child along too. A carrier saves your arms, your back, and your sanity!
I received this Ergobaby Original Carrier for review, courtesy of Rose ou Bleu, a premier baby boutique and online store based in Quebec, Canada. The Ergobaby’s award-winning ergonomic design fits babies 7-45 pounds and can be used for front, back, or hip carries.
- 100% cotton shell and lining
- 3 carry positions: front, back and hip
- Baby weight range: 7*-45 lb. (3.2*–20 kg) *newborn with infant insert
- Adjustable padded shoulder straps and waist belt
- Large zippered storage pocket
- 5 position adjustable hood
- Stitching: reinforced at all fabric intersections for extra durability
- Shoulder strap length range: 24”-44” (61cm-112cm)
- Waist belt circumference range: 26”-55” (66cm-140cm)
- Shoulder strap padding: 1” high density PU foam
- Designed in the USA
Ergobaby Original Carrier Design and Performance
The Ergobaby is designed for use with babies and children 7-45 pounds. If you have a newborn or younger baby, this carrier does require you to use an infant insert you can either purchase separately or in a bundle. Ergobaby recommends using the insert until your baby is 4-6 months old. At 20 months old and 26 pounds, Kay is long past the point of needing the insert, but you will need to factor that cost into your purchasing decision if you’re expecting or if you have a younger baby.
I love love love the look of the Night Sky print I received. It’s neutral enough to go with anything I wear, appropriate for either a girl or a boy, and easily worn by mom or dad. The stars are embroidered, not printed on. The 100% cotton canvas is machine washable (thank heavens – babies are messy!), though I would suggest spot washing whenever you can.
The shoulder straps are nice and thickly padded and never dig in to my shoulders or under my arms. The shoulder straps and waist belt are fully adjustable, and the chest clip adjusts length-wise as well as slides up and down the shoulder straps to fit any wearer comfortably. There’s plenty of room in the straps to fit just about everyone. Each strap comes with a little elastic to tie up the excess webbing so it doesn’t get in your way.
Here’s a quick look at the inside of this carrier. Oh my, I love that fabric!
Here’s Kay in a front carry. I’ll probably need to switch her around to my back soon, but at this point we both prefer the front. I love all the face-to-face interaction we get in this position. Lately she’s taken to reaching out and gently pulling my face down so she can give me kisses. It’s the most heart meltingly cute thing I’ve ever experienced.
You can see in the photo that Kay is sitting in an ergonomically correct position with her thighs supported and her knees up. This seated position is optimum to protect her hips and spine. The carrier itself is lightly padded, including along the edges of the seat which keeps them from digging in to little baby thighs. The Ergobaby Carrier is designed to distribute baby’s weight evenly between my hips and shoulders. After a brief breaking in period, the Ergobaby feels very comfortable to wear even for periods over an hour (remember she’s 26 pounds). Kay feels securely held against me, and she seems comfortable in there.
I also wanted to show you a back carry and how the Ergobaby fits an older child, so here I am wearing my 4 year old who weighs in at 36 pounds. And there’s still some room to grow there! Again, notice Tee’s seated position that puts the weight on her sit bones, right where it should be.
Tee thought it was fun to ride on Mommy’s back, but she soon wanted to get down so she could get back to running and climbing and getting into everything as usual. I haven’t worn her regularly for a couple of years now, but if you have a heavier toddler, a late bloomer, or a special needs child who is less mobile, the Ergobaby is a great option because it fits up to 45 pounds.
The Ergobaby Carrier comes with an adjustable hood to support baby’s head while sleeping, shield her from the sun, or to provide some privacy while nursing. It’s non-detachable, and there’s a little pocket in front to tuck it into when it’s not being used. On the one hand, this means that you’ll never lose the hood or forget where you put it (because I would never do a thing like that!). On the other hand, Kay rarely falls asleep in the carrier anymore and won’t tolerate the hood over her head, so it would be nice to be able to put it away, especially as the hood doesn’t usually stay stuffed in the pocket when I take off the carrier.
Finally, I love the large storage pocket on the front. None of my other carriers have this. It’s roomy enough to carry essentials like keys, a phone, cash, cards, and a tube of lipstick.
Now on to a couple of things I didn’t like as much. I’m not a fan of the placement of the buckle on the waistband. The Ergobaby buckles on the side instead of in the back, and I find it awkward to do up and to take off. I end up having to twist the carrier around my waist, which annoyingly also twists my shirt around. Even after a solid month of use, I just can’t get used to having that buckle on the side.
You may have noticed that I didn’t show you a hip carry. Honestly, I just couldn’t get it to feel comfortable or natural, and Kay didn’t like it either. Personally, I never use a hip carry as it inevitably throw my back and pelvis out of alignment. I’ve had problems with back pain and back spasms for years, so while a hip carry is still ergonomic for baby, it certainly isn’t for me. Your mileage may vary, of course. I’m sure there are plenty of parents who love having the option of a hip carry.
A good quality carrier is an investment, and you want to purchase the right one for you. Ergobaby makes one of the most popular carriers out there, and I can understand why. I love the beautiful prints these carriers come in, and I was impressed by the Ergobaby’s wide weight range and ability to accommodate front, back, and hip carries all in one carrier. Its ergonomic design allowed me to wear both my girls – aged 20 months and 4 years – comfortably and without any back strain.
The Ergobaby adjusts 3 ways to fit a wide range of shapes and sizes, but the bottom line is that different carriers fit different people, well, differently. Your best bet is to try on several carriers to determine which one meets your needs best and fits you most comfortably. Most stores will let you try them on to see how they feel, and if you’re in Montreal, be sure to stop by Rose ou Bleu to test drive their carriers and get a little advice on the best carrier for you.
The Ergobaby Original Carrier retails for $124.99. The infant insert retails separately for $29.99, but you can buy them together in a Bundle of Joy for $144.99. Rose ou Bleu carries the Original, Organic, and Performance Ergobaby Carriers, as well as an extensive collection of quality baby products. Browse their online store and shop safely. Remember that shipping is FREE with all orders over $150 before taxes or gift cards.
Disclosure: I received a sample item for review purposes. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.