On Saturday I was at the Pregnancy, Baby and Children’s Expo with my family and I happened to walk past the Ergobaby stand while wearing my 2.5 year old daughter on my back in my own Ergobaby carrier. One of the women running the stand initiated a conversation with me about Ergobaby and one thing led to another, she asked me if I’d be at all interested in helping out on the stand and Sunday morning I was back at the Expo, bright and early, before the doors opened to the pulblic ready for a crash course in all things Ergobaby to help out on the stand for the day.
I did start the day knowing a fair bit about Ergobaby carriers; after all, I have 5 years experience using my own Ergobaby carrier, but it still was an intense day of learning on my feet (literally on my feet – all day). It was an awesome day though and I had a great time. I do love talking to people about baby wearing so even though I lost my voice several times mid-sentence in the dry, air-conditioned Exhibition centre it was a dream scenario for me.
I didn’t know much about the new Ergobaby 360 carrier before I started, but after doing countless demonstrations throughout the day I think now I could demo it blind folded.
The biggest challenge of the day was helping people choose which Ergobaby carrier was right for them, because the Ergobaby carrier range can be a little overwhelming, so using the information and experience I gained over the course the day I thought I’d do a brief guide to the differences between the Ergobaby carriers – this isn’t a complete product list, just the carriers I now have hands-on experience with.
Ergobaby Four-Position 360
This is the newest carrier in the Ergobaby range. As the name suggests this carrier can do 4 different positions. As with any of the other Ergobaby carriers you can have your baby on your front facing you as well as a hip and back carry, but this also can be used as a front forward facing carrier from about 5 to 12 months of age.
The forward facing carry still supports baby’s hips and legs in a natural sitting position (rather than putting their weight on their pelvis with their legs hanging straight down as with many other forward facing baby carriers) The top of the back panel can be buttoned up or down to support a new baby to the back of their head or to adjust to fit a toddler.
The waist band is a wide band of Velcro that is very supportive and can be placed higher up than the other Ergobaby waist bands so you could potentially do a high back carry with an older baby or toddler, though the drawback is once you’ve fitted the waist band in place and loaded baby into the carrier you can’t adjust the waist band – you get once chance to get it right. Though over the course of just one day I found I was able to get it right first time most of the time.
Another difference between the Ergobaby 360 and the rest of the Ergobaby carrier range is the Ergobaby only has a 15kg weight capacity whereas the other carriers have a 20kg weight capacity. So that’s the biggest decision to make when buying an Ergobaby carrier – what is more important to you and your family; a carrier that can do a forward facing option or a carrier with a higher weight capacity.
Don’t be put off by “Original” thinking it’s outdated and boring. The Original Ergobaby carrier comes in a range of colours and fabric options (including 100% Organic Cotton) It has a generous pocket on the front, it has a great hood for your baby to support them when they’re sleeping, protect them from the sun and wind or give them a bit of privacy if they’re getting over stimulated or distracted while breastfeeding. The Ergobaby Original is made with 100% cotton, which is a breathable fabric, but it is the thickest fabric in the Ergobaby carrier range, so while it’s a very suited to a cooler climate or for gentle strolling. It’s also going to suit parents who are looking for the more colour and pattern options.
It’s not the best option for very active parents or in a warmer climate, but if you do choose the Ergobaby original on warmer days just dress your baby or toddler lightly, keep to the shade if you can, ensure baby is getting plenty of air flow.
This is part of the Original range, the only difference is this is the most eco-friendly option as it is made from 100% recycled and regenerated materials. It’s also has the softest lining in the Ergobaby range.
If you are looking for a carrier that is going to be more suitable to active parents or you need carrier for a warmer climate but you don’t want to comprise on any of the other great features of the Ergobaby Original – such as the generous pocket and wide hood– then this is the carrier for you. It has sweat-wicking mesh to keep you and baby drier (yup, sweat-wicking mesh is always a good selling feature to talk about) and can be teamed up with the Performance Infant Insert which also has breathable mesh to keep your baby cool and comfortable, suitable from birth.
This is the coolest carrier in the range (as in temperature cool, though it’s still a pretty cool carrier) So this carrier is going to be ideal in warmer climates all year round, for active parents or parents who have hot bodies (again, hot as in temperature) and you’re biggest concern is overheating. It is similar to the Performance however it doesn’t have a front pocket because the front panel practically all mesh to allow plenty of air flow for you and your baby. It does still have a hood which is contained within a small zipped pocket on the front.
The Ergobaby X-tra has longer waist and shoulder straps so it’s suitable to taller or broader parents, though it’s just as comfortable for a smaller wearer as well which means it’s ideal for parents who are very different in size looking for a carrier that can adjust to suit both of their body types. The Ergobaby X-tra is made from lighter fabric than the original so it’s going to be that little bit cooler for baby and the wearer, but not so much as with the mesh on the Performance and Ventus.
Ergobaby Infant Inserts
If you are going to carry your baby from birth you will need an infant insert up until about 4 or so months old. The infant insert will support your baby’s head and neck and hold their legs in a natural “frog legged” position inside the carrier, which is ideal for their hips. The infant inserts come in 3 basic options (with some colour choices)
Original – made from 100% cotton and is soft and padded.
Organic – Which is pretty much the same as the Original, but it’s made with 100% organic cotton.
Performance – Also padded but made with breathable mesh so is more suitable to warmer climates or for active parents, especially when paired with the Performance or Ventus carriers.
*The inserts are all compatible with all of the carriers, so you can choose whichever carrier and infant insert suits your needs.
There are other Ergo baby carriers and products which I didn’t have the opportunity to demonstrate at the Expo so for a more complete product list and pricing go to the Babes In Arms website.
I hope that’s helpful! If you have any other questions I’d be happy to try to answer them, keeping in mind this is just the result of one day playing with carriers and demonstrating them to parents and parents-to-be at the Expo and being an Ergobaby owner for 5 years.