Babywearing has always been associated with the more “organic” types of carriers (ringslings, wraps, pouches etc.) but the more “scientific” carrier, the soft-structured carrier or SSC, is part of the babywearing spectrum as well.
There are too many soft-structured carriers in the market that actually do more harm than good for both the baby and the babywearer. When I walk around the mall and see people wearing their babies in ill-constructed carriers, I really have to stop myself sometimes to share babywearing tips with the parents. In the early part of my babywearing journey, I was turned off from SSCs because of these types of carriers.
Image source: Google Search
I won’t go into detail about hip dysplasia and all the other stuff that make me cringe as a result of unsafe babywearing. Jenny of Chronicles of A Nursing Mom wrote a few posts about safe babywearing here, here and here.
But then. Here comes the ERGObaby carrier. I first heard of ergobaby while scouring the babywearing forums for information and tips. I noticed a lot of parents mentioned ergobaby whenever SSCs were mentioned. Just last year, I spotted them at the SM Baby Fair, got a card, and they were able to take part in Babywearing Meet 4. The local distributor of ergobaby, Richwell Trading, sent over an ergoBaby Sport Carrier for me to review.
The first thing I did was examine the carrier. Here’s what I liked:
- Light, soft, dry-in-no-time-at-all material. Perfect for our tropical climate.
- It has a little window on the carrying pouch, for more ventilation.
- All the straps have these secure elastics that are stitched on. No dangling straps or tangles in your baby bag!
- Because it’s soft, it folds right up and stows in your bag easily. Of course it will never compare to a sling, a pouch or hybrid that just plain folds flat, but hey. I find that it helps if I stow it in a drawstring bag before I put it in with the rest of Basti’s stuff.
- It also features a tuck-able sleeping hood, which I feel may be too hot to use outdoors. In an airconditioned area, it might prove useful.
I first took out the carrier on a short mall trip. Basti is now 2 years old and weighs 12kg. The ergoBaby Sport Carrier is guaranteed up to 45 pounds, so I was really counting on that for carrying my growing baby boy. I put on the carrier, positioned Basti into a front-carry and voila! I felt absolutely no strain on my back or shoulders. AT ALL. I shifted him into a back carry and the weight distribution was equally superb. Their advertising does not lie. The ergobaby carrier has amazing weight distribution, I kid you not. Lately, Basti has been straightening his legs when I carry him on my back, so doing that position in a ringsling has become a little dangerous. The ergobaby and the meitai have proven to be the better choices for back-carrying these days.
So with that short trip, I decided to take the carrier on a real test. I strapped it on, put Basti into a back-carry and walked a kilometer from our house to the supermarket. I did the groceries and trekked back, carrying Basti on my back and grocery bags on both shoulders. I swear I got more tired carrying the groceries than carrying Basti!
The ergobaby carrier is not just a comfort to the babywearer, it makes sure your baby is positioned properly as well. The seat is designed to put your baby’s legs into a right angle, sufficiently covering the behind for adequate support. You can use this SSC from infancy (with the help of the separately sold infant insert) all the way to toddler age.
Next test: The Painter test. My husband is not a babywearer. He doesn’t like the idea of needing to adjust the sling or learn how to wear the SaYa, and he feels all of it just looks too girly. I’m going to make him try out the ergobaby carrier on our next family day out and see how he likes it. Update to follow!
- Amazing weight distribution. No strain on back or shoulders. Can be worn for hours. Ideal for traveling with your child around the world. I wish I had this when we were once trapped at the Cebu airport because our flight was delayed for 3 hours. I bet I can go exercise walking with this as well. Lemme try that
tomorrow next week when I want to exercise when hell freezes over when I have time.
- Low learning curve. You put it on, strap baby in and snap everything in place. Done. People who don’t like too much hullabaloo will LOVE the ergobaby carrier.
- Perfect positioning for baby from infancy to toddler. No spine or hip issues happening here!
- Compact and portable. Unlike some other SSCs I’ve seen, the ergobaby is not a monster of a contraption. It can fold in with the rest of your stuff.
Points for consideration:
- The ergobaby carrier also carries directions for hip-carry, but I couldn’t get past the instructions. It involves unhooking the shoulder straps and crossing it over to the whatnot and… okay I lost it. I think the front and back carry works fine. I also associate the hip carry for short trips, so you’re better off just shimmie-ing your baby in a pouch if you want to hip carry.
- The instructions that come with the carrier need a little improvement. The wording is convoluted and the illustrations are scattered all over the place. A lot of guesswork. Luckily, the ergobaby carrier has a solid fan base around the world, so it’s easy to search for mom-made instructional videos. The carrier itself is user-friendly. You can figure out the front-carry by yourself. The back-carry needs some technique.
A word about counterfeit ERGOBaby carriers.
I’ve been asked about my opinion on counterfeit ergobaby carriers, and other SSC brands, as well. You can find sites and posts on buy-and-sell sites selling ergobaby carriers that are China-made, factory-priced.. whatever. They are sold much, much lower than retail price and promise to deliver the same features. My own personal opinion is this: safe babywearing with an SSC lies majorly
on the workmanship of the carrier. The structure of the carrier, from the materials, the stitching, positioning of the parts, etc. were extensively studied by the manufacturers. I myself would not put my baby in a position that may have adverse effects on his physical development, and may put my own health in danger. I would buy an ergobaby carrier only from a licensed distributor, whether it be locally, abroad or online. I feel better knowing I’m protected by their guarantee and their warranty. ERGOBaby has information on counterfeit carriers on their website
. If you choose to buy outside of their official channels, then that is your risk to take for your baby, and for yourself. Bow.
- Great carrier for medium to heavy babywearing. Perfect for napping, traveling, shopping, walks.
- Easy to put on, a breeze to take off.
- Ideal for back-carrying toddlers.
- A little pricey, but the superb construction makes it worth it.
Here’s my problem. They’ve got a designer edition Petunia Pickle print that is so much like my blog’s design. I want!
I henceforth dub thee, The Painter’s Wife ERGOBaby Carrier. Hehe!
UPDATE: The Painter loves the ERGObaby carrier. He says as long as we have it, he can be in charge of carrying Basti.
ERGObaby carriers can be found in the following outlets:
- SM Pampanga Department Store
- SM North Edsa Department Store
- SM Megamall Department Store
- SM Makati Department Store
- SM MOA Department Store
- SM Cebu
- SM Davao
- Baby Company SM North Edsa Annex
- Baby Company The Podium
- Baby Company Power Plant Mall
- Baby Company SM Southmall
- Rustans Makati Department Store
- Rustans Tower Shangri-la Mall Department Store
- Rustans Alabang Town Center Department Store
Right now they carry the following models: the Basic Carrier (Black, Camel, Red, Purple Print, Galaxy Grey) and the Sport Carrier (Black, Red). Coming soon in July: the Basic Carrier in Zebra Print, and the Organic Carriers in Highland Navy, Plaid, Peaceful Portofino and Evening In Innsbruck (which is a luscious print, I must say).