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When I say I’m a baby carrier/ baby wearing geek I am not kidding… total nerd! I’m that lady chasing other parents down in the mall to discuss the carrier that they’re wearing. My husband really loves when I do that (← total sarcasm). I love soft structured carriers, wraps, slings, all of them! And my absolute favorite part of working at Magic Beans is working with parents to find just the right carrier for them. Today we’ll take a quick look at two brands of fantastic soft structured carriers: the Ergobaby and Baby Bjorn carriers.
Yes, you can look at all of the specs and details about each and every carrier, but that can get very overwhelming! The first thing you want to do when trying to decide on which carrier to buy is think about what you want your carrier to be able to do. Is it important to you that your baby be able to face outward? Do you really want to be able to wear your baby on your back? Do you want to be able to do a hip carry? Are you concerned about your baby being too hot or too cold? Are you ok if you need to use an infant insert for a smaller baby? By answering these questions about which features are necessary to you, you will be able to immediately weed through and omit the carriers that simply won’t work for you!
Front Facing Out vs. Facing in Carry Position
If you really want your little one to be able to face out into the world in a forward facing position, then you should focus on the Ergobaby 360 or any of the Baby Bjorn carriers such as the Baby Bjorn Miracle, Active, and One carriers. The original, organic and performance Ergobaby carriers are not structured in a way to allow a forward-facing front carry.
Read more about the Ergobaby 360 Carrier here
Hip and Back Carry Positions
If a hip carry is a must for you then any of the Ergobaby carriers are what you’ll want to focus on, since none of the Baby Bjorn carriers are designed to do a hip carry. If you require the option to carry your little love on your back, then you’ll want to look into any of the Ergobaby carriers or the Baby Bjorn One carrier.
In my opinion, the Baby Bjorn One carrier is the easiest and most stable transition from a front carry to a back carry, which you can do with the baby secure in the carrier. However, if you are very active and plan on doing some long hikes and extended back carrying, then you might want to consider the Ergobaby Performance carrier. The straps are slightly curved for a more comfortable back carry for comfort over a longer stretch of time.
The material of your carrier plays a big role in how warm or cool your little one will be. The carriers that are available in a mesh material will offer more breathability to keep baby cooler during the warmer weather. For those of you with summer babies, you may want to think about getting a carrier that is offered in a mesh material, such as the Baby Bjorn Active, Baby Bjorn One, or the Ergobaby Performance carrier. I always lean towards the mesh carriers, personally, because it’s easy to add layers of clothing or carrier blankets to keep your baby warm!
This is an easy one, since this question can help you decide right off the bat between the Ergobaby carriers and the Baby Bjorn carriers. The Ergobaby carriers require an infant insert for all of their carriers for babies under 12 pounds. The Baby Bjorn carriers do not require the use of an infant insert. Some people like the inserts because the baby is all snug as a bug in there! However, for those who have summer babies, the infant insert can be a real turn off because they feel it is a lot of extra fabric and very warm.
Carriers are very much like shoes: what is comfortable for one person may not be comfortable for the next. Think about what you want your carrier to do for you to narrow down your search, and then come visit us at Magic Beans! We’ll help you try on the carrier with your baby (or one of our handy-dandy demo dolls), and in no time, you’ll find the perfect fit.