Why I love my Ergo

I got my Ergobaby Carrier right before Smooch was born. I did extensive research into different carriers/ slings because I planned to use one instead of the "traditional" transportation system of an infant bucket seat & stroller.  There are a bunch of reasons for this decision:  1) I have carried the bucket seats and they are heavy, bulky, and extremely inconvenient to carry. 2) we had a small 2-door hatchback with limited storage space that was our exclusive mode of transportation, so a big stroller wouldn't fit. 3) I saw the developmental benefits of carrying Smooch as opposed to transporting her. 4) I'd like to think of myself as a fairly active individual, and I loved the idea of bringing Smooch along, particularly hands-free.

Here are the top 5 reasons why I chose the Ergo:

sorry the words are so small,
but I hope you get the idea
1) Ergonomic:  As the name suggests, Ergobaby carriers are designed to support baby in the most ergonomically correct
posture for proper development, particularly of the hips and legs.  A lot of other brands of carriers are what are often referred to as 'crotch-danglers' meaning that the baby sits with his legs dangling and putting pressure on his crotch area. These also allow for/ encourage 'front facing' carrying positions, with baby facing out, which puts pressure on all kinds of wrong spots as well.

2) Comfort/ Ease of use:  I watched several friends carrying their babies in slings, and while I thought it looked like a cozy option for when they are tiny, I still felt like it was a lot of work to get the sling positioned just right on the mother, the baby positioned properly in the sling, and as the baby grew, these mommies were constantly adjusting and readjusting the sling on their shoulder, and it just did not look comfortable.  I'm already a chiropractic 'victim' of the trend in the 80's & 90's of carrying my school backpack on one shoulder (no matter how heavy it was!) because it was 'uncool' to "2-strap it".  The sling options seem to perpetuate this.  Now, I know that it draws the weight across the body, which helps to distribute it more evenly, but this is still less favourable than distributing the weight across 2 shoulders and your hips.
The Ergo is incredibly easy and consistent to put on.  A buckle around your waist, 2 straps over your shoulders, a clip across the shoulder straps, and you're good to go!  It is also designed to distribute the weight of the child between your shoulders and your hips, so you do not have a tired back and neck and shoulders after carrying your baby.

7 months pregnant
Diggin' potatoes on "Visit the Farm Day"
3) Carrying Options: Unlike many of the 'classic' carriers (Baby Bjorn & Snugli are the 2 biggest names, which allow only for front carry and usually only up to 20-25 lbs, which is typically about 1 year), the Ergo allows you to carry your baby from birth (with the Infant insert) to 45 lbs (!) -- on your front, on your back or on your hip.  I love the versatility this provides!  It means that I can continue to carry Smooch for as long as she wants to be carried.  As a toddler now, she loves the back carry option, because she can look around, engage with the world around her, but still snuggle in for a sleep when she gets tired.  And one more added benefit:  the soft,
feeding the ducks!
pliable nature of the Ergo means that I could still wear it even while 7 months pregnant with WeeMan -- I just put the waistband around my ribs, above my belly, and the carrier adjusted to Smooch's position on my back.  The stiffer carriers do not allow for this option.  The Ergo can also be configured to wear as a side sling, for support while carrying your child on your hip, which I've utilized a few times, but admittedly, I have not mastered this option yet.

Exploring Kauai's North Shore 
4) Neutrality of Appearance/ Style Options: The simplicity of Ergo's design makes it an appealing option for both Mom AND Dad to use.  When I purchased mine, they had 3 different styles of carriers available:  The "Original," with many different colour/ pattern options, the "Performance," with fewer colours, but designed for the active family -- lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking fabric, and shoulder straps cut to give more freedom of motion, and the "Sport," with only 3 colour options (black, light blue, and red), but extended dimensions for larger frames, soft padded shoulder straps, built in ventilation spaces, and a removable hood.  I opted for the "Sport" edition, because I am tall, broad shouldered, and have an incredibly long torso, so I felt this would best fit my body shape.  I chose black, because I knew it would appeal to my husband more than the blue or red would, and might give him the incentive to wear Smooch too.  I was right.  He loves to carry her.
[Note: The "Sport" edition is no longer available from Ergobaby directly, but will soon be re-marketed as the Ergo "Xtra Carrier" available exclusively at REI, specifically targeting Dads.]
My personal opinion: Not all carriers are created equal in this regard. On our trip to Hawaii last year, while touring Pearl Harbour, we saw a Dad carrying his young daughter in a sling.   I'm not sure if I can pinpoint what it was, maybe it was the pink and brown pattern of the fabric (although I don't think that was it entirely), but there was something extremely emasculating about the scene, despite the fact that this was a seriously big dude (and by 'big' I mean strong and built).  It kind of felt like when you see a guy holding his wife's purse at the mall.  Something just not quite right about it...  *please forgive me if you are a sling-wearing Daddy and I've offended you... I absolutely mean no disrespect.  

5) Durability: These carriers are built to last.  I've carried Smooch for 2 1/2 years now, very regularly -- at times, almost every single day.  As I mentioned before, for her first 3 months, it was her exclusive mode of transportation outside of the car.  And now we are using it for both Smooch and WeeMan, and it still looks as good as the day I pulled it out of the box.  The fabric has not worn out or faded, the seams are still intact, no loose strings, or fraying straps, the buckles are still in great condition.  It has been rolled, stuffed, and shoved into all kinds of tight spots.  It washes in the washer & dryer, and even with 2 teething babies gnawing on it, there is no major evidence of wear & tear.

Bottom Line: This is without a doubt the best carrier I've encountered. I've used a couple others, back in my babysitting years (Snugli & Baby Bjorn specifically), and everything about the Ergo makes me certain that this is the best fit for my family.  The only thing I wish mine had (which the Original & Performance have) is a pocket for storing small items such as keys, wallet, or cell phone.  But I absolutely love my Ergo.  I recommend it to everyone who asks me about carriers.

No comments:

Post a Comment