Monday 14 April 2014

Carrier Match Up: Baby Bjorn vs Ergobaby

One and a half years ago, the hubby and I stumbled onto a good deal and bought the Baby Bjorn Comfort Carrier. It was made of organic material so the price was really expensive. But we still bought it anyway as the hubby was not interested in any of the other designs. He really liked the slick black look that is the trademark of the Bjorn carrier (obviously targeted at dads).

My girl was almost hitting the weight limit of the carrier but I tested the carrier out anyway by carrying her while shopping with my family. Managed to carry my then 13.5kg baby girl for about 1-2 hours before I felt too tired to continue.

Dominique then encouraged me to try her Ergobaby Standard Carrier, which could carry toddlers up to 20kg, and kindly passed hers to me when her third child no longer required it.

Out of curiosity, I have used both for my boy to compare the differences between the two, which then led to this first hand review so that you can make an informed decision =)

Baby Bjorn Comfort Carrier vs Ergobaby Standard Carrier

I started carrying my baby boy in the Baby Bjorn since he was 1-1.5 months old (he was 5.8-6kg). I found that the Bjorn was sturdy enough to support his small and delicate frame and his head was well-supported. A newborn infant like mine could be carried without the need for an infant insert. I don't recommend that you use it for your baby as early as I did though because my boy's head "stabilised" earlier than most babies (I had a fair amount of confidence that it would be ok for him).

Front Face-to-Face & Front Forward-Facing positions

The Baby Bjorn is one of the few carriers that offer the forward-facing position, which can be useful when you want to allow your child to be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the environment rather than staring at your boobs chest all the time. However, do note that this position does not provide much support so I personally recommend not carrying your baby in this position for more than 1-2 hours.

My boy loves our Baby Bjorn carrier and can sleep in it for hours when I am out window shopping or running errands. I even walked 5km while carrying him in it at this year's Terry Fox Run!

I've been visiting several stores and noticed that they no longer sold our Baby Bjorn Comfort Carrier. Instead, they were selling an upgraded version of it, the Baby Bjorn One, which has an additional back-carrying position that is lacking in ours.

The downside of Baby Bjorn carriers is that they don't allow you to carry heavier babies and toddlers. As my boy grew heavier, I can literally feel the strain on my back the longer I carried him.

On the other hand, the Ergobaby offers great support for your back and allows you to carry toddlers as heavy as 20kg! I carried my 17kg girl in the Ergobaby carrier both on the back on the first day and in the front on the third day (because she didn't like to be carried at the back) when we were in Hong Kong.

Front Face-to-Face & Back carrying positions
Sturdy waist belt

The key to the Ergobaby design is the thick and sturdy waist belt that transferred the weight of your baby to your waist and hips rather than your back and shoulders. However, this meant that you will feel the ache in your legs when carrying a really heavy child like I did and not your back. This does not make it any easier or less painful! I'll know.. I carried my girl twice for just 1 hour each time and my legs couldn't walk after that!! =(

Unlike the Bjorn, which has it the other way around, the waist belt of the Ergobaby has to be buckled first before fastening the shoulder straps. The waist belt forms the foundation of the carrier, which therefore meant that you must keep the waist belt securely fastened at all times when your baby is in the carrier otherwise he/she could fall out (this is not so for the Baby Bjorn).

Hence, because the waist strap has to be secured first, I found it difficult to secure the back buckle without help (not sure if it's because I'm doing it wrong or simply not flexible enough). This was quite inconvenient as I was used to securing the baby in my Bjorn by myself.

Nevertheless, I really liked that the Ergobaby had a hood which can double as a rain/sun cover and a pocket for me to store my handphone and other stuff. It is also relatively cheaper and less bulky to store =)

In case you didn't get all that, here's a nice little summary table for you =)

Summary Table

Before you decide which carrier to buy, read up on the best practices for carrying a baby as doing it wrongly could significantly harm your baby.

Don't let having a baby stop you from enjoying the great outdoors! Having a carrier can make a world of difference in giving you the independence and freedom you need to bring your baby out on your own. Enjoy! =)

P.S: Follow My Baby Carrier Reviews as I personally put various baby carriers to the ultimate test! Do also keep yourself informed of Babywearing Safety tips.
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