Baby wearing is back in style! It never went out of style in some areas of the world, but in westernized society, we tend to vacillate between ancient ways and modern modalities. Hopefully, in the end, we find balance. This is certainly the case for me in searching out the right next baby carrier for myself and my 10-month-old daughter.
I was given a Baby Bjorn front carrier when my daughter was first born and used it all the time. It was wonderful for many months (To read more about the Baby Bjorn Click Here). I was looking for a new carrier for two reasons: first, as the baby grows bigger and heavier, there was concern raised about spinal development; second, my daughter was quickly outgrowing the Bjorn! Not to mention, have you ever tried to wash dishes or clean the bathroom with a 21 pound baby strapped across your front?? Pretty impossible to get to your target, unless your little one likes bumping and banging into things. So I became a mother on a mission I was determined to find a carrier that suited my current needs.
I found so many choices it made my head spin! Front packs, back packs, hip carriers, slings of several varieties, etc., etc. My requirements were simple: I wanted a carrier that would:
- Hold the baby in a healthy, structurally supportive way;
- Spread the ever-increasing weight of my girl across the strongest parts of my body;
- Adapt in its carrying position preferably able to position the baby in front, in back and on either hip;
- Have the strength to support my child as she grows (for as long as I can handle carrying the weight!).
That's all! Is that so much to ask?? Apparently, in most cases, yes!
With all the carriers on the market I found one and only one that advertised to accommodate all of my needs and that is the ERGO Baby Carrier. Here's what they claim:
'Parents tell us The ERGO Baby Carrier is the best of all the baby carriers on the market. It was designed by Karin Frost and has undergone extensive testing by tens of thousands of parents. It's innovative design makes wearing your baby comfortable for hours at a time, gives you the freedom to remain active and productive in your daily life, and holds your baby secure to your body so your hands are free.
The ERGO Baby Carrier's ergonomic design supports a correct sitting position for the baby's hip, pelvis and spine growth. It disperses most of the baby's weight between the hips and thighs, which helps to eliminate compression of the spine when hanging by the crotch, which most other designs require. The ERGO also balances the baby's weight to parent's hips and shoulders, and alleviates physical stress for the parent.'
You can see why I perked up when I read this! And sure enough, this carrier allows you to position and shift the baby from front to back as well as either hip and will it hold a baby as heavy as 40 lbs! Yes, it seemed my prayers had been answered. Before I tell you about my experience with this amazing product, let me share with you a bit about the company and its history.
'Karin Frost, designer and president of The ERGO Baby Carrier, Inc., discovered after giving birth to her son in 2001 that, 'carrying my baby was the ideal way of having him close and remaining productive in my daily life. So I set out to design my ideal carrier.' Thus the first prototype of the ERGO was created. The carrier was so successful that mothers who saw her carrying her son asked her to make carriers for them. Within a very short time the demand for the ERGO became a sensation so great that the result is the manufacturer of a carrier that is now sold to a worldwide market via the Internet and a network of distributors. Research and development has been and remains Karin's focus. New product designs are launched on a regular basis.
The company is family owned and managed in Haiku, Maui, Hawaii. We have a dedicated team whose priority is customer service, including immediate order response and friendly support of product use and understanding. Our growth this year enabled us to donate over 500 ERGO Baby Carriers to Women's Shelters in Louisiana and Texas during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We were struck with compassion for the mothers and fathers and strangers carrying one and sometimes two babies or small children, wading through floodwaters and carrying bundles as well. This gift was in keeping with our commitment to furthering the baby-carrying experience.'
I was impressed by the company's mission to help those in need. Their goal to be a resource for parents on the issue of baby carrying was also very attractive to me. ERGO has information on a number of parenting related issues on their website and clearly they 'practice what they preach'.
Now back to me! As an avid hiker, I love being able to carry my daughter on my back. The ERGO not only allows this, but does not add much extra weight, as many 'outdoorsy' types of backpack carriers do. I also notice that my daughter is held securely up to just below her armpits. This allows her upper body to have some freedom to move about and broaden her view. She is at the stage where she really enjoys checking everything out and she has the physical strength to do so, while the ERGO holds her safely in place.
I also believe in the emotionally developmental advantages of wearing your baby in general and as often as possible. While around the house, taking walks, doing housework, etc., I can hold her without having the extra stress on one arm or the other, plus I have the ability to use both hands. I hold her in front when she needs to be snuggly or is sleepy and will fall asleep, on the hip if I'm busy doing something that she might want to watch or reach out and touch, and on the back when I really need her 'out of the way' to accomplish my task. The flexibility to change position makes all the difference in the world!
I can vouch for how different and better my own body feels carrying a 21 pound weight in the ERGO carrier as compared to carrying her around in one arm while resting on one perpetually protruding hip. It was becoming more and more challenging to manage her increasing weight and size without this kind of support. Now, I can continue to carry my daughter as I want to without suffering physical consequences.
The Original ERGO Baby Carrier comes in a number of attractive fabrics and colors to choose from. The company also offers a number of accessory items, such as a front pouch that attaches to the carrier for the adults personal carry-along items, which you can match to your ERGO. They even have a 'Papoose coat' to allow you to carry your baby in inclement weather!
This carrier is a dream-come-true for me. Thank you, ERGO, for helping this mom successfully complete her mission!