on July 9, 2010
I'm a bit compulsive so we own quite a few carriers. For the purposes of this review, I'll skip slings, and stick to backpack style shoulder strap carriers. Specifically the Bjorn line and the Ergo.
Ergo: The most comfortable of the bunch! While it can get a little toasty for both you and baby on warm days, both wife and I felt that we could wear it just about forever. Unlike most backpack carriers, the Ergo has a waist belt on which most of the baby's weight rests. Those of you who've used a hiking backpack know exactly how much this helps. For those who don't, there's a padded band that sits just above your hips. When worn correctly most of the baby's weight is distributed across your hips greatly reducing the stress/load on your shoulders and back. Unfortunately for us, our little monkey recently decided that she must face out, and the Ergo only allows them to face in. So it's been sitting in unused in the closet for several weeks.
Bjorn Air/Classic: Smallest, lightest and easiest to use. We have the "Air" model, and the special fabric actually does work to keep you and your baby cool. It's my preferred carrier for quick jaunts and hot days. But the wife and nanny will wear it only if they have to. It is by far the least comfortable carrier we own. The shoulder straps are unpadded and relatively thin so they really dig into your shoulders. I find it merely a bit annoying, but the wife says she can't wear it for more than 5 or 10 minutes before it really starts to hurt.
Bjorn Synergy/Active: Basically the Air/Classic but with wider, padded shoulder straps and a lumbar support piece. While a little more comfortable than the Air/Classic, it is still a far cry from the comfort of the Ergo. While the lumbar support is okay, the fundamental problem remains: all the weight is still placed on the shoulders.
Bjorn Comfort: The newest Bjorn, and by far the most comfortable. It has very wide and nicely padded straps, and like the Ergo, the Comfort has a padded waist band! While it isn't quite as comfortable as the Ergo, it comes close. I have used it for multi-hour walks with no back or shoulder discomfort. And unlike the Ergo, baby can face in or out.
A couple minor complaints. First it is quite bulky. Given the way its constructed, its actually much bulkier than even the Ergo, so it's not the easiest thing to stuff in a bag/under the stroller. Second is that as of yet you cannot buy additional bibs. One bib is included, but given how much we use the thing it's nice to have a second (note the Bjorn bibs currently sold are NOT COMPATIBLE with the Comfort). Plus while it doesn't seem as warm as the Ergo, you and baby will be plenty sweaty on hot days.
All these carriers seem very well made, and with the sole exception of the Air, I feel will last a long, long time (while so far so good, I have some reservations about the long run durability of the fabric shoulder straps of the Air). Currently we mostly use the Comfort, but I still bust out the Air on hot days or for short jaunts and all in all we are quite happy with the carrier situation. But we still have hope that one day our little one will deign to face in so we can bust out the Ergo again.
Pros: Most comfortable
Cons: Baby can only face in. A little warm on hot days.
Pros: Easiest to get baby into/out of. Air is fabulous for hot days. Smallest and lightest (great for packing).
Cons: Least comfortable. Some concern about durability of Air fabric.
Pros: More comfortable than Air/Classic
Cons: Still no waist strap!
Pros: Comfort (almost as good as the Ergo)
Cons: A little warm on hot days. Can't purchase replacement/extra bibs. Bulkiest of all four carriers.
on November 10, 2005
This carrier is the best! My son is child #5 and I have had a carrier for each one. This last one is definately the best! Not wanting to spend this much money on a "carrier" of all things, I researched and considered carefully before purchasing this. All reviews and reports were accurate...This is definately worth the extra dollars.
The ease of use is remarkable. I can get baby in and out all by myself. From the day after Luca and I arrived home from the hospital, we were out for our daily walks. I sing in our church choir every Sunday and Luca is in his Bjorn close to me and we have never missed a Mass! It is always in the diaper bag when we shop because he ultimately ends up in his carrier. Even at age 13 months I use this daily! Now he sits forward in it and charms all he sees!
My older boys take Karate 5 days a week, so Luca is in the carrier facing forward and watching his brothers. My other mom friends are struggling with their toddlers and mine is content in his BJORN! A few of them even went out and purchased it after seeing how easy it is to use. Now we have our own section where we stand and let our babies talk and interact with eachother. My little guy is so content in his that I can even sit down using mine!
The BABY BJORN has become a regular part of my wardrobe! Before I get in the car, I put on my BJORN. I have two strollers in the back of the van but I never use them! This carrier is where he is most content!
Shopping, trips to the vet, doctors, karate, weekly Mass, recently a trip to the funeral home for a close relative, football games and sporting events, pumpkin patch and corn mazes, parades, summer carnivals festivals and picnics, I even ran stand for our church's picnic last summer with my baby in his BJORN...and oh... the list just goes on and on.
I cannot praise this enough for the convenience it has added to my family's life. There is NO staying home using the new baby as an excuse when your baby is #5! This carrier makes it so much easier! Easy in, easy out! When Luca falls asleep in his car seat he goes in this facing me. When he wakes up, he faces out. I can unfasten this and turn him aropund and re-fasten him without putting him down or passiong him off to someone else...that is the amazing feature of this wonderful product!
Seems intimidating at fira=st but believe me, you catch on fast! I cannot tell you how many of these I have sold in stores I just happened to be in shopping! Exasperated parents would just approach me asking me where I got my carrier. Several times I actually watched parents take this from the box on the shelves, put baby in, and pay for it on the way out!
No backaches for me. I am about 5'7" and weigh about 115lbs. Luca is about 23 lbs. I have no complaints and on karate nights I am wearing him for about 90 minutes!
Unfortunately I have never figured out how to nurse baby when in this. I do recall reading that you could but I have found it impossible, at least for me.
You put your arms through the straps and the front of the carrier is open, you then take the front piece and snap it on (very easy) You can then place your baby on you and hold him/her with one arm and pick up the front of the carrier and bring it up over baby sliding the built in post-like fasteners into their respective color coded openings on the straps. Baby is safe secure and mom/dad has 2 free hands!
You really will not be sorry you splurged on this!
Great great product!
on August 24, 2011
I own the original Baby Bjorn (classic), the Baby Bjorn Synergy, the Beco Gemini and a Balboa Baby Sling. I've test driven the Baby Bjorn Comfort, the Ergo, and the Beco Butterfly in the store with my baby. In order of preference, I like the Beco Gemini best, then the Beco Butterfly, Ergo, Baby Bjorn Comfort, Baby Bjorn Synergy, and the BB Classic last. The baby sling is in a category of its own because it is slung only over one shoulder.
Here's my evaluation of the different carriers
**Baby Bjorn Classic (I own this)
Pros: Really good design with clasps that click when secure, easy to take on and off. Well made carrier. Can carry baby facing in and out. Can be used with newborn.
Cons: Hurts your neck and back. The problem is that the Baby Bjorn is designed to put the weight on your shoulders and once your baby is over 10 lbs, the average woman will develop a neck ache from using this carrier. I've talked to lots of moms and they hate the Bjorn for this reason. Men seem to have fewer problems with it, maybe because their shoulders are stronger. Made of thick material which overheats baby.
**Baby Bjorn Synergy (I own this)
This is almost exactly the same as the Classic except that it has an added lumbar support and is made of mesh, so the baby doesn't get too hot. Everything else with the clasps and the use of the carrier is the same. I bought this thinking the lumbar support would help my neck strain but it didn't help at all. My neck still hurt a lot. This is a lot more expensive than the Classic but doesn't seem to add much benefit.
**Baby Bjorn Comfort (Tried it on in store)
Pros: Puts weight on your hips. Allows baby to be carried facing in and out.
Cons: Bulky and difficult to put on. Weight is on hips but it still isn't as comfortable as the Ergo, which distributes the weight better. Cannot be used with newborns. I think the minimum weight is 13lbs.
**Ergo (Tried it on in store)
Pros: Puts the weight on your hips. Comfortable to use. Can carry baby on front, back, and side.
Cons: Clumsy to put on and take off. Difficult to put baby into carrier and take him out. Cannot carry baby on your front facing out. For newborns, you have to buy a separate infant insert which is huge and awkward, and carries the baby with his legs scrunched up. My baby hated it and screamed the whole time he was in it. Design is kind of ugly.
**Beco Butterfly (Tried it on in store)
Pros: Puts the weight on your hips. Comfortable to use. Has an internal pouch so you can strap on the carrier to yourself, adjust the straps, before putting the baby in (you can't do that with the Ergo). This internal pouch makes it a lot easier to put the baby on your back, because you can put the baby in the pouch, turn around, and strap the carrier to your body. Comes with built-in infant insert. Nice looking carrier. Can carry baby on front, back, and side.
Cons: Easier to put on than Ergo but still clumsy. Baby cannot face out. Baby's legs are scrunched up inside infant insert.
**Beco Gemini (I own this)
Pros: Puts the weight on your hips. Comfortable to use (no more neck ache!!!). Baby can face in or out. Nice looking carrier. Can carry baby on front, back, side.
Cons: Very clumsy to put on and take off. Straps drag on ground while you struggle to put it on, and you have to be careful the baby doesn't fall out while you do so. Clasps are difficult to click and unclick. Straps and cords don't seem well thought out and sort of drape over the baby's face. Carrier is supposed to carry newborns but baby would have to have his legs scrunched up froggy style inside or stretch out wide on side, so I don't recommend it. I think it's OK for babies 3-4 months and up. (Note: I have a lot of cons for this carrier not because it's a bad carrier, but because I use it a lot so I have had a lot of time to think of things I could change. I still really do like this carrier. I use it allll the time.)
**Baby Sling (I own this)
The baby sling is slung over one shoulder so it's a totally different creature than the front/back carriers. My baby couldn't use it as a newborn as he had no neck control and just slouched over with his neck buried into his chest in a dangerous way when I put him in. When he got older and could hold up his neck, he hated being squashed into the sling. Finally when he hit 5 months old and could sit up with support he started to like the sling as he could sit up and look around in it, but by then he was too heavy to lug around on one shoulder. I use the sling mostly for short trips from the car to the store, when I don't want to take time to strap on a carrier. I know other moms use the sling a lot, even with newborns, but I think it really depends on your baby. Some love it, some hate it. I'd still say be careful with newborns though, as a newborn might not be able to breathe properly with his head folded into his chest.
Conclusion: I love the engineering of the Baby Bjorn. They've thought very carefully about where straps go and how clasps click together, and how the baby goes in and out of the carrier. Unfortunately the Baby Bjorn just hurts my neck too much to be usable. Ultimately there is still no perfect carrier, but I went with the Beco Gemini because it is comfortable and allows my baby to face forward, and I sort of put up with the weird straps.
An extra note for the Beco. If your baby doesn't mind facing inwards, I would actually recommend the Beco Butterfly, just because the internal pouch makes it so much easier to wear the carrier and put the baby in and out. My baby loves facing out, so I went with the Gemini. Using the Gemini takes practice, and I can't even imagine how I'm going to put the baby on my back unassisted. Still, I have been using the Gemini for over a few months now and I love how my neck no longer hurts. Baby rides in it comfortably. I'd put the extra $20 in and get the strap drool pads, as baby sucks on the straps all day. Love the different patterns the Beco comes in. I own Ginger and it's beautiful!
on May 11, 2008
I have had four baby carriers. We received a Bjorn (actually 2!) at baby showers. Of the four, I found this one to be the least comfortable and most difficult to take on and off. Based on my experience I'd say that the Bjorn is good for one thing - going for a walk with a very small baby.
My daughter cried whenever I put her in the Bjorn (unlike the other baby carriers). At first I thought that was because she was picking up on *my* discomfort. However, it was when our pediatrician told me that the Bjorn is not healthy for babies (because it locks baby hips in an unhealthy position and also because the out-facing position prevents them from being able to turn away from difficult stimulus) that I realized it wasn't just me ... she really disliked it too!
There are other carriers that cost the same but are more durable, hold babies for longer (up to 40 lbs.), more comfortable for mom and dad, are more versatile (can be worn front, back, and side depending on how you place the straps), and sit the baby in an appropriate position for their physical (and emotional) development.
Check out the Ergocarrier. When I wear my baby in front in the Ergo I can nurse her in public (really w/o anybody being the wiser). When I wear her in back in the Ergo I can cook dinner safely, clean house, grocery shop, even pick things up off of the floor knowing that she is securely and safely in place. You can't do this with the Bjorn.
on October 23, 2005
My husband (6' 1") insisted on the Baby Bjoern with the extra-long straps. I am happy to report that it is magnificent, even for short people! (I'm only 5' 3".) It converts to fit either one of us quickly and easily and I have always felt that our son was snug and secure inside. Now that he's older (6 months), he LOVES to face outward and see where we're headed. We toured Colonial Williamsburg (lots of walking and wandering in and out of colonial buildings), quickly and easily with the BB. While other mommies struggled with their strollers and couldn't get into many of the buildings, we whisked through everything safely and easily.
I know many people are concerned that they won't use it enough to justify the price - my response is that you need to make yourself use it! Try it out during a simple walk through the mall or your neighborhood. As you grow accustomed to it you'll realize how easy it is to hook on and go.
Enjoy! I HIGHLY recommend this product!
on April 5, 2015
I love this product! I have a toddler and a two months old. The bjorn allows me to do outings while having my baby against me. It stops him from crying and I can focus on my toddler in parks etc. It holds babies upright, and has a neck support as well. It feels secure and only takes a couple of seconds to put in. Daddy can also walk baby around with it. If you have a baby and need to be able to use your hands, get this! :)
on January 5, 2008
This has been one of my greatest buys for baby #1 and now #2. We are using the same bjorn I bought for DD #1 in 2004 and it still looks brand new. It is the best designed carrier, and that matters why? Because it is easy to use, you can lay down a sleeping baby, it is more comfortable for your baby and easier on your back. Spend the $! Get the Bjorn, you won't be sorry.
SAVE YOUR BACK:
Nearly every mom I see wearing their Bjorn is wearing it wrong! When they seem friendly, I share this tip with them. The black plastic cross piece in the back (where the straps cross through the plastic piece) MUST BE BELOW YOUR SHOULDER BLADES! Just about my bra line is where it is most comfortable, right in the middle. When my back starts to hurt, I reach my arm around my back and re adjust it lower. It is instant relief and comfort again! This makes sure the weight of the baby is on your frame instead of pulling at your shoulders. Everyone I tell is so happy, it makes a huge difference. Guess that's one plus of being a read-the-manual type.
The Bjorn is most comfortable until about 9 mos. The babies really seem to dig it about 4 mos plus, when they can face out. Before that, I love the Hotsling and Peanut Shell.
on June 9, 2007
We recieved the baby Bjorn as a gift and were excited to try it out. It wasn't so horrible when my son was first born, but as he gained weight both my partner and I found that the bjorn caused excruciating back pain really quickly. We both attribute this to the fact that it has NO lumbar support. I looked online and found out that Bjorn has recently made a carrier WITH a lumbar support. If you are going to buy a Bjorn I would highly recommend spending the extra money.
My other concern with the Bjorn is that my son seemed to be to big for it by the time he reached 16 pounds. Just too tall.
The thing I like about the Bjorn is that baby can face in or face out. This is great for when they are able to hold up their own head.
As for me, I found that something like the moby wrap, which is a long piece of fabric you wrap around yourself, gave me great lumbar support for a fraction of the price of a bjorn. The downside, my partner won't wear it because it is too girlie.
on May 1, 2007
I purchased this carrier as it was reccomended to me, I hate it, it is extremely uncomfortable for me. I got rid of it and got a mei tai style carrier and love it so much more, its is more comforable for me, it can do many positions from front carry, to hip carry to back, I use the Mei Tai with my toddler daughter comfortable.
Do not spend this much money on this piece of crap that will leave you sore and you can't even use it beyond 20lbs!
Amazon also sell the Ellaroo brand baby carriers, I love their Mei Tai style carrier, very comfortable. I highly reccomend getting that instead of this one.
on May 24, 2006
I tried a Snugli front carrier prior to purchasing the BabyBjorn and was not happy with it. I didn't feel like my baby was secure in it, plus one of the side buckles would slide open by itself when i tried to get my baby in and out of the carrier. I returned it and purchased the BabyBjorn, upon my sister's recommendation.
I've only had it for about a week, but both baby and I love it so far. I wear her around the house with both hands free to type on the computer, do some housework (without bending over of course), etc. The BabyBjorn is great for when we go out and about as well. It's nice not to have to deal with a stroller. Plus, there are MANY advantages to both mom and baby to have the baby carried close to mom often... one of which is carried babies cry less.
I only gave this product 4 stars because I have not had it long enough to completely judge it. I hope to come back after a few months of use to give it 5 stars though!