Recently, I bought myself an Ergo baby carrier from Mummy’s Milk. I had initially wanted to buy one direct from the US but it appears they aren’t allowed to ship to Malaysia because there was already a local supplier. Dang. Would you believe that the one from the US would have been cheaper to buy even with shipping costs included?
My Ergo carrier cost me S$210 (I bought it on the Father’s Day special but normal price would have been S$230), but if I had bought the same carrier from the US, it would have been just under S$200.
It seems rather unfair that you can buy so many things in the US at bargain prices but not if you live outside of the US. We earn less on average and our money’s smaller, yet we have to pay more for everything that we buy. Where is the sense in that? Anyway, I’m digressing…
This is the Ergo that I bought:
Yes – it isn’t exactly the basic model but I thought I’d treat myself. Besides, I liked the fact that it is organic and that they have a built in pocket for car keys and other miscellaneous items so I’ll always have the basic essentials on hand even if someone else is carrying the baby bag.
If you’ve read my earlier posts on choosing a baby carrier/sling, you’ll realise I already have a number of baby carriers and slings, so why buy a new one? Indeed, hubby asked me the same question. Well, here are some reasons why…
The problems with the Baby Bjorn.
Firstly, I have to say that I really loved the Bjorn. I used it with Gavin and I took him everywhere in it. In fact, I used it so much during his first year, that I never bothered taking the pram with me. Gavin loved it as well. From the first day I put him into it (when he was barely even one month old), he broke into a smile almost immediately.
I have a friend who told me her daughter also loved being carried in the Bjorn. Normally a very fussy baby whenever her diaper is soiled, she didn’t even utter a sound when her Daddy carried her in the Bjorn for a walk around the neighbourhood. And this was when she was sitting in a poop-filled diaper!
The biggest limitation I found with the Baby Bjorn is that it has a maximum weight limit of 12kgs. Gavin was a big baby who put on weight very quickly after he was born. Despite gaining weight very quickly in the first 6 months (he was 10kgs by the time he was 6 months), his weight gain plateaud and it was a while before he actually reached 12kgs. Regardless, we didn’t want to push the carrier to its limits so we retired the Bjorn by the time Gavin was about 9-10 months old.
Additionally, even though we bought the Bjorn Active Carrier which is designed to distribute part of the weight to the back and not rely solely on the shoulders (as most other carriers do), it still gets uncomfortable when you’ve been carrying a particularly heavy infant for an extended period of time. Ideally, you want a carrier that distributes the weight to your shoulders, back and hips – which is what the Ergo Baby Carrier does.
The other reason why we stopped using the Bjorn was because Gavin’s thighs were rather chubby. When Gavin was older, I noticed that his feet would would start to go blue whenever he sat in the carrier for extended periods. I figured that was not a good sign and definitely just as good a reason to stop using the Bjorn, even if the weight limit weren’t an issue.
The third reason – one which I only learned about quite recently when I was reading about the Ergo, is that the Bjorn places most of the baby’s weight at the crotch. Ergonomically, that is not a very comfortable way to be carried, nor is it very good for baby’s spinal and pelvic development. Even if you think the argument about spinal and pelvic development isn’t very valid then think about it from a comfort perspective – imagine sitting on your bum versus hanging by your crotch. I think you get the picture.
The problems with the ring sling.
I bought the ring sling because it allowed me to carry Gavin up to a maximum weight of 30kgs and I figured it would be a long time before Gavin ever got that heavy.
The ring sling was great in that it was versatile – I could carry Gavin in front of me, on the side, facing inwards and even outwards. It was also ultra portable – I could easily stuff it into a small bag when I wasn’t using it (unlike the Bjorn which was bulkier). Unfortunately, it wasn’t very comfortable. All the weight was hanging on one shoulder. To top it off, the rings would sometimes press on a nerve in my shoulder that made it even more uncomfortable.
In the end, I reserved the ring sling for convenience and would only take it out for short trips where I wasn’t planning on carrying Gavin for extended periods of time.
The problems with the baby wrap.
The original baby wrap I bought was one long piece of jersey cotton fabric that wraps around your torso in a specific way. It was great because it was very, very comfortable. The weight of the baby is distributed to the back, both shoulders and the hips so you barely feel it.
My gripes with the baby wrap was that it messy to put on and take off so that meant I had to have it on before we went out and I had to continue wearing it even after I’d taken Gavin out (and that gets hot in our tropical climate). If I took Gavin out and put him in again, I found the wrap begins to loosen which makes it less comfortable. The key to wearing the wrap is that it has to be worn fairly snug or you will feel the baby’s weight straining your back.
I thought I had the answer when I discovered the Baby KTan. It was a modified baby wrap that came in three parts so that meant it was easier to put on and take off while on the go. It also came with instructions that showed you how to carry your baby up to eight different ways – definitely extremely versatile.
Why I Chose the Ergo
Although I have never used the Baby KTan Carrier, I was initially undecided between getting it or the Ergo. The reason I opted for the Ergo in the end is because the Baby KTan Carrier carries baby by the crotch whereas the Ergo allows the baby to be seated properly. The Ergo also does not have the limitations that all the other carriers had:
- It is easy to put on and take off
- It distributes baby’s weight evenly to shoulders, back and hip
- It seats baby on the bottom (not by the crotch)
- It carries a toddler up to a maximum weight of 25kgs
You might have noticed that I haven’t mentioned anything about breastfeeding – that’s because I found ways to adjust Gavin using all carriers so that I could nurse him. Breastfeeding baby in the carrier wasn’t really an issue at any time so I haven’t bothered mentioning it. I thought I would mention that you can nurse your baby in a carrier just in case you’re wondering about that. I have also read that you can nurse your child in the Ergo, too.
Last but not least, the final reason why I wanted the Ergo was because it allowed me to carry a toddler on the side. Yes, I was thinking of using it to carry Gavin who seems to be getting heavier and heavier every day. Maybe because I’m no longer used to carrying him in my arms for extended periods of time, maybe because I’m now pregnant or maybe because he really is getting heavier, I thought a side carrier would be useful for avoiding having him sit on my baby bump.
What on earth am I thinking of carrying a baby while I’m pregnant? Well, that’s one of the things you sort of get adjusted to when you get pregnant for the second time. Just try NOT carrying your older child when he wants to be carried. You’ll realise it isn’t quite as simple as saying, “No.”