Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Babywearing: Soft Structure Carrier (Ergo)

Carrying Ethan in the Ergo

Always make sure the babywearing product
you use provides knee to knee support.
The second babywearing product I'll be talking about is the Ergo.  It is a Soft Structure Carrier (SSC).  There are countless brands that are SSC's, Ergo is just one of those brands.  In my babywearing group all of the moms rave about the Tula SSC, I tried it on at a class that Ivonne Gonz gave and I didn't find it to be any more comfortable than the Ergo.  I also tried on the Kinderpack and I have to say I'm in LOVE! I will be writing a blog post about the differences between the Ergo and Kinderpack and why I prefer the Kinderpack, so stay tuned. You also have the Beco, Boba, Lillebaby, and the list just goes on and on.  A SSC that became very popular was the baby Bjorn (you probably saw it in The Hangover).  What I learned in the babywearing 101 class, taught by Ivonne Gonz, is that the Bjorn is not recommended by babywearing educators for two reasons: it does not provide the full seat support that is always recommended when babywearing, and it allows for outward facing carrying which does not provide a growing child's spine the proper support either.

Like with any product there are things that I love about the Ergo and things that I'm not as fond of.

Ergo Pros:
  1. It is very easy to put on.
  2. Provides more support than some of the other babywearing products out there (it feels as if you're wearing a large backpack).
  3. Since it provides more support it's a great option if you're planning on wearing your baby for long periods of time.  This is what I would use when going to Disneyland or other full day events.
  4. You can back carry with the Ergo, but not until your baby is out of the infant insert and they are able to fully support the weight of their head on their own.

Ergo Cons:
  1. If you are planning on using it with a newborn you must use an infant insert.  
  2. Some babies do not like the infant insert (Ethan was one of those), the insert is also very hot if you plan on wearing your baby during the summer.
  3. You cannot use the Ergo without the insert until both of your babies knees come out of the carrier.  A lot of the directions give you a weight or age at which you can put the baby in the Ergo, without an insert, but since all babies are different those guidelines aren't always accurate.  Ethan's knees did not fully come out of the Ergo until he was around 5 months.
  4. It doesn't come in as many colors or patterns as some of the other carriers out there.
  5. The Ergo does not fit all body types.  This was one of the products that fits me really well but does not fit Jeff.
  6. For me the Ergo has been the most uncomfortable SSC carrier that I've tried on.  Every person is different so it's very important that you try on the carrier that you're thinking of getting before you buy it; I know plenty of moms that absolutely love the Ergo and then others that feel the same way I do, so you never know how your body and your baby will respond to each carrier.

When you first start looking at babywearing you'll be alarmed by the prices of all of these products.  I am incredibly frugal and can't afford to pay retail on any of them.  Rest assured knowing that there are always used babywearing products for sale, and a lot of vendors also have sales throughout the year, so just keep your eyes open.  When I was pregnant I bought this black Ergo with the infant insert used.  I also had an amazing teacher at work give me her Ergo.  I now keep one at home, and one at Ethan's daycare because his babysitter loves to wear him, which is awesome!

The ergo comes with a little hood that you can use to shield
your baby from the sun, I always use it when Ethan falls
asleep in the Ergo.

Back view of a front carry.

Back Carry 
Below are 3 you tube videos on the Ergo, unfortunately you can only play them on devices that have Adobe Flash Player.

Video tutorial using an infant insert and putting a young infant in the Ergo.

Video tutorial for back carry.

Video tutorial for front carry without the infant insert.

*Since I'm new to babywearing, each of my babywearing posts will be a short intro to the products I use and really like. I'm a beginner in all of this myself and therefore don't feel comfortable giving long tutorials; I highly recommend you continue to research any products you might be interested in, and try to find babywearing groups in your area that can offer support.

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