Baby Carriers: The Good, The Bad, The Comfy
The Ergo has landed!
When I was 11 years old, I was in a car accident. Luckily we (my mom, my two brothers, my 81-year-old great-grandmother and I) made it out okay. But the whiplash I suffered has caused back problems for me ever since. I have tried every type of therapy you have heard of (and probably some you haven't) for years. Eventually, I accepted that I would have to face chronic back issues and migraines as part of my normal life.
When I saw pregnancy and babies on the horizon, I feared the pain to which I had become accustomed, would get worse. Luckily for me, pregnancy and childbirth didn't seem to be much of a trigger. But as my babies grow bigger I am constantly looking for new baby-carrying contraptions that will not hurt my easily aggravated back and neck. I tried them so you don't have to:
Moby Wrap: I received a Moby Wrap (try one today at Toys R' Us in Minnetonka) when pregnant with my first child. It came chiropractor recommended and it did prove to be a great way to carry my baby. The distribution of weight, even as she got heavier was always very comfortable. The downfall I found was that in the summer months at parks, on hikes and even doing errands, the excess fabric was too warm.
Baby Bjorn: I was graciously given not one, but four Baby Bjorns when my first daughter was born. If four of my friends thought enough to have one, it must be a winner, right? Wrong. After wearing one for 15 minutes (with only a two-month-old) I succumb to a raging migraine and backache. I passed all four Bjorns off to other friends and determined that Bjorns are not popular hand-me-downs because they're great, but because they're not great. Your experience may be better than mine, so if you want to try one out without a major financial commitment, Once Upon a Child usually has a couple gently used ones in stock.
Ergo: In preparing for round two I begged anyone who would listen and possibly buy me a baby gift, for an Ergo. After my Bjorn experience, I borrowed one from a friend and loved the way it felt. I was able to carry much of the baby's weight on my hips which really eliminates any back problems which a baby carrier can cause. It is also very easy to use. Plus, the Ergo has a hood that allows you to support the baby's head if they fall asleep (and as a bonus gives you two hands free), but it has also proved a great sunshade. Best of all, my five month old often falls asleep in it, allowing me to sleep on a plane for the first time in years! My hubby has even dared to carry our 30 lb toddler in the back position on a hike, and survived. The one downside I could find is that although, you can wear it on the front, hip or back, because the carrier was designed to support the baby's natural sitting position they cannot face forward. The Ergo is available at Oh Baby! in Edina.
I asked a handful of other Minnetonka area moms about their experiences with the Ergo. Here is what they told me:
Shannon Johnson, "The Ergo saved my life. I got it when my first child was about 8 months old. I had a hard time nursing in public, the Ergo gave me more freedom. I could nurse my little one right inside as I walked down the street and no one could tell. I loved that! Also it is extremely comfortable. I bought one for the house and the car. When my 2nd child was born I bought one more. Yes I had three! He loved it too. When we travelled we would put both our 2 1/2 year old and 6 month old babies in them. I could also put my baby in the Ergo and clean my house, cook supper, pretty much do anything I wanted with baby close and snug next to my body. I would highly recommend the Ergo to any mama/daddy!"
Sonya Bearson, "The Ergo allows me to carry my son longer then I can in any other carrier. The Ergo helps me when I go shopping with my two kids. I strap one in the Ergo and the other sits in the cart. Otherwise there would be no room for groceries. I like the versatility of being able to carry my son n my front, side or back. At the Mall of America, I had him on my back so he could see all the rides. When he feel asleep, I switched him to the front. Perfect!"
Amy Litwak, "I love my Ergo! I tried another carrier but once the baby was a month or two old my back would hurt if I wore it for too long. My Ergo is so comfortable that I can wear the baby for a long period of time without any backache. The ability to wear the baby on the front or back is a great feature. With my oldest child I wore her on my back when we went hiking. She was over a year so she wanted to be able to see better and we were both comfortable for the whole time. I also use the Ergo when we fly because I can wear the baby through security and right onto the plane without having to worry about extra gear. It's easy to wash, has a convenient front pocket, and has a rain/wind hood for the baby. What's not to love?"
Sarah Russo, "I love having my baby snuggled against me in a way that supports my back and his little growing body. Being a very active baby, he loves to look around and kick his legs and the ergo has room for this too. I don't leave home without it!"