Thinking Beyond the Bjorn: Considerations in Choosing a Baby Carrier

It’s no secret that I love babywearing…but hate one of the most widely available carriers on the market…the Baby Bjorn. Ok, maybe “hate” is a tad strong – I’m always happy to see babies being worn and these carriers have introduced many a family to babywearing – but I do strongly dislike that the Bjorn (and it’s counterparts from Snuggli and Infantino) are so darn popular when there are much better options out there. The reason for their popularity is easy to understand. These are large companies with the money to advertise and the ability to mass produce. Fortunately, quality carrier companies such as Ergo, Beco, and Moby (among others) are beginning to make inroads into big box retailers and into mass market magazines.

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3 week old Callum demonstrating the "frog" position

So what’s so bad about the Bjorn?? For what you get, it’s drastically overpriced. It does not offer proper support/comfort for the wearer. And it does not offer proper positioning for the baby. Let’s look at each in a bit more detail.

Positioning

A good baby carrier should mimic the way we hold our babies in arms and the way our babies position themselves when held. When you hold a newborn, he will automatically draw up his legs into the “froggy” position with his knees apart. The holder instinctively places her hand under baby’s bum and holds baby at a height where the top of his head is easily kissed.  An older child will automatically bring his legs up around the holder’s waist so that his knees end up slightly higher than his bum.  Pick up your child and try it for yourself icon smile Thinking Beyond the Bjorn:  Considerations in Choosing a Baby Carrier

In order to mimic this natural holding position, a carrier must support baby out to the knees (as in the carrier comes all the way out to baby’s knees) and should place the knees slightly higher than the bum.  A newborn is most often worn “legs in” so that he can froggy his legs up as he would when you hold him (different carrier types will allow for “legs out” at different ages).

Carriers like the Bjorn, Snuggli and Infantino SSC have earned the un-savory nickname “crotch-danglers” because they don’t position baby in the natural holding position.  Instead, baby is seated in a fairly narrow seat leaving the legs to dangle straight down.

There is considerable debate, even in among seasoned babywearers, as to whether or not this “crotch-dangle” position is truly bad for babies.  Sadly, there has been little scientific work done outside of the babywearing industry to support claims on either side – hopefully the ever increasing popularity of babywearing will spur more investigation.  But consider that most pediatricians and child development experts advise limiting the amount of time a baby spends in devices such as an exersaucer or jumperoo in part because the position (very similar to a “crotch-dangle”) is not believed to be good for baby’s developing hips and spine if baby is left in that position extensively.  So while a Bjorn is most likely not going to harm baby when used causally on a trip to the store, it’s probably not the best choice for the extended wearing (multiple hours a day) that many parents find themselves doing during baby’s early months.

I’d also argue that the “crotch-dangle” position is simple not comfortable for baby (and somewhat different in a carrier where baby can’t rest his feet vs. an exersaucer or jumperoo where his feet touch the floor).  Try this simple test taken from Didymos’ instruction booklet:  Stand on one leg with your other leg out in front of you, bent at the knee.  Place your hands under your knee to support your leg and let the full weight of your leg rest into your hands.  Now move your hands back towards your bum.  You will instantly begin to feel a strain in your back that wasn’t there when your leg was supported under the knee.  That’s the same strain a baby will feel when his legs aren’t supported to the knee.   Even if we assume that this position doesn’t cause harm, it certainly isn’t as comfortable as the alternative.

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6 month old Gavin in the Ergo

In all fairness, I should mention that the recently released Bjorn Comfort Carrier does offer a “wide leg” position that does a better job of correctly supporting baby.  But since it still offers the “normal” (their words) leg position, doesn’t offer a back carry, and is priced higher than better quality carriers – it’s still a “skip it” in my book.

When choosing a baby carrier, parents should consider the support and comfort the carrier will offer the baby and whether or not it can truly mimic the “in arms” position that it should.

Wearer Comfort

If you are going to be wearing your baby for any length of time, you want to be comfortable.  This becomes increasingly important as baby gets heavier.  Many parents enjoy wearing for the first few months but find it becomes uncomfortable past 15 or 20 pounds.  The problem is more likely that the carrier being used doesn’t offer proper support for the wearer than it is that the wearer is simply too weak to carry the child.  If you can hold your baby in arms, you can wear him even more comfortably with the right carrier.

The Bjorn and company are notorious for carriers that are back killers for the wearer – they offer little in the way of waist support or proper back support (again the new Bjorn Comfort attempts to remedy this with a waist belt but there are still better options for comparable prices).  For a small baby, this is likely a non-issue.  But the Bjorn (classic version) claims to be usable for up to a 25 pound child.  I’m sure the carrier can support that weight safely, but most wearers will feel quite a bit of back strain well before that limit is reached.  Additionally, the outward facing position that is the trademark of these carriers puts additional strain on the wearer’s back as it places baby’s weight further from the wearer’s center of gravity.  For a heavier child, a back carry is a much better option (more on that in a minute), but these carriers don’t allow for a back carry.

Price

The Bjorn Classic retails for $63 on Amazon – pretty cheap for a baby carrier.  But for only $40 more, you can get the standard Ergo Thinking Beyond the Bjorn:  Considerations in Choosing a Baby Carrier which has a 40 pound (vs. 25 pound) weight limit, FAR better support for the wearer, ergonomic positioning for baby, and it does a back carry. The Ergo will last most wearers into toddlerhood; can’t say that for the Bjorn.  The Beco Baby Gemini Thinking Beyond the Bjorn:  Considerations in Choosing a Baby Carrier which offers a correctly supported forward facing position in addition to front and back carries starts at $130. The Beco is good for up to 35 pounds and offers correct support for baby and wearer.  The Bjorn Comfort, which offers no back carry, retails for a whopping $171 on Amazon – clearly not the best deal in town.

But My Baby Only Likes the Forward Facing Position!!

This is a common concern for many parents interested in babywearing, but I don’t think it’s a good reason to buy a carrier that doesn’t offer the right support for you or baby.  There are better options.

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2.5 month Callum riding in a woven wrap

Will baby know what he’s missing?  Maybe not.  A large number of babies are perfectly happy to remain in the wearer facing front carry position; as they gain head control, they are able to look around despite “facing” in.   There are also some good arguments against the use of forward facing positions.  I’m personally not a fan because they don’t allow baby to rest his head when he’s tired or to escape over-stimulation.  Others are less convinced by those reasons and feel that forward facing carries are fine in moderation (but please don’t leave a sleeping baby in a forward facing carry!).  If nothing else, it’s indisputable that a forward facing carry, especially with a heavier baby, puts additional strain on the wearer’s back – so even if baby loves it, you may not.

There are certainly babies that aren’t satisfied to be worn facing mama.  But there is an alternative.  A high back carry gives baby the same view but allows him to still rest and “escape” stimulation as needed.  It’s also much easier on the wearer’s back.  To do a high back carry, you’ll need a woven wrap or mei tai; buckle carriers (like the previously mentioned Ergo and Beco) are typically worn lower on the back and can’t be used for back carries in the early months.  Back carries are not only more comfortable, they also allow even more “hands-freeness” for the wearer, which can come in handy when you are say chasing a toddler around.

If you really are set on having a forward facing option with your carrier, the new Beco Baby Gemini Thinking Beyond the Bjorn:  Considerations in Choosing a Baby Carrier is worth a look. It does allow forward facing, but positions baby in a more ergonomic position. It’s also a better value than the Bjorn as it has a higher weight limit, can be used for a back carry, and is more comfortable for the wearer.  Another quality carrier with a forward facing option is the Catbird Baby Pikkolo.

Choosing a baby carrier should get just as much consideration as any other baby gear purchase you make.  Our guide has information on the different types of carriers as well as brands and places to shop beyond those mentioned here.  Many carriers are produced on relatively small scales and aren’t widely advertised, so you aren’t likely to find them at your local big box retailer.  But there are tons of great options beyond those you typically find at the big box stores, options that will provide better long term value and comfort for you and your baby.

Happy wearing!!

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66 comments to Thinking Beyond the Bjorn: Considerations in Choosing a Baby Carrier

  • Krista

    Great article that sums up everything I like to say to those interested or new to babywearing!

  • Jill

    I used both the baby bjorn and the Ergo. I think they both have their place. I LOVED them both. Both were very supportive of my back….of course the Bjorn only until my baby reached 20 pounds. What you call “crotch dangling” was some of the happiest times for my little guy. He loved walking through the neighborhood and grocery store looking out at the world. I’m saving both for the future baby#2.

    • Meredith

      I’m glad that you enjoyed both, but I do think that if someone wants to buy one carrier that will take them through toddlerhood, the Bjorn isn’t the way to go. And there are other options (as I mentioned) that allow that same ability to look out at the world, without the drawbacks of the Bjorn. I also should add that “crotch-dangling” isn’t a term I coined, but rather one that’s been used for sometime to describe the position the Bjorn uses.

      In any case, the purpose of my post was not to vilify Bjorn users at all – as I said, all babywearing is great. But rather to let people know that there are better options (both in terms of comfort and price) out there. Happy babywearing :-)

  • Lynneia

    I have a bjorn and it was okay until I discovered moby!!!! I love my moby!!!

    • Meredith

      The Moby is great too, especially for wee ones. I didn’t mention it more here only because I was thinking mostly of things with buckles ;-)

  • I passed by someone doing what I will call the double crotch dangle with a bjorn the other day. The 6ish month old was forward facing and the poor dad had him so low the little boy was right in front of his crotch area! Kinda made me giggle, props to a Baby Wearing Daddy but it must have been killing his back!

    • Meredith

      Wearing too low in any carrier seems to be a common mistake – and definitely a painful one for the wearer! But always good to see daddies wearing :-)

  • Erika

    How did you do the back carry with the woven wrap? Thanks!

    • Meredith

      There are several different back carries that you can do – I have a list on our wrap page (linked above in the babywearing guide). If you are wrapping a young baby, you want to make sure you do a carry that gets baby high on your back – so baby’s head rests between your shoulder blades at the base of your neck. The carry in the picture is a rucksack but modified. Instead of crossing the passes over and under his legs, I just spread the width of the wrap back over his legs/body to provide extra support. You can do a regular rucksack carry as well (video instructions are included on our wrap page).

  • Crystal

    I’m also wondering how to do a good back carry with my 6 mo. old. She doesn’t seem to like any I’ve tried so far, and it’s very uncomfortable for me (I do place her high). I have the Storchenweige, and I follow their directions.

    • Meredith

      At 6 months, you have more options. You can wear her lower on your back if that is more comfortable for you since she has good head control. Double hammock is probably my favorite back carry – I’m not sure if that’s in the Storch instructions, but we have a video for it on our wrap page. Making sure to wrap carefully and tightly is also important for getting a comfortable carry.

      I think there’s also an adjustment sometimes for kiddo when trying a new carry or carrier – if she fusses at first, you might try going for a walk to see if she settles in. Of course, if it’s not comfy for you, then you should definitely try something else anyway! If wrapping doesn’t work for you, there are always mei tais and SSCs to try :-)

  • Mary

    For those who have made found the Ergo an uncomfortable fit, I wanted to suggest the Baby Hawk Oh Snap!- it is a soft structured carrier, like the Ergo, but fits from an XS to XXXL- mom and dad can both easily use the carrier. It is my go-to when I need to get in and our of some place of business (bank, library, post office). I toss my 29 lb toddler up on my back, and he is happy for a fair bit of time- long enough to do whatever needs to be done. I am 14 weeks pregnant and still able to back carry him comfortably in this at this time. Super easy in and out of the carrier (as opposed to woven wraps) once you have mastered tossing your kiddo on your back. (Took maybe three or four uses to feel like a pro.)

    • Meredith

      I’d agree that the Oh Snap is another great option, especially for older babies/toddlers – and great prints to choose from ;-) The Boba is another easy to find choice for someone looking for an SSC/buckle carrier for an older baby.

  • I agree with everything that you said in your excellent article. I would like to add one other carrier to the list of wonderful carriers, the Baby K’tan. It has no rings or buckles, but will hold a baby up to 42 lbs. It allows for convenient breastfeeding, front carry, back carry and hip carry. Many mothers in my lactation practice use and love it! It is also a great option for twins!

    • Meredith

      I agree that the K’tan is another great option, especially for small babies (it didn’t get a mention here since I was focusing on buckles). I wouldn’t suggest it or most other stretchy wraps like the Moby for back carries though – the fabric simply has too much give to get a nice, tight (and safe!) carry. The K’tan is a great option for someone who likes the idea of a wrap but is put off by dealing with the actual wrapping!

  • becca

    For Erika-

    You can also do a back cross carry with a chest belt, with a woven or stretchy wrap at that young age. I wear them in that carry from newborn until 4 mos or so. I prefer stretchy for the little ones and woven as they get older and can “stretch” out of it.

    Thanks Meredith for providing support for babywearing.

    • Meredith

      The back wrap cross carry is another good option – the chest belt version is especially good for beginners I think (although I’d advise against using a stretchy wrap unless it’s a barely stretchy like the BaliBabyStretch; the Moby is too stretchy to get tight enough for a secure back carry, especially for a beginning wrapper). I find it harder to get high on my back though – although I know others don’t. It’s always good to try several different carries and see what works best for you and your baby. Thanks for reading :-)

  • Leila

    I would like more info on the high back carries. I have a mei tai and a gypsy mama wrap. My baby is huge and I usually wear her on my back in the Ergo. But it is very low and I feel that a high carrier might be more comfy for me. If it can keep her happier to have a view over my shoulder, all the better! I never did get her on my back as a wee newborn, which I regret. :( So maybe I’ll feel better about it if I can still get some time with her in this position now. Can you point me in the right direction?

    • Meredith

      The best source for babywearing information is thebabywearer.com – lots of tips on doing different carries in the forums there as well. You can also try a youtube search – for “mei tai high back carry” for example. With the mei tai, it’s mostly a matter of finding where on your body it is most comfortable to tie the waist strap for you and your baby – so might take a bit of experimenting. For a wrap, I find a rucksack or double hammock carry easiest to get high on my back – I do have videos for both of those on our wrap guide page.

      You might also check to see if you have a babywearing group in your area to get some hands on help; that’s the easiest way to learn. If you don’t, watching several different videos to see different techniques and then getting some practice is the best way to learn. You may find it easier to try a new back carry over your bed or with a spotter nearby so you are less worried about baby dropping as you try to learn where everything goes. Practicing in front of a mirror is also very helpful so you can see what you are doing, especially when learning a new wrap carry.

  • Wow, thanks for the great list of pros/cons of different carriers and things to look for. It’s something I’m starting to look at more closely as we prepare to start a family :) Having come from a non-baby-wearing family I have a lot to learn!

  • Excellent list of information! Thank you for sharing. The wraps, stretchy (like the Moby) for little ones, and woven (non-stretchy) for the bigger/taller babies and toddlers are certainly some of the most versatile and widely-used babywearing items in the world. Seems we are hard pressed to perfect this long tradition of wrapping and carrying our little ones. :)

    @Mary ~ I appreciate your suggestion of the Baby Hawk Oh Snap for those who have found the Ergo uncomfortable. While it seems to be adored by so many, I’ve also met a great number of parents for whom it didn’t seem to ‘fit’ with their body style or that of their baby, no matter how much adjusting was made.

    On a slightly related note – we adore reading “A Ride on Mother’s Back” – fun kids book on babywearing around the world. If you’re a babywearing family, it’s worth a read. http://astore.amazon.com/peacefparent-20/detail/0152008705

    • Meredith

      Wraps are definitely my preferred carrier – I didn’t mention them more here since I was focusing mostly on buckles. But I agree that simplest is quite often the best! I’d also agree that one downside of buckle carriers is that one may be a fantastic fit for one mama and not at all a fit for another. I’d encourage anyone considering a carrier to try before they buy if possible to get the carrier that works best for them. Of course another reason I love wraps is that they fit everyone ;-)

      That is a great book – thanks for mentioning it!

  • I’ve got 2 ring slings, an ergo, and a moby and I love them all! My little guy is 23lbs and 8 months old and I wear him *EVERYWHERE* and everyone says how good natured and “joyous” he is and I really think it has everything to do with wearing him for atleast 2 hours every day and of course, breastfeeding. Thanks for the great information!

  • Carey

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! This was a well written and friendly article outlining sound reasons to go with some of the lesser known carriers.
    I agree with all your points and might even add that most of the smaller companies are more “green” as you can find carriers in organic cottons and many are made locally (stateside) supporting smaller local businesses. I had a mei tai that my first lived in, my second really wanted to face out so I used a gypsy mama wrap (though I wish I spent a little more $ and went with a little better wrap), and my go to carrier for out and about is a zolowear ring sling (its just SO easy). I’m planning to add an ergo to the list so that I can continue back wearing a little more comfortably (the mei tai is good but I borrowed a friend’s ergo and it was so much nicer). :-)

    • Meredith

      You’re welcome!! Very true on the green factor. Plus it’s great to support small companies and WAHMs (or companies that started as WAHM businesses)!

  • Manuela

    Great article. Thanks. We have been seeing so many “Crotch-Dangler” carriers around and it just hurt me to see these poor babies hanging this way, without support for their hips.
    We love love love our two carriers: one is Ergo (www.ergobaby.com) and the other one is Tuli (www.babytuli.com). I recommend both.
    We have the Ergo in the car and Tuli at home. It’s great! :)

  • Kate

    My daughter and I LOVED our Baby Hawk until she was about 6 months old. I tried several carriers, but the only one that was both comfortable for me and kept her content was the Front to Back rider by Infantino. My kids are large – 15 lbs by 3 months. What do parents of large babies find best after 6 months?

    • Meredith

      Most wearers of heavier kiddos go for either a mei tai with a padded waist (like the Bamberoo or Kindercarry), a buckle carrier (Kinderpacks and Dreamcarriers are great but a bit harder to come by; the Boba and BabyHawk OhSnap are taller than the Ergo or Beco and might be a better fit for a bigger kid – all of those are easy to find), or a woven wrap. If you are interested in buckles still, the Boba or OhSnap are probably your best bet as they will accommodate a larger child but are still easy to find both new and used. You might also see if there’s a babywearing group near you where you could try on some different things before you buy to see what fits you both best.

      There are definitely some great options. My kiddo is “only” 27 pounds but we continue to wear comfortably. I know plenty of folks that wear their 35+ pounders too. I’d also say that kids get easier to wear as they get older. 6-12 can be a weird age for heavy kids as they tend to be more “round” than “long.” Once they thin out as toddlers and can more muscle strength, they are easier to wear because their weight hangs on you better. So it’s definitely possible to wear a big kid well into the toddler years :-)

  • Hi thanks so much for this article, i Have only ever used ring slings with my girls (3 yo and a 4 mth old) lately my shoulder is really starting to hurt. I was out over the weekend and had no sling with me, it was very windy so i zipped my little 4 mth old into my big skii jacket, i couldnt believe how comfy we both were as her weight was distibuted all over my body, can you recommend a sling out there like this? There is so much choice! Thanks x

    • Meredith

      Probably the closest thing to that feeling would be a wrap – you’d probably want to go with a woven wrap since you aren’t wrapping a newborn. You can wrap over both shoulders and spread the weight across your back – plus wraps are snugly like your coat! Mei tais and SSC/buckle carriers would also distribute the weight across both shoulders and your torso – more info on all of these can be found in our babywearing guide (linked at the top of the page).

      • Thanks Meredith!! I ebayed extensively and decided to go for a Moby wrap but while watching the vids on how to put them on i thought hey i can make one of these! So i stitched two scarfs together with my sisters sowing machine and hey presto!! She has just been taken around town in it and is a big fan!! Thanks again!!

  • Amber

    I LOVE my Baby Bjorn – unlike slings and many other carriers that I find uncomfortable, this one is actually comfortable to wear. Until I discovered it, I’m afraid it was the stroller for my babies. I’m very short, slings mainly going over 1 shoulder always hurt my back, other carriers like the Moby I found cumbersome and confusing – if it is not easy, I won’t do it. I hear that babies supposedly don’t like facing out – my babies have all LOVED facing out. There is no quicker way to cheer up my 8 month old than for her daddy to strap her into the Bjorn and just walk her around – for hours – she smiles the whole time and squeals in delight. If we ever turned our babies facing in, they would fuss. But facing out – you would never meet a happier baby.
    I’m just sharing because I’m all for AP parenting, baby wearing, extended breastfeeding, etc…and I’m frustrated that the Baby Bjorn seems so looked down upon in the Attachment Parenting world – it has transformed my family’s world, brought me and the baby closer, been a great bonding tool for daddy and baby and overall has been GREAT for our last three babies (if only we had it with our first baby).
    Please consider that this works wonderfully for many families. For those families who find different carriers better for them, great, but please recognize how wonderful it is for many of us.

    • Meredith

      I’m glad that the Bjorn has worked for you – thanks for sharing your experience! I think the Bjorn gets a bad rep for all the reasons I listed in my post – there are simply better alternatives in terms of comfort and value. I do agree that every carrier isn’t for everyone – many mamas find single shoulder carries uncomfortable and wraps like the moby too troublesome. But there are better buckle carriers on the market that offer the ease of use of the Bjorn (and even the outward facing position with the Beco Gemini if that is something you want). Many of these options are unknown to most babywearers because they aren’t sold in the stores where most parents shop (and where the Bjorn is readily available).

      Like I said in my post, I think all babywearing is great and I know the Bjorn has been a great way for many families to get introduced to wearing. I would still encourage any babywearer, old or new, to try out other options (like those I listed in the post). My purpose in writing this was not to vilify any Bjorn users but rather to educate those interested in babywearing about better alternatives that are not as well known – there are far more carriers out there than just slings, Mobys and Bjorns!

  • Amy

    Can anyone suggest a baby/small infant wrap suitable for very hot, dry climates? We have a Moby wrap that we love but the baby gets overheated very quickly. Thanks!

    • Meredith

      If you want to stay with a stretchy wrap, the BaliBabyStretch is a bit thinner. Gauze wraps like the BaliBabyBreeze are the coolest wrap option – you can DIY with cotton gauze but I think the BBB gauze is much nicer and more supportive than any other I’ve seen. If you want a woven wrap, Vatanai and Ellaroo are the thinnest/coolest brands out there – much cooler than the moby for sure!

  • Nani

    I have to agree with your critique of these carriers, the Bjorn killed my back, and I used an Infantino one that was may sisters and my son’s feet started turning blue from lack of circulation! I immediately took him out of it and wouldn’t use it again.

  • Holly

    Thank you for your post, I thought it was informative and did not vilify the Bjorn and similar carriers, it just offers some information to parents, letting them know that other options are out there. I think Bjorn users are perhaps balking at the title. I was expecting a scathing attack on the Bjorn/infantino and etc after reading the title. And I was pleasantly surprised and pleased with your post. Can I offer a suggestion? This is the kind of article experienced BWers love to pass on to their friends, but it could be alienating because of the “crotch-danging” title. If you changed the title and nothing else it might have a wider appeal and not raise someone’s hackles before they even read the article.

    For reference I am NOT a fan of the “crotch danglers” either. I loved my Moby, RS and Mei Tai. Tried an infantino once and it was very hard for me to wear. But my kid was also over 10lbs at birth, so a lot of newborn stuff didn’t work with him!

    • Meredith

      Point well taken ;-) I’ll definitely re-visit the title as I think you are likely right. I certainly didn’t intend to offend anyone – I just feel like lots of parents aren’t aware of the options. I certainly wasn’t when I first started researching carriers and actually thought about getting a Bjorn at one point. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Toronto Mom

    Great article! I am still babywearing on the back in the Ergo and my little guy is just shy of two! It was money well-spent. Have used my carriers far more than the stroller. Works so well on public transit and is great for city living. If you are near Toronto, you can test drive them at a store called Evymama. You can also shop online at http://www.evymama.ca. Happy babywearing!

  • [...] Thinking Beyond the Bjorn: Considerations in Choosing a Baby Carrier « Becoming Mamas. [...]

  • [...] a fan of the baby bjorn…and I agree with them. A ring sling or Ergo do the job better and easier. http://www.becomingmamas.com/why-you…baby-carriers/ Reply With Quote + Reply to [...]

  • [...] slings. In the way-back olden days of five years ago, the over-engineered be-buckled devices known none-too-affectionately as crotch-danglers were The Must Have strapping-baby-to-body device, and the alternative was a sling available in a [...]

  • [...] Originally Posted by flubdub Baby wearing is great! We have a mei tai It is wonderful for LO. They love being so close and it helps them sleep. If you look in the Natural Parenting part, you will see loads about baby wearing I hate to say this, and I am very sorry for putting a downer on the thread, but Baby Bjorns are not recommended as carriers. They are, what is called Pelvis danglers, and it means that the babies weight is all put on the pelvis, when really is should be on their bum, like a mei tai, or sling carrier. (Sorrryyyyy ) The Baby Bjorns are great carriers – I have one!! Their name "crotch danglers" comes about from carrying babies forward facing. This would happen with any carriers including mobys and mei tei!! Just carry LO facing into you and the problem wont ever happen! No, its baby born type carriers im afraid, Google says plenty about it and BB is well known for it, but I cant be bothered with an argument http://www.becomingmamas.com/why-you…baby-carriers/ [...]

  • alida

    Thanks for all of the tips! I have a 7 month old and while I was pregnant I got an infintino buckle carrier, I later found out it was not good for her because it was an unnatural postion. I LOOVE slings! there is so much you can do with them, expecially now that she is bigger. Also the mei tei is awesome for back wearing and a little eaiser than putting on a woven wrap! =) thanks agian!

  • Vicki, mama to 5

    For those on a budget it should be mentioned that a wrap can be made out of 5 yards of any fabric. http://Www.wearyourbaby.com gives instructions on how to get one for $5. I followed the instructions, bought 5 yards wide gauze fabric for $1/yard, cut it lengthwise down the middle, and had two wraps for $2.50 each. One stays at home, one stays in the car so I am never caught without a carrier. Wearyourbaby.com also has videos teaching you how to form front and back carries, as well as fed-facing, and even how to make emergency carriers out of clothes in catastrophic situations (filmed right after Hurricane Katrina).

    • Meredith

      Yes! I’d agree that DIY is a great way to try out wrapping – cotton gauze is a good choice. Osnaburg is also a popular choice as it seems to be an affordable fabric that comes closest to mimicking the properties of a woven wrap. I would caution against using just any old fabric – quilters cotton for example probably just won’t be that comfortable. And of course, it’s easy to DIY a stretchy wrap from cotton jersey for a wee babe :-)

  • Naomi

    I have a Moby wrap and a Seven sling. I enjoy wearing both of them with my 3- month old.

  • [...] I would avoid the carriers that most of the big stores seem to favour selling as they don't hold baby in a very good position. Here is a little article about what constitutes a good baby carrier. http://www.becomingmamas.com/why-you…baby-carriers/ [...]

  • [...] problems for the baby. Here is a FANTASTIC article that tells you more about that in detail. Why you should think beyond the Bjorn. Before people start to worry, a Bjorn type carrier is very unlikely to cause harm if used for [...]

  • ericka

    the “our guide” at the end of the post doesnt lead anywhere… :(

  • Lauren

    Great article! My oldest was a “crotch dangler” in the snugglie (the most confusing contraption ever!) My second was quite colic-y and I got more into the natural birth community, and my Ergo was purchased. Best purchase ever!!! Served me well through baby number 3 until we moved and it was stored in the closet. One recent cranky busy day I just didn’t know what to do with the baby, now 2 1/2, so out of desperation I pulled out the Ergo. Presto!!! On my back while I made dinner, he sat peacefully until he told me he wanted to get down and play. What a life saver! My kids are on the small side so I’ll get use out of the Ergo for years to come!!!

  • ML

    Can you go into a little more detail on why babies should not sleep in the forward facing position? I assume it’s a strain on the back?

    • Meredith

      Sorry for my delayed reply! In a forward facing position there’s just not a good way for a sleeping baby to be properly supported. It’s tough enough to get an ergonomically sound position when baby is awake and forward facing – and they really need strong trunk control for that to happen. Sleeping of course, they become more like a “sack of potatoes” so they need to be properly supported facing into the wearer. If you’ve worn your baby sleeping, you’ve likely noticed a big difference in how his/her weight feels asleep vs. awake. An awake baby (particularly one that has trunk control) will be much lighter feeling and will work to support his/her own weight – asleep, they really slump against you for support.

  • Janelle

    Before you bash Infantino as a whole, I have to interject. I have the Infantino Union, a soft structured carrier. The crotch portion is actually so wide that I HAD to froggy my newborn in it, and now that he is a little bigger (3 months) his legs project out around my waist, not dangle down. It has a good sturdy hip strap that takes most of the weight off my back, and while I can’t forward face him in front, it can be used as a back carrier once they have head control. It cost me under $30, and is probably the best carrier I’ve owned out of three kids, my oldest being 9.

    • Meredith

      I’ve not tried that particular carrier but I agree that Infantino has made good efforts towards making a more ergonomically sound carrier. I admit I have a pretty solid bias against the company though given their record with the Slingrider (basically ignoring sound evidence that the carrier was dangerous) and some questionable practices around the development of the wrap-and-tie. But my understanding is that they are making an effort to make better carriers and I hope that continues!

  • Jenna

    I just wanted to thank you for the information you gave here, and other options for baby facing out while still giving the wearer comfort! I’ve bought two more expensive Bjorn’s so far, and I’m so disappointed, so I figured I’d just be relegated to the Ergo and my 6-month would have to look in (he’s not fond of), but learned from you of the Beco Gemini option and now I’m so excited to get one and try it (and hopefully love it)! I wish I’d read this blog 6 months ago…I could’ve saved myself some money! Thank you so much…again!

  • [...] legs, supported to the knee: This automatically disqualifies Baby Bjorn-type carriers (known as “crotch danglers” in the vernacular) from being called a good carrier. (Better than no carrier at all, certainly, but not a good [...]

  • [...] often) for a short period of time, forward facing is a viable option.  Read more on this topic at Meredith’s blog or [...]

  • Karina

    I just recently purchased an Emeibaby carrier. It’s kind of a hybrid buckle and wrap carrier. I love it so far. You can use it for both a back carry and front carry. Not forward facing. It grows with the child all the way into toddlerhood. And it’s easily adjustable to switch between my husband and myself. Anyone tried this carrier as well?

    • Meredith

      I’ve tried one only briefly. It’s a really interesting concept! What I loved was that it makes it easy to get a great fit on a newborn (mine was about 11 pounds at the time) which isn’t true of most SSCs.

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