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July 4th, 2014

From Here To There With Kids : Travels With an Ergobaby Carrier

It’s funny what can happen when one combines a glass of wine, an interesting opportunity and a leap of faith. Three and a half years ago, Jenny was living in Southern California with her husband and working in interior design. Today, she lives in Australia and travels throughout Asia with her two kids in tow.

Jenny recently travelled to Cambodia with her family utilsing an Ergobaby carrier throughout her travels and forwarded us a little snippet of her trip below. 

From Here To There With Kids : Travels With an Ergobaby Carrier

Out of all the baby products that I have used the most when traveling my Ergobaby Carrier comes out on top.  Since deciding to travel the world with our two kids it has become even more priceless.  Family activities in other countries can be a little bit different then your usual holiday trip locally or to America.

When traveling the world, transportation can come in many forms such as Water Taxi, Long Boat, Tuk Tuk, ferry, train, tram and bus.  Coupled with uneven sidewalks that are crowded, exploration is often impossible with a stroller and an inquistive toddler who wants to put everything in their mouth. Enter the Ergobaby carrier.

From Here To There With Kids : Travels With an Ergobaby Carrier

The comfort of having your baby close and your hands free is a necessity when traveling. Our Ergobaby carrier is comfortable for both of us and allows us to explore all day through the markets, temples, cafes, zoo’s, streets, unfamiliar trails and museums with my baby with me every step of the way.

You can read more about Jenny’s travels on her blog From Here to There With Kids.

June 2nd, 2014

Employment Opportunity: Join Team Ergobaby in Brisbane

Employment Opportunity: Join Team Ergobaby in Brisbane
Our Melbourne team catch up with Pinky McKay

Where: Pregnancy, Babies and Children Expo, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Southbank
Dates: Friday 20 to Sunday 22 June 2014

Applicants must have extensive knowledge of the Ergobaby Carrier and we would prefer people to be available for all 3 days.

Here is the staff time to be covered each day:

Interested in applying? Please send the following details to: community@babesinarms.com.au ASAP for consideration:

- Contact details: phone, email, skype and address
- Brief summary of your Ergobaby Carrier and general babywearing experience
- Brief summary of your professional experience
- Availability over the expo period
- A fairly recent photo of yourself (either full length or bust height)
- Contact details for 2 references (ideally one personal, one professional)

Please note that your child(ren) is welcome to visit you at the expo over the weekend but demonstrators must ensure that a support person is available at all times to attend to your child’s needs when the stand gets busy (which is very often!

We look forward to receiving your application ASAP and hopefully welcoming you as part of our team!

May 30th, 2014

Zoe Foster Blake and Sonny on the New Ergobaby 360 Carrier

Zoe Foster Blake and Sonny on the New Ergobaby 260 Carrier

Zoe Foster Blake and Sonny love their new Ergobaby carrier.

“The Ergobaby 360 is phenomenal. Especially as I am a small woman with a big baby boy – I feel supported and comfy, and so does he. I don’t mean to be vulgar, (it comes naturally) but this carrier really does wipe the competitions’ buttocks.” Image courtesy of Zoe

May 22nd, 2014

Ergobaby Wrap: A Review by Dr Amy Giannakis

Ergobaby 360 Carrier Review
Dr Amy Giannakis
Chiropractor, babywearing advocate and mother-of-three – www.reviewbabycarriers.net

Ergobaby Wrap: A Review by Dr Amy Giannakis

The Ergobaby Wrap or Ergobaby 4D Stretch Wrap is designed for newborns and babies up to about 14kg (30lbs) and is made from a specially designed fabric that can stretch in all four directions.  It is soft yet strong enough to use in 6 different carries including three front ties, hip carry, back carry and a pregnancy support wrap. The design of the 4D fabric allows the Ergobaby Wrap to safely carry your baby on your back unlike regular stretch wraps

Ergobaby Wrap: A Review by Dr Amy Giannakis

My Chiropractic Opinion on the Ergobaby Wrap

Using the wrap techniques shown for the Ergobaby Wrap, it is very ergonomic for both baby and wearer. Baby is held in nice and close to the wearer, ensuring that there is no excess strain on the wearers shoulders and back. Also baby is held in an ergonomic M-posture whereby their knees are higher than their hips and spine is held in a C-curve which is important for newborns and small babies under 6 months.To read more on babywearing ergonomics click here.

Basic Tie - From 3-18months (5-14kgs)

My Highlights

  • A great hybrid between a stretchy wrap and a woven wrap
  • Lovely soft stretchy fabric with an inbuilt pocket for storage.
  • More options for different carries than regular stretchy wraps.
  • You can take baby in and out without the need to retie.

Negatives

  • It’s fairly heavy to carry around but not noticeable when wearing.
  • Quite thick, so maybe warm to use in summer, but would be great in the cooler months.
  • You need a second person to assist you when using the back carry.

Back carry for older babies - From 4-18months (6-14kgs)

 

 

A Day In The Life Of…

A review of the Ergobaby Wrap in my daily activities

Getting baby into carrier in the car park  It’s easy once you’ve got the hang of it. TIP: Practice a few times at home in front of the mirror beforehand and when you get out of the car, use the reflection of the car’s windows to help make sure you pull the fabric across properly.

Is it easier to put it on before leaving the house?  It’s easy to tie on before leaving the house so you can pop baby in when you get out of the car. You’re also able to take baby in and out numerous times without re-tying which is handy.

How supported is the baby in the Ergobaby Wrap?  Very, the fabric has what’s called a 4D stretch which is supportive but very soft

Is it easy to carry my baby bag with the carrier on? Yes.

Can I hold my older child’s hand with the carrier on? Yes.

Does it feel hands-free?  Yes.

How supported is baby when they fall asleep? Very,  if baby falls asleep, you can just pull the fabric across and their head will be supported.

Can I breastfeed while wearing the baby in the Ergobaby Wrap?  It’s not so easy while baby is in the wrap, but if you take baby out then you can part of the wrap as a breastfeeding cover if you wish

Can I bend down to pick up toys, laundry etc?  Yes, but you will need to support baby’s head

Can I sit down while wearing it? Yes.

How does it feel after 30 minutes? Very comfortable. Make sure you have tied it on reasonably tight to avoid baby from sagging over time.

Does it pass the late afternoon/dinner time test? ie; the witching hour! Yes, baby can sleep while you work!

Can it hold a toddler? It’s designed to carry a toddler up to 14kg (30lbs).

 

    • For babies from 3kg to 14kg 
    • One size fits all: 500cm x 65cm 
    • 4D Stretch knit fabric – 95% Cotton, 5% Spandex
    • Two coloured seams for a better orientation
    • Machine washable: Cold with mild detergent on gentle cycle. Dry on delicate cycle and remove when seams are still damp. Air dry.
May 15th, 2014

Ergobaby 360: A Review by Paediatric Physiotherapist Paula Beall

As a Paediatric Physiotherapist and mum to be I was very keen to find a baby carrier that best supported my new baby and also looked after my back. When looking at the features of baby carriers, I wanted to get something that ticked all the boxes and had a forward facing capacity. At the time Ergobaby did not have a forward facing carrier and so I looked past it. I was therefore very excited to hear about the Ergobaby 360 and was able to trial this carrier and provide review.

After trialling the Ergobaby 360, I would highly recommend it from both a Physiotherapy and a ‘New Mum’ perspective. I will continue to use the Ergobaby 360 as my carrier of choice and will also recommend it to other Mums for its multitude of benefits.

Paediatric Physiotherapy Perspective on the Ergobaby 360

NEWBORN BABY

The Ergobaby 360 comes with a newborn insert which is very important when trying to position a newborn baby well in a baby carrier. Babies are born with a very flexed posture, due to their position in-utero, as they grow within a confined space. They maintain this flexion through their whole body for the first few months and this is important for muscle development and early developmental milestones, such as getting their hands to the mid-line and bringing their feet up to their hands. It is also what babies ‘know’ and so they are more settled in this position. Babies are also born with a very immature hip joint. They naturally keep their hips in a flexed and abducted position – this position promotes a well located hip joint. The newborn insert of the Ergobaby 360 therefore allows your baby to maintain this natural, flexed overall posture with flexed and abducted hips. Encouraging this position is especially important for babies who may have some mild hip dysplasia or ‘clicky hips’. For babies who are born with low muscle tone this is also an ideal position – the Ergobaby 360 would be an ideal adjunct to a positioning program provided to these families. For babies who have no concerns it is also very important to use the newborn insert, supporting your baby’s natural posture, rather than trying to stretch a baby out into a more extended position, before they are ready for this.

OLDER BABIES – INWARD FACING

Once babies reach around 4 months of age they are generally becoming more confident on their tummy and spending more time awake between sleeps and feeds. This tummy time, allows them to practice pushing up onto their hands and gain more extension through their spine and hips. Their head control is often still improving and so an inwards facing position provides the best support for this. The Ergobaby 360’s design supports this transition in posture gradually. It allows for a naturally flexed spinal position and has an adjustable level head support, which I found particularly useful for when I wanted my baby to sleep or have some quiet time in the carrier. In regards to hip positioning, the Ergobaby 360 supports the flexed and abducted hip position, with the baby being supported with their knees higher than their hips, to protect their hip joints. Their weight is taken through the structured seat of the carrier and wide leg supports, which again protects baby’s hip joints. I found it easy to get my baby into and out of the carrier at this age. I found that when I positioned my baby in the carrier, his weight pulled down on the shoulder straps, making him quite secure in the carrier and I could then adjust his bottom to make sure he was evenly positioned at his hips. The ease of adjustability to make sure he was comfortable was a highlight for me.

FORWARD FACING

Having a forward facing feature to the Ergobaby 360 makes this carrier not only ideal for newborn and young babies, but for older babies also. It is important for babies to only be forward facing once they have developed the head control to support this position, with the normal movement they experience while in the carrier – generally this is from around 6 months onwards. This is also around the same time as when babies are ready for the stimulation and arousal provided when being in a forward facing position. This position makes babies work to control their posture, compared to an inward facing position and so is definitely for older babies. The Ergobaby Blog provides a wealth of information regarding this and I would encourage users to read this.

Again, I found that the position of baby’s hips and spine when forward facing was well supported by the Ergobaby 360. The height of the chest support was ideal, allowing my baby to relax in the carrier in a well supported manner. He then only needed to be able to control his head, which allowed him to stay forward facing in the carrier for reasonable periods of time.

LOOKING AFTER MUM TOO

The Ergobaby 360 was comfortable to wear and well designed for ergonomic support. The Velcro waist strap is easily able to be custom fitted to any waist size and shape, making it secure and comfortable. It can be positioned where it is most comfortable for each individual. The wide, padded shoulder straps are well designed to spread the weight taken across the upper back and shoulders. The shape of the structured seat of the carrier means that once baby’s weight is in the carrier, the shoulder straps become firm. This means you have your hands free to adjust baby easily within the carrier, rather than trying to make adjustments, while still holding baby secure. The carrier is also very cool to wear, leaving the back area open. I therefore found it rewarding and comfortable to wear the Ergobaby 360 for extended periods of time, knowing it was safe for both myself and my baby.

New Mum Perspective on the Ergobaby 360

From a practical new mum point of view, I loved the Ergobaby 360 and will continue to use it. The highlights for me included:

  • Ease of getting my baby in and out of the carrier (inward and forward) – I always felt that my little boy was safe in the Ergobaby 360 while I was getting it on and off. I had struggled with other carriers in the past, trying to secure straps while holding him at the same time, however this was not the case with the Ergobaby. This makes quick trips to the shops much easier for me!
  • Newborn Insert – the carrier I previously used did not have a newborn insert and I found it very difficult to get my little man in and out of it, without him getting upset. The newborn insert and the Ergobaby 360 made this easy for me as well as comfortable for him.
  • Baby Comfort and Settling – my baby boy loves being in the Ergobaby which makes me confident in using it for short and extended periods of time. I find that we use it lots when going out and about and I can raise and lower the head support quickly and easily, for when he is awake or asleep. I also use it a lot when he won’t settle for daytime sleeps – I find that walking around with him in the carrier relaxes him and he then goes down for a sleep more easily.
  • My Comfort when wearing Ergobaby 360 – I found it comfortable to wear and a big highlight was that it was cool to wear. As we use the Ergobaby lots when we are outside, I found it much cooler than other carriers I had trialled, especially having the back region open without lots of straps.
  • Inward and Forward facing – I enjoy using the carrier in both positions depending on what we are doing during the day. We more often use the carrier in an inwards facing position, because my little man is often ready for a sleep when going into the carrier and I know he will always be happy inwards facing. When we are going to the beach, markets or play group and I know he will enjoy watching what is going on, we will use it in the forwards position. Being able to decide at the time which way to use it, without having to adjust anything makes it easy to use ‘on the go’.

Quick Questions

What was your overall impression of the Ergobaby 360

We both loved it. Comfortable, practical and easy to use.

What did you like most about the design of the Ergobaby’s new 360 carrier

It was cool to wear and easy to get bub into – I didn’t have to secure straps until bub was well positioned which made it easy to get him comfortable quickly and easily.

What did you like least about Ergobaby’s new 360 carrier

If the carrier was slightly more lightweight I would be more easily able to take it in a bag with me when not in use. However, the structure to the carrier is also what I love about it, so it isn’t really a bad point.

How do you feel about forward facing in a carrier

I like having the option of being able to use the carrier in a forward facing position. However, I did find that I didn’t use the forward facing feature as much as I thought I would. I think the practical use of taking bub out and about in the carrier, was that we used it more when I wanted to make sure he was happy or if he needed a sleep, so we used the inward facing for those times. I also didn’t ever have him facing forwards for as long as what I had him facing inwards, so inwards is often better from that point of view. However, for the times I do have him forwards and interacting with his environment, it is great!

What would you like to see Ergobaby do to educate consumers about forward facing in the carrier

I think it is very important to new Mum’s to be aware that forward facing requires more postural and head control for bub. So, as well as being aware of their level of arousal and cues, it’s important to be aware of their developmental stage and whether forward facing is appropriate. It also means they often can’t stay forward facing for as long, due to the muscle control required.

Would you use the Ergobaby 360 Carrier

Definitely

Would you recommend the Ergobaby 360 Carrier to all parents

Yes – it gives lots of options and is easy to change between users and positions with little adjustment needed

 

Thank-you for the opportunity to trial the new Ergobaby 360 and provide my review.

Paula

Paediatric Physiotherapist

May 10th, 2014

Celebrating Mama – WIN an Ergobaby Four Position 360 Carrier

Mamas, we are grateful for everything you do. As a thank you, we want to support you and everything you do from day one. Enter below for a chance to win our new Ergobaby Four Position 360 Carrier.

The Ergobaby Four Position 360 Carrier offers your baby the best babywearing ergonomics in all carry positions from birth to toddler. The innovative deep seat provides ideal hip positioning as your baby grows and aligns with health professional recommendations for safe hip and spine development. The seat width adjusts easily to comfortably transition baby from inward to outward facing and back again.

Wearers of the Ergobaby Four Position 360 Carrier will love the new waistband that wraps snugly and securely to transfer your baby’s weight efficiently for longer comfort and greater back support. The carrier also features a new height-adjustable structure that provides additional head and neck support for your baby.

CLOSED

WINNER: Breanne Hawkins

Wondering what health professionals are saying? Click here.

Win and Ergobaby 360 carrier

April 25th, 2014

Ergobaby 360 Review – By Dr Vanessa Barry – Family Chiropractor, Babywearing Consultant and Mother

DR VANESSA BARRY
Family Chiropractor, Babywearing Consultant and Mother

As a Chiropractor, I am often asked for advice on what is the most optimal baby carrier. While there are many great carriers on the market, I have always used the Ergobaby brand carriers as one of my examples of an optimal carrier. I am also often asked for advice on optimal positioning while babywearing, and as a general rule I never recommend outward facing, and will recommend against outward facing in younger (less than 6 months of age), sleepy, sleeping or overstimulated baby.

So I was disappointed when I first heard that Ergobaby were bringing out a new carrier, the 360, which allowed outward facing of a baby. I wondered why a brand which was held in high regard for its ergonomic and optimal carriers would make such a move?

I was then contacted by Babes in Arms, the Australian distributor of Ergobaby products, and asked if I would like to do a review of the new Ergobaby 360 carrier. I asked why Ergobaby had decided to make a carrier that seemingly promoted outward facing? It was explained to me that Ergobaby had made this carrier in response to demand – people were wanting to wear their babies in an outward facing position, and were wanting a more ergonomic and optimal way to do so. This kind of made sense, and I wanted to see how a carrier could do this, so I jumped at the opportunity to review the Ergobaby 360.

After this discussion I noticed so many people wearing their babies in an outward facing position in either suboptimal or downright dangerous ways. I saw one baby being outward faced in a stretchy wrap, and another in the regular Ergobaby carrier, products that were never designed to be worn in an outward facing position, and should never be used in this way. So the reasoning made sense. If people were going to outward face their babies anyway, they needed an option to be able to do so, in a way that better supported their baby’s developing hips, spine, and nervous system.

I first used the Ergobaby 360 in a front carry position, inward facing. I really like the new velcro waistband, which makes it very easy to fit well, and to get on quickly (but is a little noisy to take off near a sleeping baby). The shoulder straps and chest strap are also very easy to put on and adjust. The head and neck support provides great support for a sleeping bub, although I had difficulty using the sleeping hood as I found it sat a little too high on me, which I understand Ergobaby is currently looking into.

My husband who is taller and much broader than me then used it, and I have struggled to get it off him ever since. He likes the simplicity and support of it, and has a renewed passion for baby wearing ever since.

I had the carrier for a few weeks before I tried the outward facing mode. I watched the how to videos first, and was really pleased to see that Ergobaby recommends that the carrier is only used in an outward facing position for older babies (over 5 months of age), with good head and neck support; only for short periods of time, and never to be used with a sleeping or overstimulated baby.

So I tried the outward facing position with my 11 month old baby girl, in the morning when she was awake and alert. In the Ergobaby 360 the outward facing baby takes on more of a seated position, (as opposed to a leg dangling position) and her thighs were supported from knee-to-knee, just. As she grows the thigh support will obviously provide less than knee-to-knee support, though as she has no hip issues, this should be fine for the manufacturer recommended short periods of time. Not wanting to overstimulate her I wore her around the house and to the washing line to hang out the washing. Within about 5 minutes, the carrier became very uncomfortable around my upper back and shoulders, and I had to take it off.

A couple of weeks later, 2 hours into a walk in a National Park, my daughter decided she had had enough of being worn in the Ergobaby 360 (inward facing) on my husband. She clearly wanted to get down and crawl around, but as we were walking along a narrow path near cliff edges, it wasn’t safe to allow her to do so. She was happy enough to be carried in arms, but we had about 30 minutes before we would be somewhere she could crawl around, and this would clearly be unsustainable. So after a while, I hesitantly asked my husband if he would like to wear her in the outward facing position for the next 10 – 15 minutes. He jumped at the chance to give it a try and they both loved it. Occasionally we passed people walking in the opposite direction, and our daughter loved waving and smiling at them. My husband found it very comfortable, and unlike myself, he found it comfortable the whole time he was wearing her. Whether this is due to his broader shoulders, or because her weight is a smaller percentage of his, or because he wasn’t lifting his arms overhead hanging out the washing, or combination of them all, I’m not sure; any or all of them are plausible.

So if you were wanting an option to wear your baby in an outward facing position, and your baby is 6 months of age or older, has good head and neck support, isn’t sleeping or overstimulated; then the Ergobaby 360 is a great ergonomic option. As with any carrier, it is important that it is also comfortable for you to wear, and the only way to know this is to try it on yourself (there is no carrier in existence that perfectly suits every different body shape and size).

To allow for outward facing, the back support panel is narrower than a regular Ergobaby Carrier. The Ergobaby 360 can only be used for babies 15kg or less, which means the window of use is less than the normal 20kg or less of a regular Ergobaby Carrier. However, I imagine that you would not want to wear a baby heavier than this in an outward facing position, due to the alteration in weight bearing and centre of gravity required to support such a position.

April 23rd, 2014

Ergobaby 360: A Review – By Steph de Silva

By Steph de Silva
Former babywearing blogger and online forum administrator (Baby Carriers Downunder & Babywearing Buy Sell Swap), mother-of-three

Review for general newcomers to babywearing

Who are you as a parent? Have you got it all figured out yet?

Maybe you don’t have it all figured out. Maybe you’re finding that with each passing week it’s different. Maybe you’re not doing too much in the way of forward planning, you’re just working things out as you go along. If that’s who you are as a parent, then I think the Ergobaby 360 is a carrier to consider.

I’ll describe the Ergobaby 360 in three words: simplicity, flexibility, longevity.

Simplicity. The Ergobaby 360 is a classic buckle carrier. No ties, nothing too fiddly. Getting a basic carry right is simple. If you’re new to babywearing or you just want something that works, then a classic buckle carrier should make it to your shortlist. You can learn how to use the Ergobaby 360 correctly in minutes. Your mum can learn how to use this carrier.

Flexibility. Most classic buckle carriers have front and back options with, possibly, a hip carry option. Most of the time, the hip carry isn’t a stand out feature of the carrier, however. In the case of the Ergobaby 360, though, by changing the strap configuration from what’s commonly used and improving the waist of the carrier, it’s fully functional and comfortable.

The addition of the facing out carry for older babies gives you the option to try that if it’s something you’d like. However, it doesn’t impinge on the functionality of the other facing-in carries if that’s not something you want to do.

Unlike many carriers with a forward facing option, the back carry can be done unassisted in the Ergobaby 360. The reality of our lives as parents is that we spend a lot of our time alone with our children: a carry or carrier you need help to use isn’t one that you reach for often. The Ergobaby 360 is fully functional, just add baby (or toddler).

Longevity. The problem with most buckle carriers (there are a few exceptions) is that it’s one-size-fits-insert-age-here. If you have a toddler and a newborn, then either someone is too big or too small.

The Ergobaby 360 has an adjustable height body, however. With the infant insert, it can fit newborns safely and comfortably. Without the insert and with the back extended, it fits my 3.5 year old preschooler with complete coverage over her head under the sleep hood. On our test run with the Ergobaby 360, my preschooler fell asleep in the car. I pulled her out of her seat, tossed her on my back and she snuggled right down and went back to sleep.

This is a carrier you can use from the time they arrive to the time when you no longer need to worry about inconvenient naps and supermarket tantrums. (Please note: my kids are pretty small. If you have big and tall babies, then using this carrier well into preschool may go over the weight limits- but in general, this is a carrier that can be used for a long time.)

I enjoyed the Ergobaby 360. It was my kind of carrier: simple and useful in lots of different situations. If you’re looking for one baby carrier, then the Ergobaby 360 should be on your short list. If you’re new to baby wearing, the Ergobaby 360 gives you all the options.

Many people want one carrier that can do everything they need to. They don’t want multiple carriers (or pricetags). The Ergobaby 360 can be that carrier.

 

Review for more experienced babywearers

I got to test-ride the new Ergobaby 360 and there were some features that I really liked and wanted to geek out about. I really liked the carrier. So, let the baby wearing geekery begin!

The Velcro waist. The Ergobaby 360 isn’t the first carrier with a Velcro waist, but it is the first one that will be widely available in Australia. The Bondolino by Hopp was the only other one I’m aware of. The functionality behind this feature is that it is thin, light weight, sits individually on every wearer and is easy to adjust. This is the standout feature of the carrier in my opinion. It distributes weight very well and is very comfortable without bulkiness. It also looks better compared to thicker, more structured waists, which can draw attention to the fact that after three kids I don’t have (and never did, alas) the physique of the super model mum. Combined with the structured and adjustable bucket seat, this waist distributes weight very well and is extremely comfortable. The only draw back is that you should remember to store it with the waist closed if you’re wearing something delicate!

The adjustable size. A buckle carrier which can adjust size depending on your child’s age gets used for longer or with kids of different sizes. It’s that simple. I’m glad Ergobaby have bought a carrier into their range that has this feature. It’s a significant improvement in the usability of the carrier.

The hourglass shape. Again, this carrier isn’t the first to use this shape in the body, but there aren’t too many widely available carriers that do this. This is another feature that gives the carrier longevity. Newborns can’t spread their legs as widely as a preschooler: the hour glass shape allows the child to sit comfortably after the insert has been outgrown until he or she is ready for the full width and support. Some clever stitching and reinforcement means that even quite large children will have a good seat. I also really liked the fact that the width of the carrier is also adjustable. This gives significantly more flexibility when moving out of the infant insert age.

What about forward facing? Typically, the baby wearing community objects to four things when it comes to a position which faces baby outwards: (1) inadequate provision for hip support (2) impact on the baby’s spine when not supported in a rounded c position, (3) overstimulation and (4) support for the wearer.

To address these in turn:

(1) Hip position. Again, the Ergobaby 360 isn’t the first of its kind here. The Catbirdbaby Pikkolo created a forward facing out seated position about six years ago. The Ergobaby 360 also provides a position where the baby is seated rather than dangled.

(2) Spine not supported in the c-shape. This is true. But it’s worth mentioning that the forward facing out position is not recommended for babies under six months or until babies have adequate neck, head and body strength. In other words, until babies are at or very close to sitting themselves. Using the position too early or too much could place pressure on the very young spine, but this is an example where, as users, we should be following the advice we’re given.

(3) Overstimulation. Babies get overstimulated in lots of places, not just forward facing out baby carriers. Adequate parents respond and react. Sometimes they miss a cue and get it wrong, it’s true. But this isn’t an issue with a carrier, it’s an issue of being human. As parents we make those mistakes and we learn from them.

(4) Support for the wearer. It is absolutely true that when carrying a baby forward facing out, the center of gravity of the wearer is thrown off and it’s just not as comfortable. The waist of the Ergobaby 360 distributes weight beautifully, but I do find facing–in positions much more comfortable for long term wearing. We should be listening to our babies needs and our own. When it’s not comfortable: it’s time to change.

Many babywearers won’t use the forward facing out position. Personally, I find a back carry more comfortable and functional. However, for new babywearers there is a very real concern about back carrying. The hip carry makes a good alternative, but many will want to try the front facing out option for short periods. The Ergobaby 360 allows them to do that… and to decide what positions are most comfortable and functional for themselves and their baby.

Unlike other popular front facing out carriers, the front facing out position does not reduce the functionality of the carrier in other positions. This is a carrier that is viable from birth well into the toddler days: and comfortably so. It’s a significant improvement on other easily available carriers that offer this position.

 

Tips for Using the Ergobaby 360 (Intended for the new babywearer)

The best tip I can give for baby wearing in any carrier, any time is: it shouldn’t hurt. A well-designed carrier should not be uncomfortable for you or your child. Sure, after an hour or two you might want a break, but you should be comfortable wearing your baby for an extended period, even when your child is well beyond 12 months old.

However, sometimes getting comfortable takes some tweaking. Often, it’s not the carrier that’s the problem, it’s how you’re wearing it. Most of the time, there’s no need to give up on baby wearing or buy a whole new carrier. A few simple tweaks make all the difference.

There are two places new babywearers often complain of pain: back and shoulders.

Shoulders: Are you getting a dull pain in the muscles of your shoulders? There’s usually a simple reason for this. Slide a hand between you and baby. Is there space between you? Baby should be pressed up against you comfortably but firmly, you shouldn’t be able to slide your hand through with any space to spare. If so, try tightening those shoulder straps or your chestbelt. This should solve the problem. Sometimes it can take a little experimentation to work out how you like it: but once you do, you’re set!

If you’re still finding this uncomfortable after awhile, then it might be time to switch to another carry. If you’re forward facing baby, try facing in. If you’re already facing in, try a back carry. As baby becomes heavier and older, back carries distribute weight more evenly and comfortably.

Don’t switch to a back carry before baby is ready, though. Baby should have good strength in his or her torso and great head control. He or she should be big enough to sit comfortably in the carrier. In general, about 6-9 months is a good time to start back carrying in the Ergobaby 360 if baby has good core strength.

Back: Baby wearing is designed to protect your back, not cause injury! If you’re feeling sore in the back, there can be a few reasons. Often, this kind of pain is caused by baby sitting too low on your body. Ideally, baby should be close enough to kiss without you bending your head down too far. If baby is lower than this it can throw your center of gravity out. Remember how you felt at 9 months pregnant? You don’t want to try being 15 months pregnant! Bring baby further up your body.

Alternatively, if you’re in the front facing out position, you may want to interpret this as your body’s signal to turn baby to face inwards where the distribution of weight will be more natural. If you are finding pain in the front facing out position quickly, try moving the waist belt a little higher and tighter to support you. As baby gets older, switching to a back carry sometimes will help even out the weight distribution on both sides of your body.

Still struggling? Sometimes I hear babywearers say their carrier “isn’t working for them”. It’s true, we all have our preferences. But before you give up, try coming along to a slingmeet. There’s one in every capital and most regional centers. There will be lots of other babywearers around to help you troubleshoot or just to chat. Make friends and meet people! You can find your local meet at www.slingmeetsaustralia.com

 

April 17th, 2014

Ergobaby 360 Carrier Review by Dr Amy Giannakis

Ergobaby 360 Carrier Review
Dr Amy Giannakis
Chiropractor, babywearing advocate and mother-of-three – reviewbabycarriers.net

My Rating :

 

Ergobaby has come up with an ingenious design that allows for an ergonomic carry for both baby and wearer in all four positions! The great features of the Ergobaby 360 Carrier are an ergonomic bucket style seat that easily adjusts in width so you can either face baby outwards or inwards, a velcro waistband that gives a snug, comfortable fit and a height-adjustable backrest.

My Chiropractic Opinion on the Ergobaby 360 Carrier: 

Firstly, I should say I was surprised when I heard that Ergobaby had designed a baby carrier that allowed for a forward facing option that was completely ergonomic but when I tried it with my 5 month old facing outwards I was very impressed! This new revolutionary carrier allows you to carry your baby in four different positions, all while remaining ergonomic for you and your baby.

In the Ergobaby 360 Carrier the baby is well seated in the “M” posture with their knees held higher than their pelvis and their spine is supported in the “C” curve that babies naturally have.  For more information on this, please refer to my page on The Importance of Ergonomics. In the forward facing position the “C” curve is not maintained but since this feature is only recommended for babies over 6 months, that’s not as important as their postural curves have already started to develop from tummy time/crawling/sitting etc. In the forward facing option the “M” posture is maintained which is important, as their body weight is distributed well as they are in the seated position with their knees higher than their hips.

While the carrier is an ergonomic option if you choose to forward face, you must also read your baby’s cues and know when they are feeling or acting over-stimulated.  Forward facing allows the baby to face outwards and see what is around them but at the same time, if they get overstimulated or tired then they may want to turn and nuzzle into the wearer. Ergobaby suggests that you only forward face for a maximum of 15-20 mins and I would tend to agree. I only wear my baby forward facing when he has just woken from a sleep or is happy and not grizzly or tired.

The forward facing position

Please watch the video for correct positioning when forward facing your baby in the Ergobaby 360 Carrier to ensure it is worn correctly and ergonomically.

My Highlights

  • Easy to put on. With the wide velcro waist band, you get a snug fit and it makes it easier to swap between wearers as there’s less adjusting
  • Easy to adjust the seat for the baby with two big buttons
  • Ergonomic and comfortable seat for baby when forward facing
  • Feels very compact when worn
  • Height adjustable backrest for when baby falls asleep or for taller and older babies

The Negatives

  • None to mention

A Day In The Life Of…

A review of the Ergobaby 360 Carrier in my daily activities

Getting baby into carrier in the car park. It is quite easy, first put on the velcro waistband and fasten the safety buckle then take your child out of the car and put them in.

Is it easier to put it on before leaving the house?  No, it’s easier to put on after getting out of the car.

How supported is the baby in the Ergobaby 360 Carrier?   Very. The extendable back rest means baby’s head is supported when sleeping.

Is it easy to carry my baby bag with the carrier on?  Yes.

Can I hold my older child’s hand with the carrier on?  Yes.

Does it feel hands-free?  Yes, especially with the headrest up.

How supported is baby when they fall asleep?  Very, the headrest supports baby’s head very well.

Can I breastfeed while wearing the baby in the Ergobaby 360 Carrier?  I have found this a tad tricky as I would normally lower the waistbelt on the carrier but you can’t do this easily with the velcro waistbelt.

Can I bend down to pick up toys, laundry etc?  With the headrest up yes you can.

Can I sit down while wearing it? Yes.

How does it feel after 30 minutes?  Feels very comfortable. I have worn it for long periods.

Does it pass the late afternoon/dinner time test? ie; the witching hour! Yes, the Ergobaby 360 Carrier gives you your hands back!

Can it hold a toddler?  Yes I can carry my almost 2.5yr old in it.

Features and Benefits of the Ergobaby 360 Four Position Carrier as taken from www.ergobaby.com

  • 4 carry positions front, back, hip and outward-facing front carry
  • Outward-facing front carry position recommended from 6 to 12 months
  • Aligns with the recommended carry position from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute
  • Ergonomically structured seat supports baby in an ergonomic seated position
  • Adjustable seat width and carrier height grow with your baby
  • Velcro adjustable waistband can be worn high or low for maximum comfort
  • Highly adjustable carrier suits wearers from 153cm – 195cm (5’ to 6’5”)
  • Safety tested and certified design (JPMA Certified, ASTM F2236)
  • SPF 50+ hood allows for sleeping baby, discreet breastfeeding, and sun/wind protection
  • Naturally breathable 100% cotton fabric and filling

 

March 19th, 2014

Wrap Ambassador: Fields Of Sage

Our second Ergobaby Wrap Ambassador is the gorgeously divine Anna, an early childhood teacher currently on maternity leave.

Fields of Sage – @fieldsofsage

Anna is the proud mama to a darling little girl, Sage Mila Wren, who has just celebrated her second birthday, and a precious little boy, Alby Fox – who was born on the 5th day of this month. And of course, she’s married to her beloved Simon (you can catch all their adventures on Anna’s blog here).

Since the first week of Sage’s life, Anna and Simon have worn her close. In her first 24 months she has spent her days in an Ergobaby Organic Carrier {using the infant insert during those early weeks} and a variety of silk and linen ring slings.

When we asked Anna why babywearing appeals to her, she told us: “Our babies grow so very quickly, seemingly before our eyes. The haze of newborn days is fast replaced by tiny, independence-seeking toddlers, before the whirl of school life begins. Never has the common motherhood saying “The days are long, but the years are short” been more true — blink and they are grown. Baby wearing allows the opportunity to keep your baby, a baby for just that wee bit longer as, like in the womb, your most cherished becomes an extension of your very being. Wrapped in the softest of fabrics and cocooned close to your heart, you can wander and explore the tiny corners of this vast earth, each wholly immersed in the presence of the other.  And together, you learn the true essence of what this life is all about.

When not following Anna on Instagram, you can read her regular blog, catch her pins on Pinterest and find her on Facebook page.