Nov 9, 2017
Ergobaby is without a doubt one of the most popular and best known baby carrier brands around. Every week at our local sling library we have a stream of people coming through asking to see an Ergobaby! And with the recent addition of the new Omni 360 in September, the Adapt last year, as well as the imminent release of the updated Original, the next questions we inevitably get are: what are the differences between them, and which is the best?! So, let’s find out! For your perusal, here is a full comparison of each of the Ergobaby carriers which are currently available to buy…
*Newborn carrying and the invention of the adjustable body panel
A key focus for Ergobaby in the last couple of years, has been developing carriers which are usable from birth without the need for the rather bulky newborn insert – especially as an increasing number of competitors had begun to offer carriers and slings with the option of adjusting the width of the body panel by ‘cinching’ – gathering the base of the body panel using a drawstring or additional strap. The Adapt went above and beyond what anyone had offered before, by ensuring that when the body was made narrower, it did not end up with a narrow base and baggy overall panel, it offered a snug, deep (but not too deep!), fully supportive seat – ideal for a new baby’s developing body. It achieves this ,in two ways; one is the design of the Velcro adjustable panels in a curved shape which are angled inwards, and the other is with poppers on the outside, which remove any excess bagginess. Both shown in the pictures below.
The one thing the Adapt didn’t do, however, was provide the option for baby to face outwards in the carrier. Following the release of the Adapt, the All Position 360 had remained extremely popular, especially in the UK, but which needed the newborn insert from birth to roughly 4 months. Cue the Omni 360! Designed to tick every box, the Omni has features of the 360 and the Adapt, including the option to face outwards, crossable straps, lumber support panel with buckle fastened waist strap, and in particular, an adjustable body panel which can be made narrower to be used from newborn. The adjustable fit on the Omni differs quite a bit from the Adapt, as you will be able to see from the pictures below, the design is fairly different, with straight Velcro panels rather than curved ones. The overall width of the body panel is lower on the Omni, however the way the seat is designed is for you baby’s bottom to sit slightly lower in the carrier, which will give you a little extra width for your baby’s bottom and legs.
**Realistic age range
Ergobaby, just like most other baby carrier brands, weight test their carriers to the maximum weight they can withstand, and issue the results to make us are aware how long we can use the carrier for safely. What I have covered in this table is how long most people find they are able to use the carrier for comfortably - where their child is still supported (on the most part) from beneath one knee to beneath the other knee. Once your child hits toddlerhood, being supported in this way, does not carry the same importance as it does to a newborn with regards to hip and spine development, however, once your toddler’s legs begin to hang down from the carrier, you may find you start to feel some pulling strain on your shoulders. There are plenty of fabulous toddler carriers out there to explore once your child begins to outgrow their baby carrier, when you feel it isn’t offering quite the same support it used to.
***Front facing out
Whilst working at the Baby Show recently, speaking to many expectant couples, it struck me how many used the words ‘progress on to forward facing’ or ‘when they want more stimulation’ to describe the development of their baby beyond newborn. I realised how widespread the assumption is that all babies will arrive at a point when they want (need?!) to face away from their parent. Now of course this can be a nice change for both parent and child – it can be quite enjoyable – but it certainly isn’t a ‘necessary’ step. I actually find in my work that most babies are perfectly happy facing inwards, they relish the comfort and stimulation of face to face interaction with the person carrying them, and are quite happy looking out to the side – you can even position one of their arms to hang outside the carrier, to give them a greater range of movement to see around them. Facing inwards also allows your baby’s legs to hug your body, and allows them a deep comfortable seat in the carrier which can lead to far greater comfort for the wearer than having your baby outward facing.
If you are someone who values the option of your child facing outwards, the Ergobaby 360 or Omni 360 is the one to get! They are the only carriers on the market with the seat designed specially to support your child’s hips and legs in an ergonomic and comfortable position whilst outward facing. Interestingly the Omni 360 has been a huge hit in the UK, we obviously value the option of forward facing greatly. In contrast, the Adapt has been extremely popular in Germany, where facing outward just isn’t as widely known and accepted.
Ultimately this is just a starting guide, the best way to tell which will work for you is to try them out for yourself! Here at Harrow Sling Consultancy we currently stock the newer Adapt and the Omni 360, and offer both full and quick consults. Feel free to get in touch to find out more!
You can find your nearest sling library or consultant at www.slingpages.co.uk
And with the regards to which the best one is – that part is up to you!