Review: BabyBjörn Comfort Carrier

BabyBjörn has created a new carrier, the Comfort Carrier… “For longer adventures with older babies”

Our latest baby carrier, the BABYBJÖRN Comfort Carrier, is designed for parents who want to carry their children up until the age of 2. It has an adjustable waist belt that transfers most of your child’s weight to your hips, which means that you can carry older babies for longer periods of time. The baby carrier is easy to put on and take off without assistance. As with all our baby carriers, it was developed in collaboration with medical experts.

I’ve been a BabyBjörn fan since my first son was born almost 9 years ago. I’ve just never used a BabyBjörn carrier past 8 months with each child. I’m really happy that BabyBjörn came out with a carrier that distributes baby’s weight, an older (and heavier) baby’s weight better so people like me can use it longer.

 

I tested the BabyBjörn Comfort Carrier (no, that’s not me) with my 22-pound toddler. I also put my 26-pound preschooler in (for giggles) but he just happens to be small (weight wise, not height) so I wouldn’t normally put him in the BabyBjörn Comfort Carrier.

Here’s what I found, what I like, dislike and more…

Waist Belt (aka Better for Mom and Dad’s back)

The Comfort Carrier has an (easy) adjustable padded waist belt which, distributes the weight of an older child to mom or dad’s hips rather than their back or shoulders. I, for one, have a horrible back so this is an important feature that I look for when choosing a carrier.

Shoulder Straps

The wide padded shoulder straps also help to distribute weight evenly to your back and shoulders. The shoulder straps have a slight contour to them but are able to bend, flex and customize to the wearer. Just like the BabyBjörn Active and Synergy carriers, the Comfort Carrier has an adjustable back support that slides up and down the back of the shoulder straps.

Leg Positioning and Versatility

Carry your child facing inwards with normal leg position (1), facing inwards with wide leg position (2) or facing forward with normal leg position (3) and head support folded down.

The versatility of the Comfort Carrier is pretty sweet. I like that this carrier can be used from 13 pounds to 31 pounds with the child facing in and from the time the child can hold his/her head up (on his/her own) to 26 pounds facing out. The waist belt is crucial (in my opinion) for parents carrying those 26-31 pounders around. My youngest is 22 pounds and I can’t carry him in a carrier that doesn’t provide proper distribution of his weight as I have a weak back (but in carriers with waist belts, I have no problems).

 

Using the Comfort Carrier

Unlike the other BabyBjörn carriers, you put the Comfort Carrier on over your head just as if you were putting on a shirt. The body of the Comfort Carrier does not fully detach from the straps (which is something I’m used to when it comes to BabyBjörn Carriers). The Comfort Carrier must be put on the parent before you can put the baby in it. Each Comfort Carrier comes with a complete manual (which, like every other baby item, you must read and follow) but here is my short and sweet version of putting on the carrier (with some little details that I wanted to point out):

1. Put the carrier on like you would a shirt- arms through the straps; unbuckle the head support buckle and loosen the side adjusters on the shoulder straps

2. Fasten the waist belt behind your back (it’s not a squeeze and release buckle) and tighten the waist belt straps on both sides, one side at a time. Tightening the waist belt is very easy to do; getting used to the buckle took a little time but it’s not difficult, just different than what I’m used to.

3. Slide the back support to a comfortable position.

4. Determine which direction baby will be facing– If baby is facing in, which leg position do you want, normal or wide? and either unzip the leg panel (for normal leg position #1) or leave it up (for the wide leg position #2). If baby is facing out, unzip the leg panel.*Do not use the wide leg position with baby facing out.

5. Place baby in the carrier making sure his/her arms are through the arm holes although older babies can ride comfortably with their arms above the arm holes while in the facing in or out position- just make sure your baby is tall and comfortable enough before doing this.

6. Fasten the head support buckle and tighten the shoulder straps from each side (again, there’s something about the buckle/straps system because tightening the shoulder straps is super simple). For babies in the 13-15 pound range, button the leg safety straps by each leg (just like all the other BabyBjörn carriers have).

7. When you are done with the Comfort Carrier, unbuckle the head support buckle, loosen the shoulder straps and remove the baby BEFORE unbuckling the waist belt.

Additional information

  • From 13 lbs to 31 lbs/6 kg to 14 kg (around 3 months to 2 years). PLEASE NOTE! Maximum weight facing forwards is 12 kg/26 lbs.
  • The BabyBjörn Comfort Carrier primary fabric is 100 % organically grown cotton and the BabyBjörn’s organic line complies with GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), internationally the most well recognized standard for organic manufacturing. The GOTS-label ensures that fabrics have been manufactured in compliance with certain environmental requirements. These requirements regulate the use of chemicals in the entire production process, including cultivation, harvesting, production, processing, manufacturing, packaging and labeling.
  • Machine wash, warm (40 °C). Wash separately with a gentle, bleach-free detergent.
  • The loops that are sewn-on the waist band are useful– after placing your baby in the carrier and tightening the straps to a comfortable position (for parent and baby) re-thread and “store” the excess part of the strap to keep the clean look of the carrier.

 

I Like

  • Baby Bjorn put their mesh, breathable fabric (like on their Air Carrier) on the inside of the Comfort Carrier between parent and baby to help keep both cooler.
  • The Comfort Carrier has a more structured feel to it. The body of the carrier (where the baby sits) it lightly padded, which creates a secure/supported feeling while baby is riding in it.
  • It’s organic cotton.
  • The head support can be in the up position (best for sleeping babies) or the folded down position while the child is facing in. You can adjust the head support while your child is in the carrier.
  • Unzipping and zipping the leg piece is simple and can be done while out and about with baby in tow. Just take baby out before unzipping or zipping to change the leg positioning.
  • The Comfort Carrier comes with a removable bib to protect the carrier while baby is facing out.

 

I Dislike

  • Even though there’s a great amount of versatility, you can’t wear it on your back.
  • There’s really no place for the leg panel to go when it’s unzipped. It either hangs down (against the waist band, so it’s not in the way of you or your child) or I found that you could tuck it in, under the waist belt at the bottom to give it a cleaner look.
  • While the other BabyBjörn carriers are suitable from 8 pounds, the Comfort Carrier is for 13 pounds or 3+ months. It is not for newborns.
  • I want to see more colors! Especially since BabyBjörn just came out with some vibrant and fun colors/patterns for the Original. Although, their fun colors are not organic materials. Currently the Comfort Carrier comes in black and gray.
  • There’s no storage, no small pockets or places to put your keys, phone or chap stick. I wish they would add a small zippered pocket to the side of the waist belt or something.
  • It’s a hefty price at $170

 

Bottom line, the BabyBjörn Comfort Carrier is a great addition to the world of carriers. I love that BabyBjörn has created an option for extended use and I love the structured (and secure) feel of the carrier. I also love the ease of the straps– tightening and loosening straps has never been easier!

 

Some Advice To New Parents- Get, Skip, Wait.

I’m only speaking out of experience here, I’m not an expert but I’ve been through this enough times that I’d like to think I have some things figured out. We all know that every baby is different; they each have their own likes and dislikes and have no problem letting you know how they feel about things. My three are no exception. But I have found a few things to be helpful (and not so helpful) with each one of them.

Get these:

Swaddle Blankets- babies come out of a squished, comfy, warm space and being “out in the open” is new to them. Even if your baby shows no interest in a swaddle blanket, it’s not a bad idea to have some on hand. My first started off swaddled on day one but my second baby didn’t want to be swaddled till his sleep patterns changed around the time he turned 2 months old. My third was swaddled until a month ago (he’s almost 15 months old).

Heartbeat or White Noise Machine-I figured this one out right after my first son was born. Again, babies come out from a place where they hear whooshing sounds (your blood) and rhythmic beating sounds (your heart). Mimicking those sounds, along with your voice and smell, can help soothe a cranky baby. Trust me.

Bouncy Seats- Yes you will want to hold your new baby every second of the day but what about when you need to pee? I ended up with two bouncy seats when I had my first son and I’m so glad I kept both of them. I kept one upstairs and one downstairs and that was his favorite hangout spot. and I got to shower, pee or cook dinner. I did the same thing with my subsequent children as well.

 Carrier- If your baby had a say, she’d want to be on you 24/7 so it’s best to invest in a carrier that will allow you to hold your baby and still have your hands free. Try on different carriers or ask around for advice to figure out which one you like the best. There are many different types from slings to wraps to structured carriers and each one of my kids liked something totally different. My first loved the sling, second preferred the wrap and my third loves him some Ergo

Breast Pump- if you plan to breastfeed, invest in a good breast pump. I never thought I needed one (because I was a stay at home mom) but as it turned out, I had a few preemies that needed pumped milk during their NICU stays and battles with jaundice. It also helped with engorgement, prevented a blocked duct from becoming mastitis and allowed me to have some date nights with my husband.

Battery Powered Nasal Aspirator- godsend. My 3-year-old and 1-year-old each have one and we swear by them.

Pack N Play- I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth from this thing. I’ve used it as a changing station for middle of the night messes, I’ve taken it on vacation, I’ve used it as a play area so I can vacuum, I’ve taken it to the beach and I’ve used it as a coat hanger- a place to quickly put some clean clothes.

Skip these:

 
Wipe Warmer- just reading the warning labels will make you not want to plug the thing in. Then, when you do, you need to spend more money on “fresheners” and you’ll try to convince yourself that orange-colored wipes are normal. The only time I could see wanting a warm wipe is in the middle of the night (while you’re hoping not to wake baby even more than she already is) but a few seconds cupped in your hands should be good enough.

Baby Shoes- maybe if you take your 3 month old to get pictures taken on a fake surfboard would it be cute to put over-sized flip flops on your baby’s feet but other than that, baby shoes are just not practical. Not to mention they don’t look comfortable, at all.

A closet full of blankets- why is it that people gift a mom-to-be a million blankets? You really only need a handful of blankets. 1 or 2 large blankets for playing on the floor and a few to keep handy for bundling up when it’s cold.

Travel System- Don’t buy your stroller just because it conveniently attaches to a matching car seat. Most strollers on the market come with car seat attachments for a wide range of infant car seats. I had a travel system with my first son and while I loved the car seat, the stroller was bulky, kinda cheap and took up a lot of my trunk space. Not to mention all of my kids only lasted 4-6 months in their infant car seats before I switched them into a convertible rear-facing car seat. Research car seats and strollers separately, find the two you like and see if there’s an option for an adapter to make it a travel system. Why not start off with the stroller that you want and that will last you longer? If the stroller you like does not adapt to the car seat you like, look into a snap and go. Chances are, the stroller you want to keep for years, the infant car seat and the snap and go will end up costing you less in the long run.

Walkers- I don’t know why these are still made. They are said to be dangerous and put strain on a baby’s hips when they are used too early. Developmentally, children should not be putting weight on their hips or legs until they can pull to a standing position and cruise around furniture. If you do get a stationary entertainer (e.g. Exersaucer) make sure your baby’s toes are the only things touching the floor. You never want your baby to be flat-footed before they are developmentally ready.

Wait and See:

Bassinets- Borrow one or wait to invest in a bassinet. I had one with my first and luckily, he loved it. I then got one for my second and he wanted nothing to do with it. He never ended up using it and I ended up buying a structured in-the-bed co-sleeper for him. Definitely something I wish I would have waited on doing until after he was born. I didn’t buy anything for my third son and a few weeks after he was born I knew exactly what we both needed, a bedside co-sleeper! I saved some time and money not getting something before he was born. I know, it’s hard, but I resisted the nesting, gotta-have-everything-in-place feeling and waited.

Newborn Diapers- Don’t load up on packs of newborn-sized diapers. Send someone out to get you more IF you need them. And if you do buy newborn diapers, do not open the packages! An open package cannot be returned… and if you have a gigantic baby (like my third child) you will not need anything that says newborn on it. Newborn diapers typically only go to 8 pounds and remember the Rule Of Diapers: you always want to size up if your baby is near the end of the weight range to help avoid blow outs and leaks.

Play Gym- I much prefer the floor activity centers to the Play Gyms that have the toys that hang over the baby. None of my boys liked lying under an arc of toys and if they were on the floor, I’d much rather them spend it on their tummy’s, for tummy time. It’s not something you need right away so waiting to see the temperament of your child is probably not a bad idea.

Pacifiers- I stocked up on Binkis and my first son loved them. I stocked up for my second son and he never took one! I had opened the packs, sterilized them all and then they sat, unused. You think I would have learned my lesson by my third son but? I didn’t. Once again, I stocked up on Binkis, sterilized them and we ended up donating them a few months ago.

This post can also been seen at Rated By Mom.

ERGObaby Performance Carrier Review

Long before I had kids, I was in a car accident that caused some major back issues. I did months of physical therapy, followed by years of yoga, followed by three pregnancies… and then even more yoga. I’ve tried everything — short of surgery — to strengthen my back. And if you have children, especially multiple children, you know that pregnancy is not friendly for a healthy back — let alone a damaged one.

Even with all my back drama, I never thought twice about using a carrier with my kids.

As a little girl, I had a “front pack” for my baby dolls and proudly carried my plastic babies around the house. As a teen, I noticed moms all over the place toting their tots on their fronts and backs. As a mom-to-be, I added a few carriers to my baby registry.

Once my first little nugget was born, I valued having two hands free (and not having a numb left arm). I also valued the moments of closeness, contentedness and quiet as my child loved nothing more than being as close as humanly possible to my skin, breath, boobs and heart. As he grew, he enjoyed seeing the world from my eye level and it became a perfect place for those overstimulating toddler moments — or even a place for a quick nap on the go.

Which one is one of my top pick, you ask?

ERGObaby was born in 2003 and I heard about them shortly after. And yy first son was already into toddler-hood by the time I bought one. The Original ERGObaby Carrier was the only structured carrier I used at the time (back in 2004). I had no problems carrying my child (well beyond the age of four) on my back (or front) wherever I went. Miraculously, my back never hurt as a result of using the ERGObaby. In fact, my back hurt more without it.

ERGObaby’s baby carrier design supports a natural sitting position for babies, eliminating compression of the spine and hips that can be caused by unsupported suspension. The baby carrier also balances the baby’s weight to parents’ hips and shoulders, and alleviates physical stress for the parent.

For me, it’s very important to use a carrier that properly proportions my baby’s weight. Especially when I’m wearing a 22-pound 10-month-old for hours at a time. As I have mentioned before, I have a variety of carriers and I still rotate through them. For years I have owned The Original ERGObaby Carrier (a 2007 model), but recently, ERGObaby sent me an ERGObaby Performance to test out.

I have a long time love for my Original but after a few weeks of using the ERGObaby Performance, I’ve been cheating on it.

Why I like the ERGO Performance:

  • So lightweight. This carrier weighs in at just a smidge over a pound — total. I have no problems toting it wherever I go — in the diaper bag, under the stroller, in and out of the car…
  • The fabric. My 3rd is a “hotbox”. I’ve never had a baby that heats up as quickly as he does. Mix a non-stop, hormonal mama with a 22-pound “heater baby” and that creates a lot of unnecessary warmth. I’m not exactly a Mountain Mama but I am active… and this baby is sweaty.

Made of durable, lightweight, and breathable fabric, the ERGObaby Performance carriers are made to accommodate all active moms and dads. The Performance carriers feature a high-performance polyester exterior, ideal for outdoor activities in all climates; a breathable mesh lining, keeping babies and parents cooler and more comfortable; and a cooling panel for extra wicking.

  • The sleeping hood. The sleeping hood in this model is now hidden in a front zippered pocket. I really like this new feature. I mess with the sleep hood on my Original ERGO way more than I’d like to. I’m constantly tucking it back in it’s pouch when it falls out.
  • The waist strap length. The waist strap is 5″ longer than the Original. This is nice because you don’t have to buy the extension when using it between parents.
  • The chest strap. Definitely one of the best improvements is the chest strap. On the Performance, it’s on a slider! Not only is it a streamline design, it’s super functional. While using my Original, and while carrying the baby on my front or side, I often fight with this strap. On the Original, it’s a buckle that (not so easily) slides up and down the shoulder straps. When I put on my Original (with baby in the front carry position), I buckle the chest strap behind my head and then slide it down my back into the most comfortable position. I always forget to slide it back up to the top position when I am done using it. This? Makes for a circus-contortionist-like performance by yours truly in every parking lot I frequent. Getting the baby back out of the carrier to slide the strap up is not an option once he’s in. If you have a hard-headed baby like I do… you know what I mean. Now, when he’s on my back, it’s not an issue since the strap is across my chest. Basically, It’s really nice to have the slider on the Performance. Even when I forget to slide the strap to the top most position, I don’t have to do Carrier Gymnastics to get it buckled.
  • Comfort and security. I feel like the Performance “hugs” my baby more than the Original (which is made of a stiffer material). The taller body of the carrier keeps my baby from arching his back (which he does when he gets antsy) and this makes me feel like he’s more secure.
  • The shoulder straps. The shoulder straps on the Performance are contoured and more shaped with a light padding. I think I will like the fact that they are not as bulky as the Original as time goes on but I had some difficulty getting used to the straps the first few days (that is really my only qualm about the Performance carrier).
At first, I couldn’t figure out why I was having a hard time adjusting the fit of the Performance… It wasn’t until I placed my (black) 2007 Original on top of the (grey) Performance that I figured it out.
(I unbuckled the shoulder straps from the side-body of the carrier and laid both completely flat for this picture. You can see the height difference and how the shoulder straps fall when rested flat.)

The Performance has a slightly larger body (length and width) and because the straps are contoured, the fit is not as customizable as I am used to.

Light bulb moment!…

I have a very short torso.

My short torso mixed with the contoured straps would definitely make the fit different than what I am used to. To fix this, I adjusted the chest strap as well as the tightness of the shoulder straps (making them way tighter than I normally do with the Original) and then it was much better.
I do love my cushy shoulder straps on the Original but I have to say, ERGObaby did a great job with the fabric changes, simple additions and slight improvements.
Disclosure: ERGObaby sent me a Performance Carrier to conduct my review. I was not paid to write a review and all my opinions are my own.


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