The Newborn Carrier Showdown - Babybjorn Mini VS. Ergobaby Embrace
When it comes to carriers for newborns, there are several options on the market. Wrap carriers, ring slings, structured carriers, and more! I found that traditional wrap carriers, while great for newborns, are complicated and hard to use by parents (cudos to those who can make them work!). Structured carriers on the other hand (such as the popular Ergobaby Omni 360 and Babybjorn One), are bulky and often too big and rigid for newborns. So which carrier is best for my newborn AND me?
This dilemma must be common, because in recent years, two of the most prominent names in the baby carrier field, Babybjorn and Ergobaby, launched special newborn carriers, that are a hybrid of wrap carriers and structured ones. They combine the soft "hug" of wrap carriers with more support, like structured carriers offer. The leading products in this field are the Babybjorn Mini and the Ergobaby Embrace.
This post offers a detailed review of each carrier, and a comprehensive comparison between them. Scroll down to skip the discussion and jump right to the winner!
This is the carrier I used with Mia every single day for several months, as she suffered from reflux and keeping he upright in the carrier was the only thing that seemed to help her.
The carrier is small, compact, and SUPER easy to put on.
It's main downside in my opinion, is that it doesn't offer any lower back support (see pic below). This isn't a problem at the beginning, but when baby starts to weigh more, all the weight is carried by the shoulders. However, the absence of lower back support is also what makes this carrier SO easy to put on, so its a tradeoff.
The Babybjorn Mini comes in many colors and three different fabrics: Cotton, 3D Jersey, and 3D Mesh, and prices range from $79.99 to $99.99 depending on the model. I got the Jersey version which is super soft and love it.
The carrier can be used from birth (assuming baby weighs at least 7 lbs), and up to 12 months (with a maximum weight of 24 lbs). For babies that weigh between 7-9 lbs there are special leg straps that need to be used to reduce the size of the leg openings. The height range is 21-30 inches, and both both carrier length and head support are adjustable, making it easy to get an ideal fit for your baby.
The straps are also easily adjustable, and can easily be altered to fit different wearers.
The carrier can be used both in facing-in and facing-out positions, and in my experience is very comfortable both ways.
While the carrier is not officially recognized as “Hip Healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, the company claims that their carriers "are developed in collaboration with doctors who specialize in pediatric orthopedics to ensure that they provide well-adapted support for the baby’s hips, neck and back.".
Another great feature is that the entire carrier is machine washable, and holds up very well (I washed mine dozens of times).
Advantages: very easy to put on, completely adjustable, comfortable for baby, durable.
Disadvantages: no lower back support, not officially approved by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
This carrier was released later, so I didn't have a chance to try it out with Mia. However, I did get one when her little brother, Ben, was born. Like the Babybjorn Mini, the Ergobaby Embrace is a small, soft, and compact carrier.
It's main upside, and advantage over the Babybjorn Mini is that it offers lower back support, and is very comfortable for the wearer. Unfortunately, this makes the carrier more difficult to put on compared to the Mini, though still much easier (in my opinion) than putting on a traditional wrap carrier.
The Ergobaby Embrace comes in 5 different colors, and is made from a nice and soft knit fabric. It retails for $79.
This carrier can also be used from birth (from 7 lbs), with a maximum weight of 25 lbs - same as the Babybjorn. According to the manufacturer, the carrier can be used for babies 21+ inches long. For younger babies, the waist belt is folded in to reduce the length of the carrier ("newborn mode"), and is supposed to be let out when baby reaches approximately 23" ("baby mode"). This is the only way to adjust the carrier to fit baby, and in my opinion is this carrier's main disadvantage. Mia's baby brother, Ben, was a big boy, and unfortunately couldn't use this carrier past 2 months (he never even got a chance to use it in "newborn mode"), because his head stuck out too much so he didn't get enough neck and head support.
The straps are adjustable, and can be lengthened/shortened to fit different wearers.
Unlike the Babybjorn, the Ergobaby Embrace is ergonomic and has officially been acknowledged by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as "Hip Healthy". It was also awarded a Seal of Approval by the AGR of Germany as back healthy for babies and parents.
This carrier is also entirely machine washable and held up well in the wash.
Advantages: offers lower back support, comfortable for baby, recognized as "Hip Healthy" by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
Disadvantages: not adjustable enough (thus doesn't last long), more difficult to put on.
The Winner: Babybjorn Mini
Although I enjoyed using the Ergobaby Embrace for the first few weeks, I still prefer the Babybjorn Mini for the following reasons:
it's significantly easier to put on
its adjustability makes it last significantly longer
While the lower back support the Ergobaby Embrace offers is attractive, its size and inability to adjust to fit a growing baby, make this moot, since once baby gets longer and heavier (thus requiring more lower back support), the carrier is no longer suitable.
Do you agree? Disagree? Have any other carriers you love?
Share in the comments!
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