Author: Maurice Savaryego, M.Sc.Eng. (Learn More)
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Compare Soft Baby Carriers: Ergobaby Original, BabyBjörn Original or Infantino Sash Mei Tai?
Babywearing has been considered for centuries by many cultures as an important component of child raising customs, and in recent decades the practice has also been adopted by millions of moms and dads in the western world who have come to realize its numerous benefits.
The concept allows you to carry the baby safely while keeping both your hands free and not having to bother about any cumbersome strollers. Furthermore, babies of all ages simply love it. Newborns love to be huddled against the bodily warmth of mom or dad, feeling both secure and snug, and older babies enjoy watching the world from adult heights sharing better the outing experience with their parents.
But there are additional advantages. When carried snuggled close to the parent's body, the infant can be kept warm while he or she is kept reassured by the parent's up-close and familiar voice, promoting bonding, and in many cases even soothing crying, gas issues or colic, Moreover, a difficult child who constantly needs attention is often calmed when thus carried.
In this article, we will compare three very popular soft baby carriers. The Infantino Sash Mei Tai, the Baby Björn Original and the Ergobaby Original. These were the top three brands in the Amazon soft baby carrier best seller list at the time this article was written.
This article will compare Infantino Sash Mei Tai, Ergobaby Original and BabyBjörn Original soft baby carriers. These were not just the most popular among Amazon customers at the time this article was written, but they had also received excellent reviews from most Amazon buyers (an average of 4.5 stars each out of 5 stars!).
Comparing Selected Soft Baby Carriers
Ergobaby Original, BabyBjörn Original and Infantino Mei Tai
The following table compares the Infantino Sash Mei Tai, BabyBjörn Original and Ergobaby Original baby carriers.
Important: Please read the table notes that follow for a better understanding of the features offered by each.
Table Notes Explained:
The upright position keeps airways free and allows you to supervise your child’s breathing. It provides the baby with plenty of space to move and exercise legs and arms allowing the child to develop muscles, motor skills and balance.
On the other hand, when babies are in the seated position, their weight is supported by their bottom rather than their lower abdomen, which can be much more comfortable in the long run. The baby is cradled in a natural sitting position with their knees slightly above their hips, aligning with the recommended carry position from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
The front-outward facing position that is available on BabyBjörn Original should only be used for babies that are older than 5 months and not heavier than 24 lbs.
Note that even though Ergobaby Original does not support this feature, if an Ergobaby carrier with front-outward carry is required, you might want to consider the Ergobaby Four Position 360 which comes with all the Ergobaby Original features plus the four modes of carrying. It is also offered below in the Amazon section.
BabyBjörn Original does not allow for back carrying. If you are looking for a BabyBjörn that allows back carrying as well, we recommend the BabyBjörn One carrier that can be found below in the Amazon section.
Newborn babies have heads that are too heavy for them to adequately carry. Therefore, until they are about 6 months old, some sort of head support in the baby carrier is required.
- With an Ergobaby Original, a special infant insert that is sold separately can be used (Ergobaby Infant Insert). It is usable very early in childhood, until the baby develops strong and consistent head and neck control. Babies between 7 lb and 12 lb must use the Ergobaby Infant Insert with the Ergobaby Carier, and the baby should only be carried in the front-carry position. Babies more than 12 lb but younger than 4 months or without strong and consistent head and neck control must continue using the Ergobaby Infant Insert with the carrier. The special insert is available below in the Amazon section.
- BabyBjörn Original has a built-in adjustable head support which is also foldable. It should only be used with babies that weigh at least 8 lbs.
- With Infantino Mei Tai, there is no head rest, but the newborn baby is able to sink down into it, and the back part of the carrier across the top of the designed material, being very thick, supports quite well the head. The infant can still see and get fresh air out of the sides of the Mei Tai. This carrier should be used with babies that weigh at least 8 lbs.
Both Ergobaby Original and BabyBjörn Original have adjustable padded shoulder straps with buckles.
Infantino Mei Tai has no buckles. You just attach the fabric straps at the required length to fit the carrying person.
Waist belts are important because they take some of the strain off of our shoulders and back. Wearing a baby carrier equipped with a waist belt, you will be able to carry your child for much longer periods without feeling any back or shoulder pain.
- Ergobaby Original is equipped with an adjustable padded waist belt (26-55 inches) that offers maximum comfort and distribute weight evenly across wearer's hips and shoulders.
- BabyBjörn Original does not have a waist belt. The baby weight is mostly supported by your shoulder and back. For newborn babies that maybe no problem, but once your baby reaches a certain size, you may find it difficult to carry him or her for longer lengths of time without your shoulders and back aching. If you are looking for a BabyBjörn with a waist belt, we recommend the BabyBjörn One which not only has a waist belt, but also allows carrying the baby on the back, which the BabyBjörn Original doesn't. The BabyBjörn One carrier can be found below in the Amazon section.
- Infantino Mei Tai does not have a waist belt with buckles. But it has a lower strap that can be wrapped around your waist and tied as tight as required. Though it is not as effective as a rigid clipped belt, it does absorb a lot of the strain that otherwise would be felt by the shoulders and back.
BabyBjörn Original does not come with a hood, but you can purchase separately the BabyBjörn Cover which can be found below in the Amazon section.
Ergobaby Original has a large zippered storage pocket and a small from pocket.
BabyBjörn Original and Infantino Mei Tai have no pockets.
Safety of materials is very important as the child will spend a lot time in the baby carrier and could end up chewing and sucking on parts of it. Therefore, it should be made of non-toxic materials. All fabrics used in the three carriers considered here are gentle to your baby's skin and safe to chew or suck on. These carriers are free from health hazardous substances.
- Ergobaby Original: Canvas: 100% peach cotton. Lining: 100% cotton poplin. Padding: 100%polyurethane foam.
- BabyBjörn Original: Canvas: 100% cotton. Padding: 100% polyester.
- Infantino Mei Tai: Fabric: 100% cotton. Side body and strap filling: 100% polyurethane foam.
Note 10: All Amazon prices shown were in effect at the time this article was written and may have changed since. Note that the Amazon price often include a major discount on the List Price of the product. If there is a discount, both the List Price and the actual Amazon price will be displayed when you click the product images in the Amazon section below.
Video Comparison of Wearing Procedures for the Three Baby Carriers
(Video credits: Ergobaby)
2. Official BabyBjörn Original Video Showing Front-Inward Carry Procedure:
(Video credits: BabyBjörn)
3. Official Infantiono Sash Mei Tai Video Showing Front-Inward Carry Procedure:
(Video credits: Infantino)
So which baby carrier is the right one for you and your baby?
The four most important factors to consider when you buy a soft baby carrier are safe materials, easy installation procedures, head support and waist belt. Clealry, all three baby carriers considered here are built of safe materials that will not hurt the baby if they are chewed or suck on. The installation procedures are also pretty straightforward for all three as can be seen from the above videos. But when it comes to head support and waist belt, the three products are quite different:
As mentioned earlier, the waist belt is quite important as it takes quite a bit of the load away from the shoulders and back, and it allows you to carry your child for much longer periods without feeling any back or shoulder pain. This may not be that critical with newborns or very young babies since they are smaller and lighter. But without a rigid waist belt, there will be increasingly more stress felt on the shoulders and back as the baby grows. So, while for very young babies the BabyBjörn Original carrier should be fine, for older babies you might want to consider an Ergobaby Original which has a rigid buckled waist belt, or an Infantino Sash Mei Tai which has fabric waist straps that are attached in a double-knot which will not be as effective as a rigid buckled belt, but would still take away some of the stress from the shoulders and back. Note that, if you prefer the BabyBjörn brand, and you are looking for one with a waist belt, we recommend the BabyBjörn One which is also offered below in the Amazon section.
Providing adequate head support is also quite important, specially for newborns or very young babies. The three baby carriers considered here each have their own way of providing head support. Ergobaby Original has a special infant insert that is sold separately. The Ergobaby Infant Insert is useable very early in childhood until the baby develops strong and consistent head and neck control. Babies between 7 lb and 12 lb must use the insert. BabyBjörn Original has a built-in adjustable head support which can be folded. Infantino Sash Mei Tai has no explicit head support, but the back part of the carrier across the top of the designed material, being very thick, supports quite well the head. Therefore it can be used with very young babies weighing at least 8 lbs.
For some parents price is an important consideration. Even though for older and larger babies our top choice is the Ergobaby Original carrier (in particular because of the strong waist belt), the much lower priced Infantino Sash Mei Tai can be considered as an alternative since it provides some waist level support. For newborns and very young babies, waist support being not as critical, all three carriers should be quite satisfactory as they all provide one way or another adequate head support. Indeed, for newborns and smaller babies, BabyBjörn Original, with its built-in head rest and its lower price when compared to Ergobaby Original, is definitely worth considering.
Compared Baby Carriers Are All Available on Amazon
Note: Amazon often provides a good discount on the List Price of sold products. If a discount is available, the List Price and the actual Amazon price will be shown when you click the images below.
Note that if you require the front-outward carry position which is not available with Ergobaby Original, you may want to consider Ergobaby Four Position instead.
Ergobaby Four Position 360
Ergobaby Infant Insert
Note that if you require also back-carry which is not available with BabyBjörn Original, you may want to consider the BabyBjörn One instead.
Infantino Sash Mei Tai:
Infantino Sash Mei Tai
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