The Classic Ergo vs the New Generation Ergo Baby Carrier

Well I got my Classic Ergo back at long last from a friend who'd borrowed it and I can finally compare the Classic and New Generation Ergo Baby Carriers with authority.

First thing I'd like to say is WOW! The New Generation Ergo Baby Carrier got it right! My initial impression when it came out was that it was more comfortable but I was so new to the Ergo at that point that it was hard to quantify for sure all the ways in which it had improved. Now, after a year of using the New Generation Ergo Baby Carrier, I can honestly assess the Classic Ergo.

I realize there are comparisons all over the place and charts and such but this is important stuff because there are old reviews kicking around of the Classic Ergo that people will take as definitive and the product has improved so dramatically that it is well worth noting what's better about the New Generation Ergo Baby Carrier. And this is quite possibly a work in progress as I just used it for only an hour or two. As I learn more, I will add to this blog.

The first thing that bothered me is that the waist strap on the Classic Ergo has, for average waisted people like myself, 2 elastic bands that you have to run through if you don't want to have it flapping around in front of you and looking silly. The New Generation Ergo has one elastic near the buckle which is much simpler. Nothing dangles.

The second annoyance is that the chest strap is not fixed to the shoulder straps. So getting the chest strap closed involves holding baby with one hand and getting the chest strap to the correct height before fastening. I don't miss doing this maneuver, especially for back carries.

The next thing I noticed was that the buckles are actually not as good as they used to be. The Classic Ergo had some kind of tab on the buckles under the arms that allow you to loosen it much more quickly. If you are a fan of SoBeBabies, then you'll know all about my technique for closing the chest strap behind you when wearing the Ergo on the front. But I used a back carry to start off.

The next thing I noticed was that it wasn't as comfy for a back carry. Baby was in, everything was adjusted, but it just wasn't thta comfy. As I recalled, when I got the New Generation Ergo Baby Carrier, it was more comfy under the arms. This was not my imagination. The shoulder straps have most definitely improved and it feels better. With the Classic Ergo, I felt a bit choked and poked by the straps.

As I wore baby a few minutes, I felt myself getting tired back muscles in a way I am not accustomed to. As time wore on, I was definitely not feeling that comfortable.

I doubt my baby was as comfy as she is normally because the body of the Classic Ergo is narrower. When I felt behind me to see how it was supporting her tush, it wasn't coming nearly as far up her legs. She's a toddler now. It just can't feel comfy to have little legs dangling down instead of sitting in a nice deep pocket.

After my errands, I popped baby on the front. Yikes. This is definitely not comfy in the Classic Ergo. In fact, it felt awful immediately. I have gotten quite used to this position in the New Generation Ergo Baby Carrier and I was shocked at how horrible it was in the Classic Ergo because it's great in the New Generation! One reason for this is that the body of the New Generation Ergo Baby Carrier has darts which automatically create a pocket. On the Classic Ergo, the waist strap was not flush against my body so most of the weight of baby was dangling off my shoulders. Very tiring. But also, I felt quite constricted.

That's it for now. This post may get revised as time allows.


Babywearing in the news

It's great to see the growing trend of stories about babywearing in the news. I hate to be too terribly picky but in this story, the mom is pictured with the Maya Wrap sling and it's just not looking quite perfect to my uber critical eye. This is a perfect example of how most people wear their babies. Please don't take offence at my critique. This is meant not in a spirit of picking but rather in a spirit of helping people understand that babywearing isn't meant to be difficult. So let me preface my critique by saying that with our older daughter, my husband and I did not know how to babywear very comfortably so we suffered (with grace) for 18 months before we discovered wraps. With my second, I am loving the Ergo baby carrier for it's simplicity and consistent comfort.

The shoulder isn't quite spread enough to be comfortable and will have a tendency to ride up to her neck. And the part where the baby sits isn't quite right - ideally, the baby's knees should be higher then his tush so he can't straighten his legs and fall right out the bottom. Now, I bet what happened is that the camera crew rushed the mom a bit and she herself wasn't thrilled with how this photo turned out because she didn't want to look like it was too difficult to position baby correctly.

There is a learning curve to any baby carrier and at first, it can be intimidating to do in public because making adjustments to get it just right might make it seem like you don't know what you're doing. Many is the time I left baby in a painful position because it just seemed to be taking too long and people were staring. Nowadays, I know what I'm doing so this is no longer the case but if I do find something wrong, I take the time to fix it.

If this nice mama showed up at one of my NINO babywearing meetings, or oh heck, even a park near me, I might walk up to her, introduce myself, and ask permission to make a few adjustments. As I learned from Tracy of Mamatoto, wearing your baby is an art that will be lost of we don't take the time to help each other, one on one.