Ergobaby Carrier Review of 2023, Tested & Reviewed by Experts
Parents around the world use wraps to keep their baby close as they go about their day. It makes the babies happy, and it keeps a parent’s hands free to do the chores necessary to keep a household running. Nowadays, we’d add that using a baby carrier also makes it possible for you to text, type and take care of older siblings while your infant snuggles.
Additionally, many expectant parents put a carrier on their baby registry with the hope that they can take some easy, stroller-free walks with their infant. For that, we love a structured baby carrier with padding, adjustable straps and more to ensure the comfort of both the parent and the baby in the outdoors. A favorite among many parents is the Ergobaby baby carrier that you can use from the newborn months through the toddler years. We gave the Ergobaby Omni Breeze baby carrier one of our 2022 Good Housekeeping Parenting Awards.
Is it worth it to get an Ergobaby baby carrier?
We do recommend having a structured carrier. If you live in an urban environment, being able to shop and take mass transit with your baby in a carrier can be easier for many than always pushing a stroller on outings. In the suburbs, it’s nice to shop with your baby sleeping peacefully in the carrier versus trying to wake them to sit in a shopping cart, and it’s great to hold them while you walk an older kid to their school or activity. If you live in a more rural setting, it’s blissful being able to hit walking trails with your baby safely strapped to you.
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When comparing the Ergobaby to other structured carriers, such as those from BabyBjörn and LÍLLÉbaby, there aren’t always massive differences. But we can list some small touches that we appreciate with the Ergobaby. The lumbar support is thick and reassuring. The straps are easy to adjust from one wearer to the next, which is important if you and your partner are different sizes. And we’ve heard from many parents that the little fanny pack that comes with the Ergobaby carrier is a welcome bonus. “I threw my keys and a credit card in the pouch before going out walking with my daughter,” a tester told us. “Honestly, before I had the Ergobaby, I didn’t want to go out with her in a carrier because putting a purse over my shoulder while using a carrier was such a hassle. This solved that.”
During our consumer tests, the Omni Breeze was a top-tested baby carrier, earning perfect scores for comfort and keeping a baby secure. In fact, parents said they were able to wear their baby for longer periods in the Omni Breeze without strain on their back or shoulders.
Instructions for how to use an Ergobaby carrier
You can begin using the Ergobaby Omni Breeze carrier from birth without any additional insert. The carrier is built for babies starting at seven pounds who are at least 20 inches tall. You want your newborn facing your chest. Only when your baby has developed good head and neck support should you turn them around so they can face out. The manufacturer suggests that many babies can be turned to face out at 4 months; wait until closer to 6 months if your baby’s chin is not yet above the carrier panel.
Lay or sit your baby someplace safe while you securely buckle the baby carrier around your waist. Be sure to loop the buckle through the elastic safety loop! Then pick up your baby, hold their bottom so one leg is on either side of the carrier seat, and pull up the carrier fabric around them.
Buckle up one side, then the other. Take your time to be sure your baby’s arms are through the armholes. Then buckle the additional backstrap across the top of your back. This last part trips up some parents who feel their arms are not long enough to reach it, but if you’re able to secure your hair in a ponytail at the nape of your neck, buckling the top back buckle is not too different. “I did have my partner help with that while I held the baby in,” one first-time parent told us after testing. “I had him unbuckle it for me too.”
A tip from the brand for reaching the back clip: Loosen the shoulder straps as far as you can. Once baby is in and the shoulder straps are on your shoulders, the slack in the straps should allow you to reach the clip. Once it’s clipped, just tighten the shoulder straps.
If using that top buckle is intimidating, there’s another correct way to wear the carrier: With the straps crossed (as shown in this picture). Some parents say the carrier fits them better with the straps crossed; others prefer the traditional buckle. Don’t hesitate to experiment and see which fit works best for you.
Your baby is at the correct height if you can tilt your chin down and kiss the top of their head. Use the straps to adjust your baby to be tighter and higher if needed; we feel the Ergobaby carrier is excellent for its adjustability. If your baby is tall, you may need to loosen straps to sit your baby a little lower. “I have a big baby and felt this gave lots of support for her height,” one tester noted.
How long can a baby stay in an Ergobaby carrier?
You can wear your baby in an Ergobaby carrier through the toddler years. It’s built for babies from seven to 45 pounds — the manufacturer says birth to age 4. But we find that once a child is able to walk confidently, they’re less excited to be in a carrier. Also, although wearing a toddler for short periods might be fine on your back and shoulders, a 40-pound weight of anything gets tiring after an hour.
The first year of your baby’s life is baby-carrier prime time. “Carrying my daughter was really easy the first couple of months, when she was lightweight,” a tester told us, “and by about 4 months I appreciated having an Ergobaby carrier because of the additional waist support holding her up.”
Note that if you’re using the carrier with your baby facing out and your baby is still young, the manufacturer suggests wearing it that way for only about 20 minutes at a time. Babies less than a year old can get overstimulated and tired, and they might need you to turn them back around so they can snuggle in the facing-in position.
You can also use this carrier to hold your baby on your back. Your baby needs to weigh only about 18 pounds for the back-sitting position, per the manufacturer, and you’ll want to be sure your child has excellent head control. Definitely have a friend or partner spot you the first time you load your baby in for carrying on your back, and we recommend watching the brand’s YouTube video on back-carrying.
Which Ergobaby carrier is best?
Our testing families were happy with the Ergobaby Omni Breeze, which is made of a soft, breathable mesh material. But we also like the Ergobaby Omni Dream, made of solid cotton, which you may prefer if you have a winter baby or live in a colder climate. Finally, we gave a Good Housekeeping 2023 Sustainable Innovation Award to the Ergobaby Aerloom Formaknit Stretch Baby Carrier, which uses 87% postconsumer recycled polyester and 3D knitting technology to create less waste during production.
The Ergobaby 360 baby carrier is still on a lot of best-of lists, but it’s an older model that requires an infant insert for a newborn. Something expectant parents might want to consider is the Ergobaby Embrace, for newborns and infants specifically. It fits babies from seven to 25 pounds and is best for inward-facing babies. It can be good for nervous first-timers because it has only three buckles to secure. But overall, we like the longevity and versatility of the Ergobaby Omni.
No matter which carrier you decide on, we recommend looking at the @ergobaby Instagram feed for helpful tips, demonstrations and visual checks that can help reassure you that you’re wearing your baby correctly.
Taking care of your Ergobaby carrier
Babies drool on their carriers and even teeth on them, so they do get some grime. Any of the Ergobaby carriers can be machine washed on cold and air-dried. The manufacturer suggests buckling all the buckles before you put it in the washing machine and even placing it inside a pillowcase for the wash cycle.
At home, we suggest hanging the carrier on a coat hook to keep it off the floor. If you’re out traveling, the carrier is fairly easy to fold up and tuck into a large diaper bag or tote.
How we test baby carriers
We inspect baby carriers in our Lab year-round, checking their integrity with our textiles experts and trying the fit on people of all sizes. But we get much of our valuable data through our consumer testers. They’ve worn the Ergobaby baby carrier with their children and sent us their comments, complaints and photos. Our consumer testers also tested it against other carriers and ranked all the carriers for comfort, ease of use and durability.
Why trust Good Housekeeping?
For decades, the Good Housekeeping Institute has been providing expert reviews and advice on everything a new parent needs. Contributing writer Jessica Hartshorn brings two decades of experience with the juvenile-products market to her work at the GH Institute, where she has also updated stories on the best car seat and stroller combos and the best nursery gliders. Previously, she covered baby gear for Parents and American Baby magazines.
Jessica worked closely with Chief Technologist & Executive Technical Director Rachel Rothman for this review. Rachel uses her knowledge as a scientist and her experience as a mom of three kids ages 6 and under to test and evaluate parenting products. She also helms programs such as Good Housekeeping’s Family Travel Awards.
Jessica (she/her) is a freelance writer with several decades of experience writing lifestyle content and evaluating home and parenting products. A mom of two teens and two cats, her previous work can be seen in American Baby and Parents.