I love our Ergo.
I made the decision to purchase one last year before we made a trip from Oregon to Texas. On our previous trips to Texas, Kellen and I had used our K’tan Carriers to haul Isla around various and sundry airports, but by the time Isla was 10 months old, the K’tan was no longer a comfortable or safe way to carry our 20-lb. toddler.
After a lot of research, I finally decided on the Ergo. I initially wanted the Boba 3G, but the Ergo was decidedly less expensive, so Ergo it was.
We purchased the Ergo Organic Carrier (very on sale), and there were a few things I loved about it right off the bat.
- The fabric is super soft. I was worried about a heavy-duty carrier being scratchy, but it wasn’t at all. It’s very cuddly.
- It is extremely well-made. It feels sturdy, and I have no concerns about stitches coming loose or buckles breaking.
- It’s comfortable. I was so worried it would be just as uncomfortable as the K’tan (which notably was not uncomfortable at all when Isla weighed less than 15 lbs.), and I was pleasantly surprised when I popped her into it, and I could barely feel her weight. Oh, thank goodness!
- We could fairly easily transition the carrier from Kellen to me with minor adjustments. That’s saying something considering I’m 5’1″, 110 lbs., and very petite while my husband is a strapping 5’8″ and 200 lbs. with the broad shoulders of a viking warrior.
I did have to read the instructions a few times to figure out how to get everything buckled and in place, and to this day, I still can’t get Isla into a back carry on my own, but it only took about 15 minutes to figure out the mechanics of the carrier. My only real complaint is that when you’re doing a front carry, it takes some Cirque du Soleil level contorting to get the back strap buckled. I can get it buckled, though, by myself now, which I consider to be an accomplishment.
The Ergo worked out fantastically for our trip to Texas. It was so much easier getting around the airport with Isla in the Ergo. We didn’t have to bother with gate checking a stroller, which probably helped keep us from missing our connecting flights both ways. I could put the baby on my front and my backpack on my back, and we could just go.
It ended up coming in extra handy on our way home when our flight out of Austin was delayed by 5 hours. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to get an extremely distractible and nap-averse 11-month-old to sleep in a bright, busy, noisy airport, but in case you haven’t, I can summarize: NIGHTMARE. But with the Ergo, I was able to get her snuggled in between me and our travel sleep sheep and after doing laps around an empty gate and several times through Patsy Cline’s “I Go Out Walkin'”, she went to sleep, and stayed that way for a good 45 minutes, which considering the situation is nothing short of miraculous.
It was also great for carrying her while I paced up and down the aisle of the plane for over an hour at a time to keep her from having a meltdown.
After our plane trip, the Ergo was still very useful. When I was home alone with Isla and needed to take the dog on a walk, I popped her in the Ergo and had my hands free to wrangle the dog. The Ergo was great for trips to IKEA, Babies R Us, and the park. I also used it around the house when Isla didn’t want to be put down, and I was physically incapable of holding her any longer.
At 2 and change, we don’t use the Ergo much anymore, mostly because Isla is pretty independent these days. She doesn’t want to be held. She can walk just fine by herself, thank you. Plus, we live in Texas where it’s surface of the sun hot. If your toddler likes to be held, and you don’t live somewhere where 5 months out of the year it’s consistently 90+ degrees, I’d highly recommend it, even for an older child.
Honestly, I wish we’d had it sooner. I think I could have actually managed nursing while babywearing in the Ergo (something I never sorted out with the K’tan, despite trying on several occasions), and it would have saved my back so much pain once Isla moved up into the 15 lb. range. I’m excited about the opportunity to use it again with #2, and will be purchasing the newborn insert so we can use the Ergo right from the start. I’m guessing we’ll get at least 18 more months of good use out of it.
I would definitely recommend the Ergo to anyone who is looking for an easy way to tote their baby or toddler around hands-free. The only barrier is the price, but the Ergo is very common and pretty easy to find at consignment stores and on Craigslist at a much lower price than the original cost. They’re well-made and sturdy, so you don’t have to worry a whole lot about whether a second-hand one will hold up. We got ours for around $80, which is still a lot, but not anywhere near the retail price.
I love, love, love our Ergo. My only complaint about it is that I didn’t have it when Isla was a baby.
* Originally posted April 3, 2013. Updated and republished July 14, 2014.