Baby Bjorn, manufacturer of one of the world’s most recognizable baby carriers, recently debuted its latest model: The Comfort Carrier.
Look closely- yep, it’s a Bjorn all right. But something is different. It looks like the original Baby Bjorn has had a makeover.
Well, if you ask me- it’s about time. I’m a huge fan of the Baby Bjorn carriers, the Active is my favorite, but once my baby hit about 15 pounds my back (even with the Active’s lumbar support) had just about had enough of baby wearing.
I invested in an Ergo carrier, which I also love, but it also has its drawbacks. My major issue with the Ergo is that my baby can’t face out while riding in it. She loved to face inward until she reached about five months old. Every time I put her in the Ergo, she started arching her back and craning her neck for a better view of the outside world. I knew it was time to make a change.
I got very excited when I first laid eyes on the Baby Bjorn Comfort Carrier. It was my dream come true. Not only is it a Bjorn, a brand that I know and trust, but it has been totally redesigned to include an ergonomic waist belt. This means that the baby’s weight is transferred to the hips, which allows the wearer to carry the child for longer periods of time without hurting their back or shoulders.
Just wait, because it gets even better.
In true Bjorn fashion, the Comfort Carrier also allows the baby to face outward, not strictly inward like many popular ergonomically correct baby carriers on the market. I get excited all over again just thinking about it.
The Comfort Carrier has also been designed for the wearer to be able to take it on and off and adjust the straps without assistance. Unlike the original Bjorn model, the Comfort Carrier does not slip on like a jacket and buckle at the waist. It gets pulled over your head like a vest. Then the ergonomic waist belt is secured and tightened around your hips. (Just to help you out with this part: I found that pulling on one side at a time, rather than both at the same time, got me a much tighter fit.)
The fabric that is located between the user’s body and the baby is made out of a breathable mesh that allows air to circulate between the two bodies. I wore the Comfort Carrier in 90 degree weather without feeling any major discomfort.
I have to add that the waist belt is very long. I love that my husband and I can both wear it (I’m 5’4″ and petite and he’s 6″ and “hearty”- love ya babe!) without having to use a waist extender. My mom, who is barely 5 feet tall wore the Comfort Carrier without it feeling bulky on her tiny frame. My husband often remarks at how comfortable the Comfort Carrier is and how secure it feels. He likes it so much that he even offers to wear it every time I take it out. Score!
Once the waist band has been tightened, you pull the sliding back buckle into a comfortable position. This is also where the Comfort Carrier shines. The back buckle, which secures the shoulder straps together, is already attached for you. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to ask a stranger to clip the back of the Ergo Carrier for me. It was awkward to clip on my own. With the Comfort Carrier, the work is already done for you. All you have to do is slide the back buckle up or down on its track to get the best fit. I love that!
After the back buckle is in place, you want to loosen the shoulder straps. The shoulder straps loosen at your sides, just under your armpits. This will make room for the baby to go in. A word of advice: The shoulder straps control how tight the baby is in the carrier. Make sure your baby is comfortable with how tight you make those straps. Be careful: It can get a little restrictive in there.
Once the Comfort Carrier has been properly adjusted for fit, it is easy to place the baby inside the carrier. You simply guide the baby’s legs through the holes while maintaining a firm grip on his or her body. For babies that are 13-14 pounds, you will want to button the straps in the leg holes to make the holes smaller. You don’t want that baby slipping out!
Finally, the head support must be secured. I suggest gently pulling the head support up a few times to get your baby’s bottom nice and snug in there. You can clip the head support upward for maximum security, or you can fold it downward to give your baby a better view. I like to leave the head support up when my baby is ready for her nap so she doesn’t get too distracted by what’s happening around her.
A few things you should know about facing your baby inwards:
- The minimum weight is 13 pounds. That means if you have a child smaller than that, you will have to use an alternative carrier until they reach the appropriate weight.
- The maximum weight for facing inwards is 31 pounds. That’s how much my three year old weighs!
- Make sure your baby’s arms are in the armholes.
- Make sure the child’s legs don’t end up in the same hole. It almost happened to me once- whoops!
Once your baby can hold its head up on their own, he or she can face outward. This is when the fun begins!
In my opinion, one of the most genius aspects of the Baby Bjorn Comfort Carrier is the flexible leg positioning. When the baby is facing inward, a wide leg position is used. This is most ergonomically correct for the baby and more comfortable the wearer. When the baby faces outward, a narrow leg position is used. Note: The wide leg position should never be used when the baby is facing out.
It is really easy to adjust the leg positioning. There is a flap of fabric between the baby’s legs that zips down to accommodate the narrow leg position. When you want to use the wide leg position again, you simply zip the flap back up. It’s that simple. FYI- You can’t switch leg positions while the baby is in the carrier. You have to take the baby out first.
A few other things you should know about facing your baby out:
- The maximum weight for facing outward is 26 pounds. Any child over that weight needs to only be carried facing inward.
- Smaller children need to be carried with their arms in the armholes. Larger children can be carried with their arms above the armholes. My eight month old just started wearing her arms above the holes.
- Always fold the bib down when facing your child outward.
The Comfort Carrier comes with a bib cover to protect the carrier from your baby chewing or drooling on it. All the materials on the Baby Bjorn comfort carrier have been tested and approved in accordance with Oeko-Tex Standard 100, class 1 for baby products. This means that they are guaranteed harmless to children’s sensitive skin and will not trigger allergies. My baby has rubbed her face all over that bib cover without getting a single hint of a rash on her face.
A word of advice: purchase a pack of extra bib covers. They get gross pretty quickly. Make sure you get the ones that are specifically designed for the Comfort Carrier.
Finally, when you take your baby out of the Comfort Carrier you want to keep the waist belt secured. Releasing it before the baby is out of the carrier is dangerous.
Here are a few other fun facts about the Baby Bjorn Comfort Carrier:
- The primary fabric is made of 100% organically grown cotton. Organic cotton is more absorbent, lasts longer, and is ideal for sensitive skin.
- This product is part of BabyBjörn’s organic line and complies with GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), internationally the most well recognized standard for organic manufacturing. The GOTS-label ensures that fabrics have been manufactured in compliance with certain environmental requirements. These requirements regulate the use of chemicals in the entire production process, including cultivation, harvesting, production, processing, manufacturing, packaging and labeling.
- The Comfort Carrier comes in two colors: gray and black. I own the gray. It has white piping on it. The color and design is very chic and modern looking.
Now that I’ve raved about how fabulous I think the Baby Bjorn Comfort Carrier is, I have to mention just a few minor areas it is lacking in:
- Sun protection. I miss the hood on my Ergo Carrier. I make up for it by draping a light blanket over my baby’s head, but it just isn’t the same.
- Size. It’s bulkier than the classic Baby Bjorn, which makes sense because the Comfort Carrier is made to accommodate an older and heavier child. It’s not as easy to stash in my bag or the undercarriage of my stroller. I don’t really consider this a deal-breaker though.
- Storage. I wish it had a zippered pocket for essentials. I love the pocket on my Ergo. I would love a handy Baby Bjorn accessory to hold my keys, cell phone, and I.D.
- Weight limit. I wish the Comfort Carrier had a lower weight limit or an infant insert. This would allow a parent to use it from birth on into toddlerhood.
- Positions. You cannot use the Comfort Carrier on your back. For some, this is imperative. For me, it is not. I rarely put my three year old on my back in the Ergo. She loves to run around and isn’t interested in being tied down.
- Price. This is an expensive carrier. I would put it at the high-end of baby carriers. It’s even more expensive than the Ergo, which I considered a major purchase.
Despite the few drawbacks, I have to admit that I have fallen hard for the Comfort Carrier. I’m in love. I even went as far as storing my Ergo Carrier in the garage. *gasp* Now that the Comfort Carrier is in my life, it’s hard to imagine ever needing my Ergo again.
The bottom line: The Baby Bjorn Comfort Carrier is a twist on the classic Baby Bjorn model. It will accommodate your child from infancy to toddlerhood. The Comfort Carrier is more comfortable, has a wide variety of front-carrying positions, and is made from materials that won’t irritate a baby’s sensitive skin. While the Comfort Carrier comes with a hefty price tag, it is well-worth the investment.
– Contributed by Morgan
*Thanks to Baby Bjorn for sending us Comfort Carrier to review.