Bored Housewives Network

Getting through the day, one bonbon at a time.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ask a Bored Housewife: How the Hell Do You Get a Kid into a Baby Bjorn, Anyway?

Fresh from the mailroom:
Dear Bored Housewives,

I saw a mom carrying a kid in a Baby Bjorn on the train today. How the hell do you get a kid into one of those, anyway? Does it involve welding? Because it kind of looks like it does. Have any of you tried this thing? How does it compare to other child-carrying equipment, like Snuglis and strollers and, um... backpacks with air-holes?

A Clueless Childless Person
Oho, if you thought everyone got all fired up about the carseat letter, I bet that will pale in comparison to this. Be prepared for a LOT of information, childfree people. Don't forget to take notes. There'll be a test later.


  • At 11:08 PM, Blogger Cataclysm said…

    Yea! Do I get to comment first again??

    As mother of 4 slings, all I can is if it looks complicated, it probably is. I don't own a Bjorn but the Kelty Kangaroo and it totally sucks - it takes 10 min to get the baby into the crotch-holder, then 5 min making sure the baby is secured to the strap contraption... and after that, my back kills after a few minutes (and my sister was named Kelty after the brilliant backbacks, I kid you not).

    I also have one of those one-shoulder thingys but like you would imagine, it throws you off balance which isn't great if you are trying to walk upright after a c-section.

    But the PeaPod Cuddlywrap is my small baby sling of choice. Its a long piece of stretchy material that you wrap around you (lumbar support and both shoulders!), then tuck the baby in. Rian would sleep within 2 min of being in it.

    But I've heard that dangling babies by their crotches is bad for their spinal development or something (which is what the Bjorn, Kelty, Cuddlywrap, etc do...)

    So when he turned 5 months and 19 pounds, it was time to upgrade to the 'Ergo' which is mega-back support (like the name suggests) and the babe can be worn on the back like a heavy backpack. They kinda sit in it. And it looks a lot cooler and is easier to click on than the Cuddlywrap so the husband likes it better! Rian is 10.5 months and we still carry him around a lot, even though we have a great Valco stroller.

    This is a case of test before you buy - borrow a baby and try slings on before you fork over $$hundreds!

    ... I'd be happy to lend out the terrible one-arm thingy or the Kelty if anyone wants to rule these out....

  • At 3:32 AM, Blogger Joanne said…

    We have a Bjorn for our big giant baby and we like it pretty well. When he was really young, I had him facing me in it, and now that he's 20+ pounds, I have him out facing the world. It doesn't take long to get him in it, although it's a pain to have to fix the straps after my husband uses it. I don't think it's ever taken me more than...maybe two minutes to do it? I have a Hip Hugger, too, which I think may be the terrible one arm thingy referenced above, but I like it okay. I also have a mayan sling, which I and my baby hate with a fiery passion, as it has never done anything but make him really mad. It's way easier to use the Bjorn than the stroller, and I think the kid likes it better.

  • At 6:49 AM, Blogger Shash said…

    This thing was great when R was a newborn, it allowed me to be hands free while I did stuff around the house. I was actually able to put the thing on me and put him in it, the latch the top left button (everything else was latched or buttoned already. One you use it a few times it is rather easy to use and nice to have. It didn't take him long to not want to be in it though, and that annoyed me because the darn thing costs so much!

  • At 8:19 AM, Blogger Tallis Ford said…

    We used a sling when H was little. He cried a lot and did best when held close by us so the sling was perfect. I had my hands free, i popped him in it and he would go right to sleep. It was fleece and i think called a kangaroo carrier or something like that. It has a bazillion snaps so it fits a range of sizes, but you still have to carefully buy the right range -small, med, etc.

    Once it got warm the fleece would roast my little chicken so i tried a cloth "new native" carrier. It was much harder to get H into and just wasn't as comfortable for me. I might have bought the wrong size because it seemed to hang to low and impede my walking.

    We also had a baby bjorn and it took some getting used to in terms of getting it on. But once you've practiced with a stuffed animal and then on your live baby a few times, it's really no big deal. I agree with Joanne-- the worst part was adjusting the straps to fit you again after someone else significantly different in size had used it. My husband used the bjorn all the time and it's what we used when we went on a hiking vacation in CO when H was 8 weeks old. You can face them towards you or out to the world as they grow and the thing adjusts with the size of the baby.

    The fatal flaw for me is that i'm quite short with a proportionally small torso. Even though i have the bjorn with the crazy back support, the shoulder straps could never be adjusted small enough and within minutes i was ready to howl from pain. After H stopped crying so much (around 4 months or so) we switched mostly to the stroller. It's very light-weight and he likes being able to look around at everything.

  • At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We went through an array of carriers, too. The maya pouch was not great when Jonah was a newborn (I felt like he was going to fall out; he hated the bouncing) but, when he could hold his head up, we both loved it. I lost it at a conference in Las Vegas but, by then, felt guilty about acquiring YET ANOTHER baby item, so didn't replace it. I really liked the baby bjorn and didn't find it too complicated (my husband and I are similar in size, so there weren't too many adjustments to make). I bought the ergo for a trip, then forgot it, and by the time I got home, Jonah wanted to practice walking or sit in his stroller. Also, I felt like the straps would fall off my shoulders. (Reading through this, I obviously have an unfounded and demented fear that I can't hang on to my child.) We also have a MEC backpack, which has been AWESOME.

    If I were to go back in time, I'd buy just the baby bjorn and the backpack. Or become friends with Cataclysm earlier. ;)

  • At 10:18 AM, Blogger Anne-Marie said…

    Sam wasn't into carriers until about 3 months (I think - it's all a blur really). We have a First Journey Carrier which he adored, facing out only. Would quick and squeal and make everyone laugh passing us on the street. We've also got a sling which certainly NOT ergonomically correct, does the trick for getting him to sleep when I'm not around (or at least, my boobs aren't around). Can only go short distances now in the sling carrying this 20 pounder and now am looking into backpacks. It's a never-ending circle, really...

  • At 11:33 AM, Blogger Tammy said…

    Anne-Marie is right: it really is a never-ending circle. Up until he was about six months old, Sam was always persnickety about how we transported him, so what worked one week never worked the next. At different times, we've used the Baby Trekker (similar to the Bjorn but more ergonomically correct), a MEC external-frame backpack thingy, a big SUV-type behemoth stroller, a pouch-style sling, and a lean, mean umbrella stroller.

    Being on the short side myself, but owning a big fat baby, it's been challenging finding ways to carry Sam. The Baby Trekker was nice when he was an infant, but then he got too tall and his dangling legs started to bump against my legs, which made him super grouchy.

    The MEC backpack was Rusty's idea and it seemed like a good one because it would get Sam on my back, but here's a picture of me carrying Sam in it when Sam was five months old, and as you can see, we look ridiculous. The scale is totally out of whack.

    Then I got a Hotsling, which is actually more of a pouch thingy, and Sam and I both LOVED it. Ours was cozy fleece and had no straps or annoying adjustable crap, and I used it to carry Sam upright on my hip. He loved being up at eye level with me, and it was so much fun because I could talk and sing to him and give him kisses all the time while we walked around. (We're both pretty snuggly people.) Unfortunately, as other people have mentioned, once Sam went past the 20-lb mark, the sling is REALLY bad for your back. I pulled a neck muscle TWICE before I reluctantly retired my sling.

    So now we use our awesome little Silver Cross umbrella stroller. It's easy to get in and out of stores and small places, and Sam seems to really like it, but he seems so far away sitting down there! I miss having him up where I can hug him!

  • At 3:53 PM, Blogger Melissa said…

    So, we started out with a Bjorn and a Nojo sling. The Bjorn was easier on the back in the early days when the baby was under 20 pounds, but it was sort of slow to get the baby situated in there, with all the snaps and whatnot. The Nojo sling is apparently a terrible sling (someone gave it to us), but it was easy to pop the baby in and out. In fact, it is where A napped for the first four months of her life, while I bounced on a yoga ball and got very sore in the shoulder area.

    I just bought an Ergo, but I have yet to find an easy way to get the baby in and out of it. I've also made my own wrap-style carrier by buying five yards of fabric and wrapping it all around me, but the fabric is bulky to carry around and it's not easy to just pop it on. The problem is that I have yet to find a carrier with the loading and unloading ease of a sling, but the ergonomic comfort of the Ergo or a wrap.

    I have never used slings/carriers for walks because my baby was always too heavy. I mostly like them for getting things done around the house when the baby is being clingy. I keep a Maclaren umbrella stroller in my trunk for outings on the go and use a big SUV stroller for walks around the neighborhood.

  • At 3:59 PM, Blogger landismom said…

    Hmm, both of my kids were different on this. The Bee loved the Bjorn (and it worked well for us, as others have said, once you're used to it, it's no problem), and hated the sling. We had a backpack (Evenflo?) from the time she was about six months until she was over a year, and she liked being up high and being able to see people. Once she could walk any distance at all, she hated it, though.

    The Potato loved the sling and hated the Bjorn. He wasn't very fond of the backpack either, and since he was much bigger much faster than his sister, we retired that when he was probably, oh, 10 or 11 months.

    We had a variety of strollers, a big Peg Perego and a bunch of crappy umbrella strollers. They all irritated me whenever we were anywhere with a crowd. It's hard to have the kid that low down, when you can't see what's going on.


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