An Expert Guide to BabyBjörn CarriersPublished on 07/14/2022 · 10 min readKnow you want to go with a BabyBjörn baby carrier but just can't choose which one? Use this guide from Baby & Toddler Expert Alex Kochon to help!
If you’re in the market for a baby carrier, chances are you’ve heard of BabyBjörn. There’s also a good chance you’ve checked out their stuff and are overwhelmed by the amount of different structured carriers they offer. Maybe you’re thinking, "Baby who?" or "You lost me at 'structured.'" Or perhaps you cut straight to the chase: "I just need to find the most sturdy carrier for my baby who weighs 30 pounds."
Have no fear; you’ve come to the right place for a breakdown on baby carriers in the simplest terms.
Who Is BabyBjörn?
BabyBjörn is a Swedish, family-owned company that’s known for creating beautifully designed and highly functional baby products that help parents and caregivers simplify everyday life while encouraging nurturing and closeness. The name “Björn” is a nod to Björn Jakobson, who founded the company with his sister-in-law, Elsa Jakobson, in 1961. BabyBjörn is best known for its baby carriers and baby bouncers but also specializes in sleep, kitchen, and bathroom products for babies.
BabyBjörn doesn’t make the cheapest baby gear, but the brand’s reputation for quality and longevity stands out in the industry. The company is known for consulting medical experts, carefully engineering its products, and prioritizing sustainability and fair trade in its manufacturing. All BabyBjörn fabrics that come in contact with a child’s skin meet the requirements of OEKO-TEX Standard 100, Class 1, meaning they are toxin-free.
Simply put, BabyBjörn makes high-quality baby gear that is good for your baby and the environment and built to last, no matter what paces it’s put through.
What Is a Baby Carrier?
Remember that bit about nurturing and closeness? That’s where a baby carrier comes in. Essentially, a carrier is a fabric pack, wrap, or sling that you wear around your body to hold a baby. Baby carriers are one of the top baby-list items as they’re ideal for holding your baby while freeing your hands and keeping your baby close to you—and thus happy—while you go about your business.
While a baby swing or bouncer can entertain them while in a seated position away from you (but not all babies love these), a carrier keeps them right where they want—nestled into you. All is well when they’re in the arms, or think they’re in the arms, of Mom or Dad.
What Is a Structured Carrier?
We’ve mentioned the different types of carriers, but what’s the actual difference? A sling is a wide piece of fabric that drapes across one shoulder and across the torso to hold a baby. A bit more complex but offering more ways to carry a baby, a wrap is made of longer, stretchy fabric that crisscrosses around the body, usually covering both shoulders and tying around the waist.
A soft structured carrier (SSC) provides more structure (hence the name) and support—for both the baby and the wearer—than a sling or wrap. An SSC is a front pack and/or backpack with padding and shoulder straps, adjustable buckles or snaps, and sometimes lumbar support for the wearer.
BabyBjörn carriers, all of which are soft structured carriers, are simple to use and hold the child upright to ensure their airways are open, they can move their arms and legs freely, and their head and neck are supported.
Universally speaking, babies should be positioned at a “kissable” height while in a carrier, meaning that you can easily kiss the top of their head while you’re wearing it and looking down at them. If they’re too low, pull on the straps to cinch them closer to you.
All BabyBjörn carriers share certain similarities, including good head support and, for the most part, an ergonomic design that contours to the baby’s body for maximum support and comfort. They are designed to position babies with their legs wide apart and their bottom in a deep position (lower than their knees). This particular positioning holds especially true for newborns and babies facing in. As they grow, the carrier’s length should be adjusted, as should their leg and seat positioning. Babies should face inward until they are at least five months old and have full head control.
Now that we’re familiar with the brand and product, let’s dive into the types of ergonomic baby carriers BabyBjörn offers and the different needs and age/weight ranges for which they’re made.
The following are presented from most simple/least expensive to most elaborate/more expensive. BabyBjörn carriers generally range from under $1000 to $250, though prices may vary.
Great for Newborns: Baby Carrier Mini
If you’re interested in a BabyBjörn carrier but aren’t sure you want to shoot the wad on one or how long you’ll use it, the Baby Carrier Mini is a simple yet high-quality option for carrying newborns. It’s designed for infants up to 12 months old, weighing 7 to 24 pounds and measuring 21 to 30 inches long.
It comes in three fabric choices: 3D jersey, 3D mesh, or cotton, all of which are soft on a baby’s skin. If you’re planning to use it outside, especially in the summer months, opt for the breathable mesh as it will keep your baby cool and comfortable.
The Mini offers adjustable head support and support for the baby’s hips and legs. It is capable of three carrying positions: newborn facing in (with head support), baby facing in (without head support once they’re two to three months old and can control their head movements), and baby facing out (once they’re five months old and can hold their own head up).
The Mini is easy to put on and take off and adjust for wearers of different heights and waist sizes (e.g., switching between Mom and Dad). At 1.5 pounds, it’s also smaller and lighter than most carriers, making it easy to stash away when not in use.
Easy on the Back: Baby Carrier Free
For those looking to get a bit more use out of a carrier, or those who lead a more active lifestyle, the Baby Carrier Free is a comfy, breathable mesh carrier that’s made for babies from birth to 15 months old. As long as they weigh between 7 and 26 pounds and measure between 21 and 33 inches, they’ll be good to go wherever your adventures may take you—even if it’s just the grocery store.
Like the Mini, the Free is user-friendly and can carry a child three ways (newborn facing in, baby facing in, and baby facing out). It’s made of 3D mesh, a high-tech, super soft, breathable, 100% polyester fabric that dries quickly and retains its shape after repeated washing.
(Note: All of these carriers are machine washable!)
The Free was designed with adjustable head support and ergonomic support for a baby’s hips and legs. It has been evaluated as “hip-healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute so long as it’s used according to the instructions. For babies weighing 7 to 10 pounds, one should use the provided leg straps to reduce the size of the leg openings.
This carrier also provides back support for the wearer and padded shoulder straps for better all-around comfort. If you plan on carrying your baby for long periods of time, this is one of the best carriers for your back health.
Premium Practicality: Baby Carrier One
If these all sound great but you really want a baby carrier that you can wear on your back, the Baby Carrier One is a premium option that can carry a newborn up to a toddler, ranging from 8 to 33 pounds and 21 to 39 inches.
The baby can be carried four ways: newborn facing in, baby facing in, baby facing out, or baby on the back. The carrier has two height positions that can easily adjust to transition from newborn to older babies.
Like the Free, the One has the same great adjustable head support and “hip-healthy” ergonomic support for the baby’s hips and legs, according to the Hip Dysplasia Institute.
The carrier is made of a soft cotton blend for next-to-skin comfort. For those who live in hot, humid climates, I highly recommend the Baby Carrier One Air with its breathable 3D mesh construction. If your baby (or you) tend to run hot, the One Air is a sound choice as it’s considered BabyBjörn’s coolest carrier.
And that brings us to more perks that can benefit you…
Both versions of the One are equipped with a sturdy waist belt and padded shoulder straps to relieve pressure on your back and shoulders. This structure makes it possible to use this carrier until a baby is up to three years old!
When carrying newborns, the waist belt comes in handy. When carrying older babies, lower the belt to your hips for better weight distribution.
Added bonus: You can also shift your baby from front to back without taking it off or any assistance, which makes this one of the most user-friendly carriers.
Complete Comfort and Style: Baby Carrier Harmony
BabyBjörn’s self-proclaimed “I-Want-It-All” carrier, the Baby Carrier Harmony offers luxurious comfort for both the baby and the wearer. It’s both super soft and stylish to check all the boxes for everything anyone would ever want in a carrier, including a back-carry option. (Trust us, it’s not as complex as it sounds. Your child is just literally situated and carried on your back rather than your front.)
This one has it all: flexible head support, ergonomic support for legs and hips (Hip Dysplasia Institute-approved), padding in the shoulder straps and back area, AND a comfortable waist belt. The Harmony can carry kids zero to three years old, weighing up to 40 pounds! They can even weigh as little as seven pounds and measure 21 to 39 inches. Like the One, the Harmony carries four ways: newborn facing in, baby facing in, baby facing out, and baby on the back. All of which help your child from the newborn to the older baby stage.
This carrier goes to great lengths to give the baby a feeling of closeness with a carry that feels like a gentle hug. That intimate design will keep them happier for much longer than a less-comfortable carrier. It’s made of soft, breathable 3D mesh fabric that contours to the baby’s body and keeps them from overheating.
For newborns, their head and neck can be supported in three different positions that are easily adjusted using snaps.
In addition to providing great back support with a pressure-relieving waist belt, padded back, and shoulder straps, the Harmony is also lightweight (1.9 pounds) and easy to pack into a stroller or diaper bag. In other words, it's one less thing you have to lug around.
If the look of your baby carrier while worn out in public is a concern, this one will have heads turning (in a good way)!
The Bottom Line
To recap, all BabyBjörn soft structured carriers offer a certain level of ergonomic support for a baby’s neck, back, head, and hips. They keep the baby upright and are easy to adjust as the child grows. They’re also easy for the wearer to put on, take off, and modify to fit them. Their fabric is OEKO-TEX-certified, meaning that it’s safe for a newborn’s skin and even for them to taste. Last but not least, all of these carriers are machine washable.
Or, for more on these featured BabyBjörn items and other types of baby carriers, you can reach out to any Curated Baby & Toddler Expert who can guide you through the choices and find the best carrier for you and your child!