Pros: Exceedingly comfortable even for long periods of time, baby well-supported and content, lasts forever
Cons: Not great for newborns, back carry emphasizes 'mommy belly'
This is the carrier I recommend to all new parents I know. If I could afford it, I'd buy one for every new parent I know!!!
Assuming that you already know the benefits of babywearing in general, let me point out the particularly nice parts of babywearing in an Ergo:
- it moves easily from front-carry to back-carry. There's even a hip-carry, though I find it a bit too bulky to do this comfortably, and there's a little strap that can fall off and get lost when you do this (I did this once -- and it was someone else's carrier!! Oops!).
- the baby sits higher on your torso than with other carriers, so I find it much easier to sit while babywearing in an Ergo than, say, in a Moby or a Baby Bjorn, etc. Also easier for vigorous walking because the baby's legs don't dangle in front of your legs -- they're up out of tthe way.
- Also because of the higher-torso carry, you can go to the bathroom and keep the baby in the Ergo! Which is especially nice if you're traveling alone with your baby and don't have anywhere else to put her/him while you go to the bathroom.
- You can use it for a LONG time. I use it with my 6 month old in a front or back carry, but I can still put my 2.5 year old in it in a back carry. And it's still comfortable -- even when carrying an older toddler.
- The cozy padding and ergonomic design make it a perfect choice for wearing for extended periods of time. We went on vacation when our daughter was 5 months old, and I carried her in the Ergo all day while we went hiking and sightseeing. At the end of three days, my feet hurt from all the walking, but my back and shoulders were fine! And the baby was happy, too, from spending so much time sleeping against Mama's heart.
- It's a good choice for men, too! This is the only carrier my husband will use. He thinks the wraps are absurdly complicated, and is convinced that he looks like a silly hippie in the ring sling. The Ergo is "sporty" enough for him to feel masculine while wearing his baby.
We love our Ergo! We bought it used on Ebay, and it is now on its third baby (at least), and still looks and feels brand new. It was the best baby purchase we have made.
Oh, and about the "cons" -- there are only 2 that I can think of. First, I really don't like it for the newborn stage. I never had an insert, though, so that would probably make a difference. It's a better design, IMO, for when the baby's a bit bigger -- we start using it at about 5 months. I prefer stretchy wraps and ring slings for littler babies. Second, while I love the back carry in the Ergo (so comfortable and makes cooking, etc. a breeze), the strap cuts across the waist in such a way that you end up with a big poofy "mama belly" muffin-top right above the strap. Short of a boned corset, I can't think of any way to avoid this, and perhaps it's a fair trade for the comfort and ease of carrying a baby on your back. I've managed to cover it up by wearing a loose layer on top that can pull down over the strap, but there's no way to avoid it altogether.