Is Bjorn carrier worth getting? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

I am new to these message boards. I am expecting my 1st in May. I'm contemplating getting the Baby Bjorn carrier and would like opinions on it. I already have a new native sling that I got at my shower. I was thinking it would be nice to have this style also for walks and such. I plan to do a lot of baby wearing. I like to know if it's useful to have a couple carrier styles. I have also got a cheep snugli that I was planning to exchange for the Bjorn. Any opinions on the snugli would be helpfull.

Thanks,
Ahimsa

Mother to two great kids. &
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#2 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 02:41 AM
 
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Welcome to Mothering!

I would personally recommend against both the Baby Bjorn and Snugli front-pack, primarly because the position they hold the baby in is not healthy. See this page for information: Infant Carriers and Spinal Stress.
Carriers that support the baby between the legs should not be used until the baby can sit on his/her own, which is usually near or above the weight limit for most front packs. The New Native will probably serve you very well; if you're wanting another carrier, though, I would recommend looking into an unpadded ring sling like the Maya Wrap.

Good luck and happy birthing
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#3 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 02:53 AM
 
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The bjorn killed my back! I wore it once and gave it away to a friend that didnt have a carrier. She loved it (but her baby was really small, and mine are just big). I also didn't like that it only could be worn on the front. The only carrier of that style that I really liked was the Infantino 6 in 1, I used that one for quite awhile with ds1. I would definitely recommend a Meh Tai or other Asian back carrier for a good alternative....if you do a search on this forum you should find lots of links to different ones
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#4 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 01:47 PM
 
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Welcome to the boards Ahimsa I started out with a padded sling determined that I was going to sling and not use a bjorn. I didn't like the way a baby looked with it's little limbs dangling and so forth. Well I just couldn't get the hang of the sling at all but I wanted my babe on me as much as possible at home and all the time when we were out so I pulled out the bjorn my SIL had passed along to us and used it for the first 3 mos with ds until I finally got the hang of the sling. I never went back to the bjorn once I figured out the sling but I was very grateful to be able to have something that allowed me to have ds on me. We were given a number of front pack carriers but the bjorn was the one we used consistently. A new native is supposed to be a wonderful carrier and I've known moms who use that and only that and you may find that's all you need. But if you're like alot of slinging moms you'll probably end up with several different slings for different purposes.

HTH and blessings on the birth.
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#5 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 02:15 PM
 
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The Bjorn wasn't my favorite, but we used it enough that I'm glad we had it. My husband much preferred it to the sling - he'd use the sling, but I usually had to help him situate the baby. : I used the Bjorn sometimes, especially with my first child. The big downside for me was that it's virtually impossible to nurse a baby while it's in the Bjorn. But when I had to work occasionally in the evenings, the Bjorn is what allowed my husband to get my 2nd son to sleep, so it was definitely worth it for us!
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#6 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 02:19 PM
 
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I have to admit that I LOVE my Bjorn! I used it exclusively with DS (he HATED slinging). He always seemed comfortable in it, and DH could easily use it too. I use it some with DD too - although we both prefer the sling. However, when I'm playing ball or something like that with DS I feel DD is more secure in the Bjorn. She seems to like it too! Plus, DH feels more comfortable carrying her in the Bjorn.
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#7 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 02:36 PM
 
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Another plug for the Bjorn. I borrowed one from a friend and it was great for baby wearing, esp when dh was involved and ds was a bit older than newborn.

A friend of mine (who is VERY AP) uses hers as well as a baby trekker exclusively. Her boys HATE every sling she has ever tried. The snugli is too complicated for me...too many straps and buckles to adjust. Hard to get on and off by myself.

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
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#8 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 02:51 PM
 
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One suggestion I would make if you like the look of a Bjorn style carrier is that you consider a First Journey by Baby Trekker. The look is very similar, but the Bjorn does not have a waist belt, so all the weight pulls from your shoulders. Also, the area for the baby is so small that many babies outgrow it very quickly. The FJ has a padded waist belt, is easily adjusted with the baby in it, does not have the od" design where the baby hangs off the front, but rather sits on a crotch pises that comes out from the waist belt, so there is nothing between you and the baby. Plus it can be worn on the back, unlike the Bjorn, and retails for an average of $20 less.

That siad, I like slings much better
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#9 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 03:11 PM
 
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mrzmeg, I read the link, and many of those statements are matters of opinion (not to mention on the website of a competing product....) My chiro is very aP friendly and thought the Bjorn to be just fine.. That said, I think it's good to consider. If I could go back and do it all over again I may have tried a Mei-Tai earlier, b/c it allows for the spinal curl a bit...

I loved my Bjorn, an old hand-me -down. I had a Maya, too, but for the first 3 months, DS absolutely hated it. He loves it now (did form 4 months on...), but the Bjorn was our saving grace those first few months. He was a very colicky babe and would take literally hours of walking in the bjorn to get him to calm down.

Nursing is difficult in the bjorn, but can be done-- at the risk of your back!

I think the spinal concerns are valid, but as long as you are not carrying the babe for half a day in the same position, I think it's less of a concern.....but again, that's just one mommas opinion.

My large baby outgrew the Bjorn by 5 months, so that may be a consideration for you.

Check the resource section of this forum for some links on more baby wearing options if you're interested. But do what feels right for you, too. Wearing your baby is STILL wearing your baby, no matter how you do it!
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#10 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 03:52 PM
 
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Just want to correct some of my horrible typing and it's too late to edit! My post should have said the First Journey does not have the "pod" design of the Bjorn, and the baby sits on a crotch *piece* that comes out from the waist belt.
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#11 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 04:02 PM
 
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Baby Bjorns are great "training wheels" for babywearing, but most moms I know couldn't use one for more than an hour after babe reached 15 lbs or so. I got one for my shower and we used it a little, especially before I really got the hang of the sling around five months. But I don't think I'll be using it much with my next baby. I'm too dedicated to slinging, and the style of the Bjorn never appealed to me too much. I think the cost of the Bjorn is way too much as well. $80 for a carrier that is only comfy for 3 months!

-Kate
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#12 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 04:06 PM
 
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I used the bjorn with dd#1, and really only used it for 2-3 months. Then I switched to the sling, and then a frame carrier (I didn't know about the Ergo back then). Knowing what I know now (I agree with mrzmeg), I'm starting dd#2 in a sling. For what a bjorn costs, you can get a pretty nice sling.
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#13 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 04:25 PM
 
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I think both this one and the Snuggli are wastes of cash. My son much preferred the sling.

Neither the Bjorn nor the Snuggli fit well. He always seemed to squished. He also threw up more often in it than in anything else.

I, personally, would investigate the variety of slings available.
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#14 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 05:10 PM
 
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I wanted to be a sling mommy. Our ds was determined to let us know he hated it. We tried various slings for months and he just hated them. One day, I was walking to town with a friend and nothing would soothe ds. (He was an inconsolable crier for a while there, very very difficult for both of us.) I tried holding him in every position. We stopped to try to nurse. I changed his diaper and clothes. We tried the sling, we tried a stroller. My friend asked if I wanted to try her bjorn. I figured I may as well. He loved it. So I became a bjorn mommy, even though I never thought I would. We used it until he was about 9 months old.
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#15 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 05:36 PM
 
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One thing that sometimes happens with slings is that people don't realize a lot of babies hate the cradle carry and prefer the snugglehold, where the baby is upright on your chest. It's easy to do in an unpadded sling with an open taail, and a snug fitting pouch with a deep pocket will also work. It can be done from birth with the baby's legs tucked up in a froggy or fetal position, and later with their feet out the bottom.
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#16 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 07:17 PM
 
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Sometimes, we are'nt the only ones who will decide what we will and won't like. DS hated my sling and only liked the soft carrier. There are alternatives to the Bjorn though. I have a Theodore Bean carrier. It's simular to the Bjorn, but more comfortable and about half the price. Here the link:

http://www.theodorebean.com/Catalog/catalog.html

I would try a couple of ways to wear your babe. What you think you might like could be different from what you and your babe actually do like. Try a sling, a soft carrier, a pouch and/or a wrap. if you don't like it you can always sell it for a small loss on the TP. HTH!
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#17 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 08:44 PM
 
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Quote:
One thing that sometimes happens with slings is that people don't realize a lot of babies hate the cradle carry and prefer the snugglehold, where the baby is upright on your chest.
This is so true! My ds hated it when I tried to hold him in the cradle hold, but once I figured out how to hold him upright in the Maya, he was much more comfy.
Here is a page about pouch positions...she calls the one we're talking about 'Tummy to Tummy': http://www.kangarookorner.com/k_how_afp.shtml#4
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#18 of 26 Old 04-07-2004, 10:00 PM
 
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My DS had reflux as an infant and the only place he was content was in the Bjorn! I found it to be very comfortable. I would even put it on and sit down and watch TV or sit at the computer! I think the upright position helped his reflux. But I think he also liked having the secure, snug feeling that he got when he was in the Bjorn. I used it until he was 9 mos. old or so and then he got too heavy for it.

I think it's worth every penny!

(But I'd still get a variety because it's fun! :LOL)
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#19 of 26 Old 04-08-2004, 01:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tupelo Honey
One thing that sometimes happens with slings is that people don't realize a lot of babies hate the cradle carry and prefer the snugglehold, where the baby is upright on your chest. It's easy to do in an unpadded sling with an open taail, and a snug fitting pouch with a deep pocket will also work. It can be done from birth with the baby's legs tucked up in a froggy or fetal position, and later with their feet out the bottom.
Very good point TH and one that should come with the instructions for slinging infants. Ds did not like the cradle carry and cried each time I tried it. Being a new mama and thus new to slinging I assumed that he didn't like the sling in general and so I switched to the bjorn. If I'd known about the different carries the way I do now I would have put ds in our maya using the carry TH suggests above.
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#20 of 26 Old 04-08-2004, 01:31 AM
 
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Is the Bjorn worth getting? My answer NO. (If you really want a front carrier, I'd go with the BABY TREKKER. Yes, it has thick, comfy, octopus arms, but it's comfy! And it can be worn front or back, about the same amount of money as the Bjorn. IMO it's a superior carrier. Wish I had known about it before I bought the BJorn.)

If you want, buy a gently used Bjorn (go to a children's consignment shop, check yard sales, for sale ads...) to try it out.

I did not want to use it for the first 3 months because of the spine concerns. I only was able to use it until month 5 or 6 because I had such a heavy, little butterball baby! It killed my back. There is very minimal padding on the straps. (I know women with heavy babies who use the Bjorn until 9 months or so. Wow. Ouch. Not me, Forget it.)

Oh yeah, and since I had a son, I hated how his testicles were smooshed. So I limited myself to 1 hour a day. All for $90 + shipping. It was a waste for me. :

SLING - my son was "high needs" which meant he needed to be held in arms 24/7 from birth. I couldn't figure out my Over the Shoulder Baby Holder (I was never given the awesome video when I bought it. I went to my local La Leche League meeting when my son was 5 months old - simply BEGGING for someone to show me how to use my OTSBH.

Once I put him in the front carry (aka Kangaroo carry) I couldn't believe how easy it was! Turned out I was using it all wrong (hence my son's reaction - anger because I buried him too deep in the sling.)

My son ended up LOVIN' the sling and so did I. Up to that point I was cursing the money I spent on it.

GET SLING HELP... it will make a world of difference. I ended up using a Maya Wrap and luckily, my experienced LLL friends helped me out with that when I ran into trouble.

I became a sling expert and used the sling exclusively (no stroller) until my son was 20 months old

If you want to buy a sling, find a local distributor with experience using it (or go to LLL meetings) to try them out and get hands-on help.

Also, get the video. When I give slings as gifts I ALWAYS give the video. It helps to have someone show you how (I didn't have that with my baby). My friend's DH was wearing his son in the OTSBH when he was a week home from the hospital.

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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#21 of 26 Old 04-08-2004, 01:43 AM
 
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The Baby Bjorn killed our backs, even when ds was very little. Dh walked around like a big preggo after carrying our 3 month old for only a short while!

Although, they have a new Bjorn out that has a strap that goes around the back for better support. I think I saw it here: www.rightstart.com

We used the OTSBH from 3 months on, and ds would live there if he could. Also check into a kozy carrier. You can front carry but there is full support under the babys legs and bottom, so no spinal stress. There is a wait of about a month to get one though.

You will love babywearin'!!!

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#22 of 26 Old 04-08-2004, 02:33 PM
 
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Different babies like different things. My son wanted freedom of movement for his legs and arms, and the Bjorn provided that better than any sling I've ever seen. Also, many grandparents/ friends are more comfortable using the Bjorn because they feel more secure- it would be really difficult for a baby to fall out of one. Not to say they're likely to leap out of a sling, either, but the way they're strapped in feels safer to many people.

Any way you can borrow a variety, and then buy what you and baby like best?
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#23 of 26 Old 04-08-2004, 06:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by srain
Different babies like different things.
This is true. If you have a baby with reflux, they won't be comfy curled up in the sling They will need an upright, front carrier.

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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#24 of 26 Old 04-08-2004, 07:40 PM
 
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Hey Tanya!
Don't forget though that babies can be upright in the sling in the snuggle or tummy to tummy hold. That way their tummy is right against mom's, too, which helps with the reflux and any kind of colic.

The MamaBaby is great for doing this hold with even the tiniest newborn. Any unpadded ring sling should work well for this hold.
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#25 of 26 Old 04-08-2004, 09:02 PM
 
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I have to say I LOVE my Bjorn. I have a New Native, Rebozo and Bjorn and have used all three for different reasons. I think the important thing to remember is that every baby is different and every parent/body is different. What is important is not what type of carrier you have, but that you are wearing baby lots which is a great thing! At first I felt really bad for liking the Bjorn as it is portrayed as so *bad* in many babywearing circles, but then I realized that if it was working for us that was the important thing. I have only seen the one article posted earlier on this thread that speaks against it, and that isn't enough data for me.

I didn't start using the Bjorn until ds was about 4 months or so and about 15 or so pounds so I can't say how it is for a newborn. Before that I had relied on tummy to tummy in the Rebozo or cradle in the NN.

Once ds was older for me the Bjorn was so much more comfortable and secure in the tummy to tummy position since it was on two shoulders rather than one (like the rebozo). I have always been able to nurse in it, although that does put a strain on my back sometimes, but nothing extreme.

Now that ds is 10 months and 20 pounds tummy to tummy in the Bjorn is what he prefers to the hip carry in the NN or Rebozo and it is still comfotable for me and dh. As others have said it is very easy to use, easy to adjust, and feels very secure. I would say it is worth the money as I am still getting use out of it and know I will use it with future children. That said I think when ds was tiny I liked having the option of the cradle hold so you might consider one of each if you can afford it.

Good luck whatever you decide.
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#26 of 26 Old 04-08-2004, 10:06 PM
 
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Hey mamas, consider writing a review of this product! Use the form and past it in the reviews forum after you've checked out the simple guidelines.
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