I'm starting a new segment called "Monday Must Haves." In it I will spotlight something I have found to be incredibly useful or downright cool. Most of these will have to do with parenting, but expect me to come across some other things that I happen to really dig. Also, I will almost always be including a link that will take you to the Amazon page for that item. Feel free to click on it. If you buy it, Amazon will send a little cash my way.

I want to put a disclaimer here. Every item I highlight will be something I have used and liked. I will not be getting paid for the review (unless you buy the item from Amazon) and any swag I may get will be noted in the reviews. I promise to keep these reviews as honest as possible.

Now, getting on with it:

This Monday's must have is the Ergo Carrier.

The Ergo Carrier is an organic cotton, heavy duty baby carrier. This carrier is simply comfortable. I've been using it for about three months now and I really enjoy wearing it. As with all carriers, it takes some getting used to, but once you figure it out, it is really a pleasure to wear. And based on how the kid ends up sleeping on every walk, I'd say that it is pretty comfortable to ride in as well. Our little girl is only just now getting to the point where we can think about removing the optional Ergo Organic Infant Insert so I don't have a lot of experience using all the different positions that it is capable of but if they are anywhere as comfortable as using the insert it is well worth the money. (The insert is to give neck stability to younger babies that haven't developed their neck muscles yet.

The Carrier is able to be used in four different positions. (The literature says three positions, but I'll explain what the fourth is). You can wear it chest to chest on your front side, chest to back like a backpack and as a side sling. (Though the sling requires a little bit of complicated restructuring of the carrier. I'm sure it isn't hard once you figure it out though.) The fourth position is that, at least while they are still little, you can sit your child in the carrier in the same way you would if you were still using the infant insert (their side to your front) even if you don't use the insert. This offers great versatility.

There are three big features this carriers have that many others do not. First, it is designed to have the child sit on their bottom instead of suspending them from their crotch. This is more comfortable for them and you can carry them longer without it bothering them. Secondly, the waist belt puts most of the weight on your hips and not your shoulders. I've tried the Baby Bjorn and frankly even after all the training my back has gotten from using the Ergo Carrier I still found myself in pain after a short walk without the waist belt. These two reasons allow you to use the Ergo Carrier much longer than many other carriers because the weight limit (for the child, not you) is much higher. Finally, it is made from Organic Cotton. This last one won't be important to all of you, but I'd much rather that my child not suck (and they will suck) on fabric that was treated with pesticides (even if it was several steps up the chain).

There is one problem I have with this product and that is with the instructional DVD that is included. First, the video is pretty ridiculous. I dare you not to laugh out loud at the video. Secondly, the DVD was made using the first generation Ergo Carrier. In the later generation they have made some changes that are not shown in the DVD. It isn't hard to figure out what they mean though.

All in all the wife and I are incredibly happy with the Ergo Carrier and that is why it is the first Monday Must Have.


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