BabyBjorn’s ‘Baby Carrier One’ Review. Is It Just Another Crotch Dangler?

Posted on Nov 3 2013 - 1:31pm by megganmamma

 

baby carrier one review

Joshi rated the box 5 stars

A few months ago I shared with you about “Why I’d Never Put My Baby In A BabyBjorn Carrier.”  My site traffic went through the roof.  Yes, the title was a bit provocative, but I really wanted to get people talking about optimal positioning when baby-wearing.  And it worked.  Parents who read my post contacted BabyBjorn – then BabyBjorn contacted me.  They said that the new carrier they were just launching, the Baby Carrier One, “has been developed reflecting the advise of the International Hip Dyspasia Institute in order to secure an appropriate position for the baby.”   I was genuinely surprised at this revelation from the company who’ve ‘dangled’ more than 30 million babies since 1973!   Anyway, I said, “Great.  Send me one and I’ll review it.”   And that’s what they did.

What You Need To Know Before Buying A Baby Carrier

Because of the medical nature of the previous discussion around safe baby-wearing, I once again brought in the help of Dr Vanessa Harrington, a Family Chiropractor and Baby Wearing Consultant here in Sydney, to review the Baby Carrier One.  Before buying a carrier, she encourages parents to take a look at the TICKS baby-wearing guidelines  and the guidelines given by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute for healthy hip positioning.   These guidelines will help you understand how to position your child when baby-wearing.  A carrier that supports your baby properly will support their growth and development and the health of their hips.  

The Arrival Of The Baby Carrier One 

Joshi was really excited when the postman delivered the carrier to our front door.  He had no hesitation in rating the box 5 stars.  He opened it.  Ah, a box within a box  – as far as Joshi was concerned, it just doesn’t get any better than that.  For me however, it was a disappointing moment. The pictures on the box revealed that the Baby Carrier One provides an outward facing ‘crotch-dangling’ position which is not in accordance with the guidelines recommended by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.

baby carrier one review

A box within a box – it just doesn’t get any better than that.

Unwrapping The Carrier

When I took the Baby Carrier One out of it’s wrapping, there was quite a strong synthetic smell.  The smell soon went, so if you’re greeted by that ‘new car’ aroma with yours, a good airing before initial use should do the trick.  The material is a cotton/polyester blend.  I’m not sure if the smell was the polyester or the plastic buckles.  The literature does confirm that “All fabrics are kind to your baby’s skin and safe to taste. Guaranteed free from health hazardous substances and approved according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100, class 1 for baby products.”

A Closer Look At The Baby Carrier One

The rather clever thing about this carrier is that it offers 5 different wearing positions …

  1. Your newborn (0-4 months/min 3.5kg) faces inwards, with their legs dangling.
  2. Your baby (4-15 months/max 12kg) faces inwards, with their legs dangling.
  3. Your baby (4-36 months/max 15kg) faces inwards, with their legs wide.
  4. Your baby  (5-15 months/max 12kg) faces outwards, with their legs dangling.
  5. Your baby  (12-36 months/max 15kg) is carried on your back, with their legs wide.

You can switch between these positions by adjusting various zips …

  1. There is a zip inside the carrier which can be attached to one of two points to set the height for either your newborn or your baby.
  2. There is a pair of zips above the waistband.  When these zips are open, your baby’s legs dangle.  When they’re closed, your baby’s legs are wide and well supported.

What BabyBjorn have managed to achieve through these different configurations is a carrier that can be marketed towards both those who demand a carrier that supports their baby’s legs in a wide position as well as those who will still place greater emphasis on choosing a carrier in which their baby can face outwards.  From a business point of view, they were never likely to wave goodbye to outward facing carriers overnight when such carriers have been so successful for them and are so identifiable with the brand.

 

Available Colours

… Any colour, as long as it’s black.  If Batman was into baby-wearing (and he totally would be!) the Baby Carrier One would really compliment his wardrobe.  I personally feel that a few colour options wouldn’t go amiss.

Available Accessories

A bib is available as an optional extra to provide added protection for the upper part of the carrier.

Getting Strapped Up

The Shoulder Straps:  Putting the Baby Carrier One on is a somewhat different experience to the other carriers I’m used to.  Instead of slipping each arm through the shoulder straps and clipping them together behind your back, the shoulder straps on the Baby Carrier One are permanently joined together.  So you slip this carrier over your head.  I can see this is a big advantage for a lot of dads whose big arms and limited flexibility make if difficult for them to fasten a clip between their shoulders.  Anything that gets more men wearing their babies can only be a good thing, right!  There’s definitely a knack to slipping it on and off gracefully.   My first couple of attempts looked more like Houdini on an off day than the Olympic baby-wearer I normally consider myself to be.   Remember – always remove your big hat before putting on this carrier.

The Buckles:  The buckles were also unfamiliar to me.  A lot of work has gone into designing these to be very secure and in that regard they’ve succeeded, but both myself and Dr Harrington had some difficulty positioning and fastening them.

The Waistband:  Unlike some of BabyBjorn’s other carriers, the Baby Carrier One features a waistband.  A waistband is an absolute must if you have a big toddler or a tendency towards back problems.  Distributing the weight onto your hips offers much more support for your back.  The waistband was belt loops to tuck away the loose ends of the straps, giving the carrier a tidy appearance.

Breastfeeding

One of the things I love most about baby-wearing is that I can breastfeed Joshi at the same time.  I was disappointed to discover that the straps in front of the shoulders cover your breasts, making it very difficult to breastfeed while wearing the Baby Carrier One.  We just managed, but it was uncomfortable and gave no privacy.

Is The Baby Carrier One Really ‘All You Need’?

In the promotional video and the owner’s manual the Baby Carrier One is described as “all you need,” catering for newborns through to approximately 3 years.  ‘Approximately’ in this sense is taken to mean up to 15kgs/100 cm.  So the Baby Carrier One is ‘all you need’ providing you intend to stop wearing your child as soon as they’re over 15kgs.  This is not a particularly high limit and therefore not a particularly unique selling point.  Many other manufacturer’s carriers cater for newborn through to 20kgs.  I should add though, that while this was the case with Joshi’s first carrier, we still chose to buy a toddler carrier for him once he reached about 12kgs as the old one was getting too snug and his legs were getting long.

The First BabyBjorn Carrier That Enables You to Back Carry

This is the first ever carrier from BabyBjorn that enables you to carry your toddler on your back.   To get your toddler onto your back you first have to put them on your front and then do a very nifty manoeuvre to slide them onto your back.  (I’ll leave it to the youtube clip to demonstrate it (@ 5 minutes) rather than describe it badly here).  In my opinion, this is the Baby Carrier One’s best innovation – your baby remains really secure during this manoeuvre whereas other brands leave a lot to careful balancing and gravity.

So Does The Baby Carrier One Carrier Meet The Guidelines?

So what of BabyBjorn’s work to meet the Internal Hip Dysplasia guidelines and how does this carry rate against the TICKS guidelines?

Having tried her nearly-6 months-old daughter in the Baby Carrier One, Dr Harrington agreed that BabyBjorn have made some changes that work towards meeting the International Hip Dysplasia Institute’s guidelines.  However, as with BabyBjorn’s previous carriers, she said there are aspects of it which don’t meet the guidelines.

Which Guidelines Doesn’t The Baby Carrier One Meet?

1.  A Carrier Should Support Your Child’s Thighs All The Way To Their Knee Joints –  Hip Dysplasia Guideline

Here Dr Harrington felt that the  Baby Carrier One has gone some of the way towards meeting the recommendations for healthy hips because the base support in this carrier is wider compared to their previous carriers.  However, this support is only provided in the two configurations where the leg zips are fully closed.  The other three configurations, which leave the leg zips open or face the baby outwards, will not support your baby in accordance with the guidelines.  Dr Harrington reiterated that your baby should have:

  • A wide base of support under their thighs, ideally from knee to knee
  • Their legs in a supported squat position with their knees slightly higher than their hips
  • Their hips at 100 – 120° inflection and 45° abduction

Of particular note, the newborn configuration is one which doesn’t meet the guideline.  According to Dr Harrington, in terms of hip development, this age is the most important age to provide optimal support for your baby’s hips.

2.  Your Baby’s Head Should Be Close Enough To Kiss – TICKS Guideline 

When Dr Harrington put her almost 7kg daughter in the carrier, facing inwards with the height adjusted to the older ‘baby’ setting, she was unable to kiss her head.  Dr Harrington then adjusted the carrier to the smaller ‘newborn’ setting.  Even though her daughter is of average size for six months,  she was still too low to kiss.

The only other way to raise your baby in this carrier is to bring the waistband up so that it sits more around your waist rather than on your hips.  This suggestion is included as a ‘helpful hint’ in the owners manual, but it may not be comfortable for you.  Ideally, the waistband should be resting on your hips.

In Summary:

Dr Harrington commended BabyBjorn on the improvements that they’ve made their previous carriers but said she’d really like to see them continue to develop their carriers to better meet the previously mentioned guidelines and transition away from designs that don’t.

And overall I’d echo that.  It’s great to see BabyBjorn starting to take note of the guidelines.  Although something of a compromise design that still incorporates their earlier styles, it’s a move that needs to be applauded.  And so, as long as it’s only used in either of the 2 configurations which support a wide-legged position for your baby or toddler, I can recommend this carrier.

You can buy the Baby Carrier One on Amazon for $128.99 using the button below.



If you want to read more reviews first, then click here.  The Bib can be purchased separately for $10.75

22 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Nils January 17, 2014 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Meggan,

    This is an interesting post.
    Which baby carrier would you recommend for healthy hips (Ergo baby)?
    My understanding is that forward facing is also not recommended. Is it correct or this is the case only before the baby reach a certain age?
    Thank you

    Nils

    • megganmamma January 20, 2014 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      Hi Nils,
      Thanks for your comment. Ergos are great carriers and will your kid’s hips properly. I’ve also recommended a number of alternate carriers in this post
      which all align with the International Hip Dysplasia Institute’s guidelines. No forward / outward facing carriers align with these guidelines.

      • megganmamma January 20, 2014 at 8:09 pm - Reply

        …Sorry Nils, the link did’nt come through on my reply – check the related posts for the article ‘Why I’d Never Put My Baby In A Baby Bjorn’. The link is also included at the top of this review.

        • Nils January 24, 2014 at 11:18 am - Reply

          Thank you Meggan

  2. Emma Cammack February 28, 2014 at 3:17 am - Reply

    If you have been unfortunate enough to end up with a Bjorn style carrier and cannot afford to go out and buy a safe carrier there is a quick fix you can do with a pashmina or wide scarf. If you loop thescarf under baby’s bottom when they are in the carrier and then pass that scarf fabric knee to knee under baby’s bottom you can pull the scarf taught and tie behind your back, lifting their knees above their hips and avoiding that unwanted leg dangling and offer a more comfortable ergonomic ride for them. It is not ideal, but it means you can still use what I would otherwise deem an unusable carrier.

  3. Randi June 2, 2014 at 5:41 am - Reply

    Hi there,

    Thank you for the review. I was curious to know if you’ve tried the new Ergobaby 360 yet? I’m wanting to get my hands on it!

  4. ashley October 6, 2014 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    I have the ergo 360 and love it. And so does my little squish!

    • megganmamma October 31, 2014 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      Hi Ashley! Great to hear that! Thanks for commenting. x

  5. Marina October 30, 2014 at 7:41 am - Reply

    Hi Meggan!
    Thanks for this post as well as the previous one on ErgoBaby vs. Baby Bjorn. I know that ErgoBaby has come out with a new carrier, the 360, that also has forward facing. Have you had a chance to review this item? I’m new to your site, but I love your reviews and want to hold off on purchasing the 360 until I know a little more about it.
    Thanks.

  6. KN November 5, 2014 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Hi Meggan, thank you for your review. I am expecting my second child and absolutely LOVED my Baby Bjorn for my first child. I had pretty much decided on the One for my second child, but reading your article has made me reconsider. However, I have had a look at some of the carriers that you recommend and also ‘best carriers’ on other websites, looking at the particular ones that have the correct wide leg position. I could not possibly put up with the difficulty of putting them on! clipping behind my back! The Baby Bjorn Original I had was SO easy to clip on and off. So after looking at various carriers I have returned to the Baby Bjorn website. And I discovered, they are releasing a NEW carrier! called the Carrier We. I wondered if you have seen it, had a chance to review it? it promises ‘You can vary between three carrying positions and your child will always sit in the wide leg position’. I don’t know the cost, as that information doesn’t appear to be on their website. But I would love to hear yours and Dr Harrington’s opinion of it!

    • megganmamma November 24, 2014 at 8:05 pm - Reply

      Hi KN! I asked Dr Harrington whether she thinks it’s ever ok to have your older kid in the on-your-back, leg dangling position that’s pictured in the pics of the Carrier We and this is what she said …
      “I think it is certainly preferable to outward facing in a similar position as child can still snuggle into parent supporting normal curves. Looks like the child could choose to bring their knees up and hold onto their parent with their legs, like they would if they were riding on their parent’s back without a carrier. So as long as a child doesn’t have a hip or pelvis issue, I don’t think it would be a problem for short periods. It would be better if they sat up a bit higher for interaction with their parent and also for parents spinal curves to match up with their child’s, which could possibly be achieved by playing with positioning of waist strap and tension in shoulder straps.”

      I hope that’s helpful.

      I personally have always made sure that my son (even now that he is 2.5years) has carrier support which goes all the way along his legs to the back of his knees. To me that feels most comfortable as his weight is distributed in what feels like a natural, piggy-back type position.

  7. S November 23, 2014 at 4:44 am - Reply

    Thanks for this article-i was considering buying the baby bjorn carrier one but now am hesitating. Cant the zipper simply be closed up for the outward position and then the correct support for the legs would take place?

    • megganmamma November 23, 2014 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      Hi Sarah, if the zipper was closed for the outward position it would pull the child’s legs incredibly wide apart, wider than 180 degrees, so not, that’s not an option. However, if you simply kept the zipper closed and only wore your child facing inwards then your child’s legs and hips would always be in a supportive position.

  8. S November 28, 2014 at 1:44 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for your reply I really appreciate it.
    I was looking at the ergo 360 and even they only recommend 15 minutes of outward time. So if it’s mostly going to be inward wearing then the baby Bjorn still sounds pretty good, is that correct? Do you know the difference between the baby Bjorn We and the baby bjorn one?
    Thank you so much.

  9. S November 28, 2014 at 1:46 am - Reply

    sorry I meant if its only be going to be inward mostly anyway then the baby bjorn is still good and better than 360 as its easier to take baby in and out and switch to back.

    • megganmamma December 2, 2014 at 5:52 pm - Reply

      Hi Sarah, yes, if the carrier is used for the inward facing positions, and if the support goes all the way to the back of your child’s knees and not just part of the way along their thigh, then it’s fine.x

  10. Maria January 13, 2015 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    Hi Meggan, i Want yo know your opinión about the stokke cool carrier? I Don’t know which carrier is the best and more recommended.
    Thanks!!!

    • megganmamma January 14, 2015 at 5:33 pm - Reply

      Hi Maria, from the pictures I’ve seen of that carrier the support does not go to the back of the baby’s knee, so I would avoid it. Carriers that comply with the guidelines for safe hips include the Tula and Ergo carriers.

  11. Ruth June 10, 2015 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Your review has made me really think about what carrier to get for baby number 3 (due in August). I used the bjorn for babies number 1 & 2 (always in the forward facing position) and was looking at buying either the We or One for baby number 3 (seeing as I appear to have lost our old carrier). Just to clarify, for the baby bjorn One carrier, are you allowed/able to use position option 3 (inward facing with wide legs) with a new born? And is positions 1 & 2 where the legs are dangling in a forward facing position against the guidelines for safe hips?

    Your article has now got me thinking about other brands to use instead, so I read your other article. As there are so many different versions, I was wondering which ergo baby carrier you think is best for new borns (I think a sling would be just too tricky for me to master)?

    Many Thanks 🙂

    • megganmamma June 10, 2015 at 10:06 pm - Reply

      Hi Ruth,

      With a newborn you want to keep their legs in a froggy position. Carriers like the Ergo come with a small insert which you can use for newborns. And if you don’t want to buy the insert you can just roll up a small towel and put it under their bottom. We did that and it worked well.

      Any dangling position is against the guidelines for safe hips. Your child’s legs should be supported all the way to the back of their knees so that the only part of their leg which dangles down is from their knees to their toes.

      Another option you have with a newborn baby is to use something like the hug-a-bub wrap. It’s really comfy and snuggly for your baby.

      All the best.

      X

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