The Ergobaby baby carrier is one of the most popular soft-structured baby carriers on the market. Its ergonomic design and versatility make it a favorite for many parents. One of the key features of the Ergobaby is that it can be worn on your back once your baby is a little older.
Back carrying with a baby carrier like the Ergobaby offers several advantages once your child has good head and neck control, usually around 4-6 months old. Back carrying leaves your hands free, allows you to more easily interact with the world, and gives your arms and shoulders a break from front carrying. It can also help calm an older baby by providing closeness and a new view of the world.
This beginner’s guide will walk you through everything you need to know about back carrying with the Ergobaby carrier, including when your baby is ready, safety tips, how to get your baby in and out of the back carry position, and frequently asked questions.
When Can You Start Back Carrying with the Ergobaby?
The Ergobaby carrier can safely be used for back carrying once your baby meets these requirements:
- At least 4-6 months old. Back carrying should not be done before 4 months at the earliest. Your baby needs good head and neck strength and control first.
- Able to sit up independently. Your child should be able to sit up well without support before going on your back.
- Good head and neck control. Your baby should be able to hold their head up steadily when upright.
- Appropriate weight. The Ergobaby is rated for back carrying for babies between 12-45 lbs. Always follow the manufacturer instructions.
- Past the infant insert stage. The Ergobaby requires an infant insert for babies under 12 lbs. Back carrying cannot be done with the infant insert in place.
Consult your baby’s doctor if you are unsure if your child is ready for back carrying. Every baby’s development is different. When in doubt, wait a bit longer before trying back carry.
Back Carry Safety Tips
Back carrying in a baby carrier like the Ergobaby is very safe when done correctly. But it’s important to keep these safety precautions in mind:
- Always follow the instructions from the manufacturer.
- Ensure your child meets all the minimum requirements for back carrying.
- Be very careful bending over or leaning forward when back carrying. Don’t let baby fall forward off your back.
- Have a spotter present the first few times you put baby on your back.
- Be mindful of baby’s head positioning. Make sure their chin is not pressed to their chest.
- Monitor your baby’s breathing and comfort level. Loosen straps if needed.
- Stop back carrying if baby seems uncomfortable, slumps forward, or fusses.
- Avoid risky activities like cooking or cleaning when back carrying. Stay seated if possible.
- Keep your balance and watch for tripping hazards. Babywearing can affect your center of gravity.
- Keep baby away from potential pinching points like escalators, revolving doors, etc.
- Ensure the carrier fits you properly each time for maximum safety.
How to Get Baby In and Out of Back Carry Position
Putting your baby on your back in the Ergobaby takes some practice. Go slow, and don’t get frustrated. Have a second person assist you the first few times. Here are step-by-step instructions:
Getting Baby In Back Carry
- First, put the Ergobaby on following the standard front carry steps per the instructions. Leave straps relatively loose.
- With baby in front carry position, open the shoulder straps so you can slip one arm out. Rotate that arm behind you.
- Reach behind and loosen/open the Ergobaby waistband. Still supporting baby with your other arm, rotate baby in a smooth motion from your front to your back.
- Once on your back, pull down on the shoulder straps so the waistband sits at or just above your natural waist. Snug the waistband.
- Check baby’s positioning. Ensure their chin is up and they are high enough to kiss the top of their head.
- Reach behind and buckle the chest clip, tightening shoulder straps as needed. You should be able to slip a few fingers under the straps at your shoulders.
- Bounce baby gently or have them look side to side to check comfort level. Loosen straps if needed.
- You’re all set! Adjust fit periodically for maximum comfort.
Getting Baby Out of Back Carry
- Carefully loosen shoulder straps so you can slip one arm out rotated behind you. Support baby’s weight with your other arm.
- With your free hand, loosen waistband and unbuckle chest clip if still fastened.
- Rotate baby around to front in a smooth motion, supporting their head and keeping them close to you for security.
- Tighten shoulder straps and waistband with baby now in front carry position.
- Check for comfort and readjust fit as needed.
- When you are ready to remove carrier entirely, carefully pull it off over your head while still supporting baby.
Take the process slowly, and don’t rush any steps. Ask a friend or partner to spot you if possible, especially when first learning back carry.
Tips for Back Carrying Success
Here are some helpful tips for getting comfortable with using the Ergobaby carrier for back carrying:
- Practice without baby first. Put the carrier on and go through motions of rotating shoulders and tightening straps to get the movements down.
- Use a mirror. Position a mirror nearby so you can check baby’s positioning on your back and make adjustments.
- Carry baby higher than front. Ensure baby sits high enough on your back to kiss the top of their head.
- Mind the straps. Keep shoulder straps tightened so they don’t slip, and check waistband tightness periodically.
- Try a hip scoot. Sit baby on your hip, rotate them behind you, then scoot them into place on your back.
- Have a spotter assist. A friend or partner can help guide baby into place and tighten straps the first few tries.
- Stay seated if possible. Sit down while getting baby in/out of the back carry position during the learning process.
- Communicate with baby. Talk or sing to baby while switching carry positions to keep them calm and secure.
- Allow wiggle room. Don’t overtighiten straps. Baby should have room to move a bit when on your back.
- Take breaks. Don’t overdo back carrying when just starting out. Give your body time to get used to the new position.
Frequently Asked Questions About Back Carrying with the Ergobaby
Here are answers to some common questions about using the Ergobaby baby carrier for back carrying:
Is back carrying with the Ergobaby safe for newborns? No, the Ergobaby should never be used for back carrying babies under 4 months old. Newborns do not have the head, neck, and trunk strength required.
How long can I safely back carry my baby? There is no set time limit for back carrying, but in general take frequent breaks and limit back carry sessions to under an hour when first starting out. Pay attention to yours and baby’s comfort level.
What if my baby wants to face outwards during back carry? The Ergobaby does not allow for forward-facing out back carry. Babies should always face in towards your body. If they try to crane their neck around, stop back carrying.
Can I back carry twins with one Ergobaby carrier? No, you should never try to carry two babies in one Ergobaby carrier. Back carry only one child at a time.
Is back carrying safe while pregnant? Yes, if you are accustomed to using the Ergobaby and your pregnancy is progressing normally you can continue careful back carrying. But listen to your body and stop if you feel pain or instability.
What back carry positions work best? The two main options are high back carry (baby sits higher up) or hip carry (baby sits lower like on your hip). Try both to see what is most comfortable.
Should I back carry my baby facing upwards or downwards? Facing down in the frog leg position is preferable to reduce risk of airway obstruction. Only face baby upwards if they are able to fully hold their head up for extended time.
Can I cook or clean when back carrying? Avoid activities requiring bending forward at the waist or reaching overhead. Stay seated when possible, and stop back carrying if you feel off balance. Have someone nearby to assist you.
The Ergobaby carrier allows you to safely carry your baby on your back once they reach 4-6 months and meet important developmental milestones. Back carrying provides convenience and gives your body a break from front carrying. Follow safety precautions, break in the back carry position slowly, use a spotter, and pay close attention to your baby’s comfort.
With practice, back carrying can become an easy and useful way to keep baby close while keeping your hands free. The Ergobaby makes on-the-go caregiving easy while promoting proper development by encouraging natural physical positions for baby.