You can put your baby in a carrier the day he’s born if you want, so long as he is healthy and weighs at least 7 pounds. Some parents like the more traditional stretchy baby wraps, while others prefer soft-structured baby carriers because of their ease of use and long-term use. But several soft-structured carriers require the use of an infant insert to make them usable for newborns though.
Do I need the infant insert for Ergobaby carriers?
If you have or plan on buying an Ergobaby 360 or Original baby carrier, then yes, you will also need to get an Ergobaby infant insert. The 360 and Original carriers are made for babies who are 4-48 months old and weigh 12-45 pounds. An infant insert provides the extra support needed for an infant who is younger and weighs less than that to comfortably fit in these carriers and keep each one ergonomically safe for infants.
How to Use an Ergobaby Infant Insert
To use an Erobaby infant insert, you will first snap the insert into the carrier. Snap the top straps in, and then snap the webbing down below. Once the infant insert is securely attached to either an Original or 360 carrier, you can put the carrier on as you normally would. Attach and tighten the waist belt around your waist (above or below your hips, whatever your preference is). Next, make sure the shoulder straps are loose before pulling one over your shoulder. Then, carefully pick your baby up and side load her into the carrier. Make sure she is sitting comfortably on the pillow and that her legs are in an “m” position. Once baby is cozily and safely sitting, pull the other strap over your shoulder, buckle the chest clip, lift up on the carrier to make sure baby is sitting in the right position against you — she should be both visible and kissable, so higher up on your chest — and then tighten the shoulder straps.
Another way to use an infant insert is by placing the insert on a flat, soft surface and setting your baby on the insert, ensuring he’s sitting comfortably on its pillow. Before doing this, it’s best to secure the carrier around your waist and have your shoulder straps loosened. Then, you can lift baby in the insert up against your torso and adjust his legs so he’s in the proper sitting position. Next, carefully bring each shoulder strap up one at a time so you always have one hand holding your baby’s head, neck, and back. Double-check that his seat is still comfortable and safe before clasping together the chest clip behind you. Now you want to roll out the sides of the infant insert and clip them on to the sides of the straps. Tighten the shoulder straps by pulling them toward your baby, and finally, make sure you can see your baby and his breathing.
You can also find detailed instructions via our Instructions page on the Ergobaby site or watch the videos below
How do I use the Easy Snug Infant Insert? (Post July 2016, no strap across)
How do I use the infant insert? (Pre July 2016)
A tip: be sure your baby is seated on the pillow. That will ensure his legs are in the correct seated “m” position. All babies are different, but as long as they are seated on the pillow, their legs can either be up against the parent or their legs can sit off to the side, depending on the baby’s comfort. As long as a baby is seated fully on the pillow of the infant insert and comfortable, he should be fine.
The Ergobaby infant insert can grow with you and your 360 baby carrier. If you feel your baby is too high or too big, you may also take out the pillow at the bottom of the insert and just use the insert (the “taco” part) without the pillow for head and neck support. Or conversely, if your baby has great head control, but still can’t spread his legs around you, you may take the pillow out and seat the baby just on the pillow (without the “taco” part).
How can I use Ergobaby without the infant insert?
Once your baby has strong head control and is comfortable with her legs splayed (vs froggy) and her knees reaching the end of the carrier, usually about 4-6 months, you can use an Ergobaby baby carrier without the infant insert. However, the infant insert is recommended before those two milestones are hit for proper support in both our three position and four position carriers.
Check out the Ergobaby blog for even more babywearing safety tips.