The Importance of the Infant Insert

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The Ergobaby Carrier is designed to carry most children from birth. The way this is possible is through the Ergobaby Infant Insert providing cushion and support. Infants are soft and floppy and lack the ability to hold their head and trunk up on their own. The insert provides this need support that is not present in the carrier without it. Think of a taco holding everything up and in. This keeps the airway open and provides a swaddling effect that both soothes and protects the infant.

The wonderful people at Ergobaby have done extensive research on their products and discovered in order to have one carrier that extends through the growth of a child, it will need a couple parts to custom fit, hence infant insert and pillow option. Whenever you use a baby carrier, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

The infant insert can be used in two main ways based on size, weight, and development of the child. The whole insert can be used to support a newborn, while just the pillow portion can be removed and used as a booster for slightly older infants with more head control. Below are check lists to help you determine what stage you are at.

Here is a checklist to see if the whole insert is what your child needs:

  • 0-3 months old
  • Lacks significant head and truck control
  • Cannot see over the top of the carrier
  • Unable to sit in a spread squat position without the body panel bunching (see pictures below)

Here is a check list for using just the pillow part of the infant insert:

  • 4-6 months old
  • Has significant head and trunk control
  • Cannot see over the top of the carrier
  • Unable to sit in a spread squat position without the body panel bunching (see pictures below)

Here is a check list for using the Ergobaby Carrier without an insert:

  • 4-6 months old or older
  • Has significant head and trunk control
  • Can see over the top of the body of the carrier
  • Can sit in a spread squat position without the body panel bunching

Below are some pictures that show two infants in the Ergobaby Original Baby Carrier. In the picture on the left the child is able to use the Ergobaby Original without an infant insert. However, the baby on the right cannot. The carrier is bunched between the legs and they do not have enough head control to be in the carrier without the insert to cushion and support.

Infant insert

A question I hear quite often is “Do I have to wear the insert my child is already 12 pounds?”. The answer is, maybe.

Why maybe? Let’s look at those pictures again.

What if I told you both children were 12lbs? They are!

They are within ounces of each other’s weight. The use of an insert does not solely depend on one factor from the list. The insert and carrier are designed so that the legs and hips are supported in an ergonomic position. If you graduate an infant too soon out of the insert, there will be outward traction on the hip joints. A traction that is not desirable for development. It can stretch ligaments and create instability as a child grows.

Make sure they have met all the milestones before graduating to an insert free carry.

 

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Dr. Dara DaCunha

Dr. Dara Lynne DaCunha is a chiropractor, doula, and mother of two who practices in Arizona. She focuses on pregnancy, post-pregnancy, and infant care. She is known for her treatment protocol that solidifies nursing relationships. Her blog is focused on the 4th trimester and a mother’s healing body.

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