One more accessory, which you might want, but I do not currently carry, is a rearview mirror - it's nice to see what's going on back there sometimes. There are several on the market - they attach in different ways and some are even retractable (I had one of those on my Tough Traveler Stallion). But to be honest, that is one more thing that can fall off, get caught, or get in the way. So here's what I do - I put a very small compact mirror (Dollar Store type) in the zipper compartment of my carrier. And when I am planning to carry my baby on my back (on a hike or somewhere where there are no mirrors) I stick the mirror in my pocket. Then, if I want to see to see if my daughter is asleep or if I've put the sleeping hood on her correctly, I can pull out my mirror and check.
Important Update, December 15, 2010.
We want to thank all our customers for their business. But given the change in the economic environment we have stopped selling the Ergo products.
Yours, Jane Rosenberg
ERGObaby is very concerned about correct support of our babies, through research studies, customer feedback and working directly with newborns, they have designed the Infant Insert. The design encourages healthy maturation of the spine by supporting the pelvis, hip joint, and leg position rather than putting a baby in a compromising sitting position before the spine is ready. The Infant Insert also supports the safety of the baby's head and neck in this critical stage of development.
The Infant Insert is a specially padded and shaped cushion that can be quickly and easily placed in the carrier and readjusted as needed. This design easily enables parents to ensure that their newborn is positioned correctly on the pillow, keeping pressure off the developing sacrum, and supports the development of the spine and hips. It snaps closed around the infant, holding the baby in a cozy, protected environment close to the heart, as well as in an ergonomically correct natural sitting position.
This Organic Infant Insert features soft, 100% cotton fabric in a versatile Natural color with 100% cotton filling.
Now, with the Infant Support Cushion and the Organic Infant Support Cushion, The Ergo Baby Carrier can truly be the only carrier you will ever need to purchase. The insert was specifically designed to fit inside The Ergo Baby Carrier in the front position. It can be folded to cradle your baby's head and body in a sling-like position to provide that swaddled feeling that so many babies prefer. The insert allows you to keep your baby close and even nurse as you go about your day and the sleeping hood can be used as a sun shade when necessary. It is used for babies who are not yet able to hold up their heads well - usually by 3 to 5 months, babies do not need the insert. The insert is also versatile, because it can be taken out and used as a floor pad or changing pad as well.
The Infant Support Cushion is made from 100% cotton poplin fabric and 100% cotton batting and is available in 2 color choices: Camel and Green. The Organic Infant Support Cushion is constructed using 100% organic pre-washed cotton fabric and 100% cotton batting and is available in 2 color choices: Organic Caramel, and Organic Moss. The Infant Support Cushion and Organic Infant Support Cushion can be machine washed and dried on gentle settings.
The Ergo Baby Carrier is designed to fit most people - waist size 25" to 43". This belt extension adds another 8 inches to the waist belt. The manufacturer does not recommend adding more than one extension belt.
I love the carrying pouch! It comes in Black, Camel, Cranberry, Organic Dark Chocolate, Organic Cranberry, Organic Sea Green, and Organic Navy to match the carriers. The pouch attaches to the carrier and can be worn in either the front, back, or hip positions (it can be worn in the front even if your child is in the front position). The loop on the pouch has velcro, so you don't have to take the carrier off to add the pouch. It measures 7" wide, 5" high, and 2" deep (3-4" when it's full), which is large enough for a wallet, cell phone, palm pilot, pen and paper, keys, and even a very small camera. It has a built-in key clip and two small zippered compartments - I keep my palm pilot in one and my cell phone in the other, so they don't accidentally drop out and break. But my very favorite feature is the detachable, adjustable strap which makes the pouch into a purse! This way, I don't have to keep switching all my stuff around from purse to pouch and back again. I personally use the purse with the strap most of the time (if it slips off my shoulder when I am wearing the carrier, I clip the chest strap over the purse strap) and then I use it as a pouch when I hike.
Of all the accessories, I like this one the best and use it the most. Most of the time I only need my carrier (with a couple of diapers, wipes, kleenex, and maybe a snack - I like to carry only soft things) in the carrier's zipper compartment and my purse/pouch with my wallet, palm pilot, digital camera and cell phone. I keep extra diapers and a change of clothes in the car and that's usually not too far away. Of course for long shopping excursions, a day a the zoo, or a long hike, I bring either the stroller (for my 4-year-old) or the Ergo Back Pack then I have room for all my "extra stuff" as well.
At first I was sort of dragging my feet on carrying the Ergo Back Pack for a few reasons. When the original "Back Sack" design came out, I didn't like it very much because you couldn't wear it without the carrier,
and I already had a toddler I was carrying who was heavy enough. So I decided not to sell the Back Sack, since I couldn't personally endorse it.
Then, the design was changed. The Back Pack design has straps, enabling you to wear it as a back pack when it is not hooked onto the carrier. This, to me, was a HUGE improvement. Additionally, I now have a young baby, who isn't so heavy and with two kids, I find I need to carry more stuff. So now I find myself using the Ergo Back Pack all the time - and really liking it.
The Ergo Back Pack is made with 100% cotton canvas and comes in three colors Black, Camel and Cranberry. The Organic Ergo Back Pack is made from 100% organic cotton canvas and is available in Dark Chocolate and Cranberry.
So, here are the pros and cons of the Ergo Back Pack, in my opinion:
You can wear the Back Pack with or without the carrier.
It is very easy to attach and detach the Back Pack to the carrier.
The Back Pack holds quite a lot of stuff.
There are separate compartments to keep things organized - two outer pockets, a water bottle holder, and a side pocket. The side pocket is designed so that you can unzip it and reach into it when the Back Pack is actually on your back. You can keep a snack or a few toys just inside the zipper (that's what I do) or, you can actually reach through a sleeve into the main compartment of the Back Pack. This works best if you put the item you might be fishing for in the middle of the pack and inside a plastic bag or something, so you can know you are pulling out the right thing.
When I am using the Back Pack without the carrier, I like that I can attach extra things, e.g. toys, shopping bags, etc. to the straps that are for hooking it to the carrier.
If I am not wearing the carrier and have only the Ergo Back Pack on, I find the non-padded straps are not as comfortable as my other knapsack which does have padded straps. That said, I should add that it is extremely rare that I wear the Ergo Back Pack by itself - usually I have the stroller for my older daughter (and I hang the Back Pack on the stroller, by the short straps that attach it to the carrier, or put it underneath). Also, I have noticed that when I wear the carrier in the front position and the Back Pack on my back, the padding on the carrier shoulder straps serves as padding for the Back Pack straps and unlike my other knapsack with padded straps, the Ergo Back Pack doesn't slip in that position.
It can be a bit trickier putting on the carrier when you have a full Back Pack attached to it than it is without it. I would suggest that if you plan to put on the carrier by yourself when it has a full Back Pack attached, that you first become VERY comfortable putting on the carrier in the back position first. I really have no trouble, myself, but I realize I have had a lot of practice.
I think that there is a tendency to pack the space you have. Since the Back Pack is pretty spacious, I would caution you not to fill it all the way if you plan to carry it far. Instead of putting everything in the Back Pack, tie your jacket around your waist, put a few things in the front pouch (if you have this accessory) and maybe hang your water bottle from a carribeaner off the black webbing part of your shoulder strap.
The Sucking Pads were made to attach to the shoulder straps of the Ergo Baby Carrier. This way, your baby can suck on the pads (which you can easily remove and wash) rather than on the carrier itself. The Sucking Pads are made from 100% cotton terry cloth with velcro closures and are reversible and machine washable on the gentle cycle. They come in two colors: Cream and Mocha (two to a package).
Now Available in 100% Organic cotton, these Natural Sucking Pads will ensure that teething babies enjoy only the purest fabric. The Organic sucking pads fasten around the shoulder straps with two snap buttons on the interior and are overlayered with fabric, so your baby will not come in contact with the snaps. They are machine washable on gentle cycle.
For older kids who have outgrown being carried themselves or for toddlers who just enjoy playing "Mommy" or "Daddy" we offer the Ergo Doll Carrier. This is the absolute perfect gift for the big sister or big brother of a new-born. My older daughter LOVES to carry her baby doll in HER Ergo Carrier while I carry her little sister in mine. I especially like how the doll carrier is designed with a sort of pocket. This way, if your child takes the carrier off, the doll or stuffed animal doesn't get separated from the carrier. The Hawaiian print of the doll carrier reflects the fact that the Ergo baby carrier got it's start in Hawaii and is still headquartered there today.