49 answers

Baby Bjorn

Hello, The pediatrician mentioned that my 3 1/2 month old baby is developing a slightly flat head in the back. She suggested that when he's awake to try to avoid having him lay flat on his back. For example, when we're at the mall, etc. put him in the Bjorn rather than in his car seat attached to the stroller. The problem is, I find the Baby Bjorn to be very uncomfortable after a short time. I've had neck/upper back problems in the past. The Baby Bjorn aggravates these areas. Am I wearing it incorrectly...too high, possibly? I've experimented with different positions, but nothing seems to help. It's such a popular, well-liked product and expensive, in my opinion, but maybe it's just not for me. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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My husband would pull the cross in the back lower to about the center of my back so that it wasn't pulling my shoulders down. He would do this when my baby was inside. I loved the baby bjorn so I hope you can get it to work for you.
Good luck!

Oh my gosh, so many responses! I am a mom and a chiropractor. I'm so happy to hear everyone loves the ergo. I do too. Baby wearing is great for you and the baby but everyone needs to feel good. Getting adjusted really helps too. It affets the nervous system by adjusting the spinal bones, which all of us moms could use. As far as you baby boy's head, my daughter's head was slightly mishaped and we treated her with Crainal Sacral. Her head completely transformed into a nice round ball. Please let me know if I can help or if you want any more information.
Wishing you well,
C. Lindstrom
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I had a lot of trouble with the Bjron also. The Ergo carrier was great--it put all the weight on my hips and off of my shoulders and back.

More Answers

You can try a Mei Tai style carrier which also holds the baby upright like a Bjorn but for me at least was more comfortable. The straps on the Bjorn seemed to cut into my shoulders. I'm petite and found the Mei Tai which you wrap yourself to be easier to custmize to my body type for a comfortable fit.

Hi Julie,
The Bjorn really hurt my back a lot. I have and love The Ergo. It puts the babies weight more on your hips. I wear my 21Lb 6 month old baby in it atleast twice a day. I love that she can be in the front,back,or side. The only thing I liked better about the bjorn was that she could face out. When she was younger and I did not think it was good for her legs to be so spread(almost total splits),I would put her in it kinda squating and she loved it.

The Ergo websight says that is it better for the babies development if her knees are leval with her hips. Where in the bjorn they are hanging down by their crotch.
Not sure about the facts of all that but my baby and I are both more comfortable in the ergo.

Good Luck, A.

Try the ergo. It's a snugger, better designed fit. I would also just try any other carrier you can find, there's sure to be one out there that fits well.

I hated that carrier also! Try the Ergo baby carrier. It is very pricey but worth every penny! You can use it from birth to 4 year old. I use mine for both my kids. I have a 3 year old and a 20 month old and can switch from one to the other with not much adjusting. I just love it! My younger child is very clingy and I can do everything with him on my back. I cook, clean, dance with my older daughter all while wearing my son. You can use the Ergo as a back carrier, a front carrier, or a side carrier. And when you change back and forth it is really easy and fast to adjust. I give it 10 stars!

Julie,
try an ergo. Much better for the baby's structure and for yours! Will work with an infant insert if your baby is small and will last for a looong time. I can't remember where ours came from but I'm sure a google search will turn up a few good choices. Good luck!
L

My husband would pull the cross in the back lower to about the center of my back so that it wasn't pulling my shoulders down. He would do this when my baby was inside. I loved the baby bjorn so I hope you can get it to work for you.
Good luck!

Julie,

Try an Ergo carrier. I have only heard people complain about Bjorns for the reasons you give, but the ergo is ergonomic for you and the baby! You can carry them on the front or back or on your hip and it is set up so that the babies weights is carried on your hips not shoulders and back. My 6 month old daughter loves hers. The seat area is wide for the baby so they are not carrying weight on their crotch which is apparently bad for their spinal development, makes sense. The ergo really is an investment as you can carry them in it until they are 90lbs! There are additional things you can add to it like a backpack that attaches and a front pouch etc etc it really is well thought out for parents. Another good thing about it is that it is super easy to alter so multiple people can use it very easily. At 3.5 months you may still need an infant insert if your baby doesn't yet have good head control. We used our insert until our daughter as 5 months and then transitioned to wearing her on the front.

Here is their website http://www.ergobabycarrier.com/

Happy baby wearing!
C.

In spite of being such a frequently-purchased product, lots of people have problems with the Bjorn. There are so many other better alternatives these days, and an active baby-wearing community to help you with them. One great one is called the Ergo, which is short for Ergonomic. it's great on your back and can be worn comfortably until babies are very heavy (I wore mine up to 31 lbs!). They have an infant insert that you can use before putting the baby in the standard Ergo position, which is with their legs straddling your tummy. There are also lots of other options. I'll email you a contact to the local baby-wearing group. They can help you out and also have monthly meetings to help get you acquainted with possibilities. They rock. Good luck!

Oh my gosh, so many responses! I am a mom and a chiropractor. I'm so happy to hear everyone loves the ergo. I do too. Baby wearing is great for you and the baby but everyone needs to feel good. Getting adjusted really helps too. It affets the nervous system by adjusting the spinal bones, which all of us moms could use. As far as you baby boy's head, my daughter's head was slightly mishaped and we treated her with Crainal Sacral. Her head completely transformed into a nice round ball. Please let me know if I can help or if you want any more information.
Wishing you well,
C. Lindstrom
###-###-####

Try switching out to an Ergo carrier. The weight is carried more like an backpacking pack- in your hips instead of your shoulders. Also try using a sleep positioner at night with a pad made to treat flat head syndrome. You can get both at DayOne Center

Hi Julie:
I didn't like the Bjorn either. We actually researched other ideas and ended up with the Ergo Backpack that can also be worn in the front with the baby (infant) insert. It is more expensive, but well worth the money. We absolutely love ours and still use it as a backpack. It doesn't hurt my back at all and my daughter is now 3.5 and 37-40 lbs. I walk 3-4 miles sometimes with her on my back and don't feel any pain. I also have problems with back, neck and shoulder pain, so please check the Ergo Backpack out. It really does wonders.

Julie,

Someone gave me a Moby Wrap (from Lullaby Lane) and I LOVE it. It is just a LONG and forgiving piece of material. I use it with my 3 mo old boy, and haven't used my Bjorn once. I tend to use my Bjorn more when my kids are more mobile. The Moby Wrap seemed like it would be too cumbersome for me to use when I first put it on and criss-crossed it and tied it, but I really love it now, and the pressure is not on my back and shoulders as it is with the Bjorn (as I remember).

Mom of 4

Hello Julie,

I've had the Baby Bjorn(the one did not have the back support) and I also experienced the neck and back pain. I experienced more pain as my son got heavier.

Friend of mine recommended the carrier called Ergo, which saved my life. You may find a used one at the consignment store. I still use my Ergo all the times and my son is 14 month old.

Good luck!

Julie,
Be sure that the plastic thingy in the back is positioned correctly per the manufacturer's instructions. That's the key to comfort w/ the Baby Bjorn. I'm quite small and have chronic neck and back problems. As long as I had the plastic positioner in the right place, I was fine with the Bjorn. I've heard good things about the Ergo carrier, which must have come out a year or two after I had my baby. Again, with the Bjorn, it's all about getting the plastic positioner, which moves where the straps cross in the back, in the right place.

Try to ask at a babywearing group. They helped me a lot when I wanted to wear my baby. I was in the bay area (san francisco) so I went to the bay area babywearing meeting and suscribed to the googlpe group but you can check http://www.thebabywearer.com/

I personally like the maya wrap for a baby that age. My baby used to fall asleep in the maya wrap and I was able to go shopping or do stuff at the house.

maya wrap: http://www.mayawrap.com/

Look in you local yellow pages for baby stores and call a few to see what different carriers they have and if they will let you wear them around the store for awhile. Plan on being there an hour or more to try on different carriers and see how they fir you and your baby. I had problems with some front and backpacks that my friends lvoed but we are all built different. My sister lvoed the bjorn with her second until he was 15 pounds and her third came out 10 pounds and she hated it. She now has an Ergo and it is the most comfortable way she can carry her 28 pound 13 month old although he still is heavy and her back and shoulders do get tired but no carrier is going to make the weight go away. I have four kids and have had many different carriers. My favorites are the Moby (but mainly for the newborn stage) the Maya Wrap (a ring sling) and The Ergo. My husband's favorit by far is the Ergo. You can get an infant insert for the Ergo for babies under 12 weeks. We used the infant insert up until 6 months with our youngest as she was so tiny and liked it better. My husband can comfortably carry our 35 pound 3 year old in the Ergo. I can't comfortably carry him period but I do carry our 16 month old in it a lot even 7 months pregnant. Also focus on having him off his back at home and then you won't have to worry so much out and about.

I bought a ring sling off the internet and I LOVE it!! It takes all the weight off the baby and evenly distributes it to your shoulder. I couldn't wear one of those back/front pack baby carriers it hurt my back/neck to much. With this sling I can carry my baby through toddler hood for HOURS and not be in pain. We went to Disney Land with a 3 year old and a 2 year old and I carried the kiddos when they would get tired.

You can nurse in them, have the baby sit on your hip or put the baby on your back.

Well worth the money and will last you for YEARS!!

www.seamscountry.com

You could also purchase a Bumbo seat that he could sit in securely while you play / supervise him. My little girl really preferred that at around 3 / 4 months of age; she had acid reflux so being upright was much easier on her system.

I noticed you can buy a number of them used off of Craigslist and save some $$$.

(http://www.bumbobabyseat.com/)

We really liked the Bjorn and then got the Ergo after hearing people rave about it. Unfortunately, it's about $100, but you can use it for a long time; on your back when they get bigger. My husband has back problems and can wear our 7 month old (17 lbs) in the Ergo for hours without any complaints.

Hello,

Unfortunately a lots of babies experience flat head nowadays because of the emphasis on sleeping on the back to prevent SIDS. A young infant needs to experience all kind of positions with no weight bearing on his/her spine to grow strong and limber. A good way to support your baby's development is to be sure that he spends plenty of time on his belly while awake and playing.
By the way Baby Bjorn baby carriers are not well thought and could actually cause some damages to your baby by not giving him a good support to his pelvis and spine while upright.
I'm a certified Infant Developemntal Movement Educator, and I found this website that give some insight about baby carriers: www. continuum-concept.org/reading/spinalStress.html
Enjoy your liitle one as much as you can!

I would suggest a baby carrier that has a hip strap. This will transfer most of the weight to your hips instead of your neck and shoulders. I started using an Ergo baby carrier after the Bjorn became painfully uncomfortable. The Ergo is pricey but well worth it. My daughter is 2 now and I still use the Ergo to carry her (in the back position) while I walk our two dogs. The Ergo allows you to carry a baby in the front, on your back and on your hip.

You may want to try getting the one with the back support. I know it's expensive but well worth it. I lived in mind for months! I was the only way I could have two free hands. You can always resell it on craigs list!

J.

The Baby Bjorn hurt my back too. I finally got the Ergo......LOVE it! I still use it and my little girl is almost 2! You can wear it in the front or back....and her weight sits on my hips. It's so comfortable. I googled it and bought it through their website.

three words -- ergo baby carrier. it's fantastuc for baby and you back.

I had the exact pain with the Bjorn. We got the Ergo baby carrier and I didn't have any pain with that one at all. It's really comfortable, and you can use it as a backpack too. The only problem is that it's a little expensive at about $100. But you do use it a long time. Sometimes my husband still uses it with our 22 month old. I'd definitely add it to a must have list.

There are many other carriers you can try: wraps, slings, etc. You can go to a baby store like Waddle N Swaddle, The Nurture Center, or The Tulip Grove, and try on various carriers to see what works for you. Good luck!

Hi Julie,

I didn't read all of your responses, but wanted to let you know that I had similar problems with my back and neck. I wasn't able to carry my son in our Baby Bjorn, so we went and bought the Ergo Carrier. It is a little bit expensive, but it is worth every penny! I used it all the time when my son was small, and I still use it today (my son is 17 months and about 24 pounds). It is a great investment and definitely helps my back!
I wish you luck in finding something comfortable!
Take care, S.

Hi Julie,

Both the Ergo and the Moby are great alternatives. Your baby should have good neck control before using the Ergo, but it is definitely more comfortable. The Moby takes a little practice to get the hang of putting it on, but is really great on the shoulders as it distributes the weight over a wider surface area.

I felt the same way with the Baby Bjorn and found that my husband handled this carrier much better than me since men have more strength in their upper bodies.

Good luck!

At potterybarn kids they have a head boppy that I used with both of my kids. (I have a 3 yr old and a 9 month old). It is a a small round pillow attached to a piece of material, you lay their heads on while they are on their backs playing, in a stroller etc. It is almost like an insert you put in a car seat. I Love them and a good majority of my girlfriends use them too. They are made to help stop head flattening. Look into it, I think you will find you will end up buying it. Do not use it in the car seat if you will be driving. It is also on the boppy website. Oh and try the mobby instead of the baby bijorn, it is more comfortable.

I also had trouble wearing the Bjorn, I would try a sling (Kangaroo Korner is a great one) or Ergo or Becco, Me Tai. There are many more carriers to try. I had a Evenflo Snugli which I loved, in front could face in or out, and then also could be used as a back pack, but the weight only went to 20 lbs. Check these out, there should be something out there which will work better for you. I would go to a store that sells baby stuff which also sells carriers so you can actually try them out with your baby.

Try a different baby carrier. I used a Moby wrap and LOVED it! I could carry my son in a variety of positions and nurse him while walking around. It is very versatile. Goore's will let you try out several different baby carriers in their store. Good luck!

http://www.chefwalton.com

I never used Baby Bjorn, but you can lay your baby on his side, supported by pillows so he won't roll on his back and just switch which side he lays on. Also, put a blanket on the floor and let him lay on his tummy. It's good for helping them strenthen their neck muscles and eventually they learn to drag themselves or push themselves up, which leads to crawling.
I hope you find a carrier that's more comfortable for you.
Enjoy your children!

Hi Julie, I found that there is a secret to making the Baby Bjorn more comfortable. Make sure to push the X-shaped clip in the back as far down as you possibly can, and it ends up distributing the weight very differently. Good luck finding a solution that works for you. I loved the time when my little girl was small enough to carry in a front carrier. It was such a great way to stay close when I went out for walks or ran errands.
Good luck!

If you want to try a different carrier, the Ergo carrier is supposed to be much more comfortable. I've only had the Ergo and I use it all the time (my daughter is 17 months). It goes up to 40 lb. My sister had a Bjorn and bought an Ergo and said the Ergo is so much better.

I too got a Baby Bjorn when I first had my son. It is horrible. Although men seen to like it. I then found The Ergo. It puts the weight onto your hips rather than your back and shoulders. It can be worn on the front, back or side also. So much more comfortable. With a 3 month old, you may need to get the infant insert. I got mine at Tiny Tots in Campbell.

Julie,
The Bjorn is not recommended by chiropractors for baby or mom! Try a different carrier/sling. At 3 months old the Over The Shoulder Baby Holder or Maya Wrap with the baby sitting crossed legged and facing outward is great. They have video demos online or a CD with an order. www.surfsidebaby.com is a good resource for the OTSBH and look up Maya Wrap. I love my Ergo now that my baby is older. You have to try out different slings and carriers. Everyone's body is different. But the Bjorn forces a separation of a baby's growing pelvis and forces them to face outward at the world. They can't turn back to you for reassurance. The other carriers offer more flexibility and your baby can turn to look away if frightened or too much stimulus coming at him.

I didn't like my baby bjorn for the same reasons. But also because it separated me from the baby with an inch of foam. Other sling type things allow the baby to be held directly against you which is very calming.

I also tried a product called Ultimate Baby Wrap. It is 6 ft of stretchy fabric that you wrap around yourself to create pockets to hold the baby. It was great for a newborn, but took 5 mins to put on or off. I ended up wearing it even when the baby wasn't in it (so dorky). Once my baby was a little bigger, I had a terrible back ache. and started the search again.

I had better luck with a product called Hot Sling. It is basically a tube of fabric that you put over your chest and shoulder (think messenger bag) creating a hammock like effect over your hip. But it still hurt my neck until the baby was about 10 mons and able to perch on my hip with the sling holding him in place.

You might try other ways to keep your baby from being flat on his back. My baby loved his bebe pod (a soft chair which holds them sitting up before they can do it on their own) and a walker (just make sure your stairs are not accessible).

You might want to try a Snuggle Wrap (full disclosure, my friend designed it). A mom at a party this weekend had her 4 month old in it all day--she slept in it, was awake in it, and generally happy, as was the mom.

http://www.snugglewrapbabycarriers.com/

Try some other carriers/slings. Everyone has a different preference. But definitely check to see if you are wearing your Bjorn properly. I have heard that many women with back problems like an Ergo carrier. My favorite, use for hours every day, sling is a ring sling. I used it for my daughter till she was about 15 months--only stopped because it was getting too awkward as I was 7 months pregnant at the time--and now use it with my 3-month-old son. Also, a great site for all things babywearing is http://www.thebabywearer.com

I had the same problem with my Bjorn. So, with my 2nd baby I purchased the ergo carrier. They cost around $100 but you will be able to use it for a long time.

M.

The Bjorn is popular but I think the baby industry secret is this thing is uncomfortable. My back was in agony the whole time I had the thing on. I registered for it because everyone had one, right? I found I loved the Ergo. You can find it oneline but if you go to a smaller boutique baby store that has one you can try them on. Tiny Tots togs in Campbell (Railway Ave off off Campbell) will help you fit them. They are $92 but worth every penny because you can wear your kid facing you in front (no facing outward and their legs wrap around you instead of dangle), on the hip and now my daughter at 20 mths loves being on my back. I've had real back issues and this carrier rest the weight on your hips so I am never bothered. So look up the Ergo. I think my daughter was three mths when I purchased mine and I didn't need the infant insert (over 14 lbs and sitting up).
http://www.ergobabycarrier.com/
You can always sell your Bjorn on craigslist. I did and I had even tried the Active model...argh!

You're right it is a very well-liked product and it IS very expensive, but it's NOT for everyone. You might want to look in to the ergo baby carrier. A friend of mine had similar problems as you described and she liked the ergo better. How about some more tummy time? Can your baby hold its head up? My son slept on his belly from 1 week old and has never had an issue with a flat head and is still alive and well!

This has probably been suggested but try the Moby Wrap. It's super soft, stretchy, and allows you to adjust the baby's weight over your entire back and shoulders. I carried my son in it for hours at a time and never got sore. You can also use it for a very long time as you can wrap it many different ways. My son loved it when he got older and could face out to see the world.

I had a lot of trouble with the Bjron also. The Ergo carrier was great--it put all the weight on my hips and off of my shoulders and back.

I love "wearing" my daughter still at 16 months. I know people like the Ergo, but it doesn't fit me well. I had very good luck with the Moby wrap and the Maya Wrap ring sling. I would suggest doing some looking around at "babywearing" websites to see what looks like it would work for you.

I generally use the http://www.mothering.com/discussions/ site.

Best of luck - the Bjorn is awful! I think you'll find baby is much happier being up with mama too.

The MOBY Wrap. It cost about 40$ and takes all the pressure off you back.

I agree with the previous post! Get an Ergo! I love mine and carry my 22 pound-1 year old in it sometimes still to this day! You can purchase it at the Nurture Center in Lafayette. Or you can purchase it from their online store!

The Ergo carrier is amazing. It puts the weight on your hips instead of your back. Go to a baby store with many different type of packs and ask if you can try them on. If you live near Petaluma Baby Warehouse is normally pretty good about this.

Hi Julie,

We use the Ergo carrier for our 4 month old and it is world's more comfortable (in my opinion) than the Bjorn. Under 15 pounds and they recommend the infant insert, but my daughter wasn't a huge fan of that. She is 14 1/2 lbs and we just have her in the Ergo without the infant insert. It is seriously very comfortable to wear. I can wear it for hours, where the Bjorn hurts my shoulders and neck after 20 minutes or so.

Also a mom friend of mine uses the "Noggin Nest" made by Boppy. It is designed to use when laying the baby down but prevents the flat head. She said she bought it at Babies R Us. It is similar to the carseat insert (that U-shaped pillow-type thing) but has a separate hole cut into it to protect the head shape. I haven't used it but she started using it when her son's head started to develop the flattened head and she says it worked wonders. He's now 5 months old and his head shape is normal.

I hope that helps!

A.

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