If you’re a parent just looking to get started with babywearing, it can feel overwhelming to venture into the world of baby carriers. There is so much out there, and how are you supposed to know what can be used from birth? We’ve decided to save you busy moms and dads some time and have written this guide about the safest baby carriers for newborns, all prioritizing your baby’s comfort and safety.
It’s very convenient to have a wrap or classic buckle carrier for babywearing, and it helps to free up your hands. It’s even more helpful if you have multiple children. It’s also handy for when you’re doing housework or you’re going somewhere where it’s inconvenient to take a stroller with you. A lot of parents prefer to use a baby carrier over a stroller.
We know how hard it is to choose the right things for our babies, and there’s a lot of choice out there. There’s a lot of options to choose from and so if you’re having a hard time making a decision then it’s an easy answer: It depends on what’s going to be the most comfortable. You need to make sure that the carrier you choose is safe for a newborn. We’ve listed here some of the best and safest baby carriers to begin your babywearing adventure with, whether you’re expecting or have a newborn.
The process of upgrading the previous carrier, as we’ll cover in this review, will bring not only all new features but it also gets rid of some other features.
As you can imagine, some parents wish that the functions remained, but others prefer the newer carrier and think it’s more effective. This is certainly true when it comes to the Ergobaby 360 carrier and the recent Ergobaby Adapt Carrier.
We’ve divided this review into 3 different sections for convenience:
- Ergobaby 360 Review
- Ergobaby Adapt Review
- A comparison of both of the carriers in regards to their similarities and differences
Ergobaby 360 vs Ergobaby Adapt - Comparison Table
Ergobaby 360 Carrier Review
Some of you may not know this, but the Ergobaby 360 carrier is an updated version of the Original Ergobaby carrier, which is the matriarch of the Ergo carrier line. This is, and was, great.
The carrier was made as a response to moms’ demands for a carrier that will allow their babies to face the world. Don’t be fooled, however - the carrier has so much more to offer.
The carrier was made for modern moms who need a carrier that’s comfortable and nicely cushioned that also fits with urban aesthetics.
Construction and Suitability
Much like with the rest of Ergobaby’s line of baby carriers, the 360 carrier is very soft in structure as a result of the 100% cotton used for the carrier. The gist is to ensure that it’s flexible and that it can be adapted to the baby’s c shaped spine so they have the proper support.
It also means that the carrier will provide a lot when carrying the baby in their natural frog legged and hip positions, and that makes it a lot more comfortable for the baby.
The carrier can be used for babies from the age of 4 to 48 months of age, and has a capacity from 12 pounds up to 45 pounds. When the carrier was first released the manufacturer actually recommended that it’s used to 33 lbs. After a lot of tests the weight limit ended up changing, and it’s safe to use for up to 45 lbs.
Much like the Ergobaby Original, the 360 requires an insert for newborns. The brand states that you should use the insert for babies that weigh between 7 points and 12 pounds. If your baby weighs more than 12 lbs but they don’t have good control over their neck and head, you should still keep on using the insert.
You should be able to use the carrier without requiring the insert after they’re around 4-5 months of age, depending on their size and head control.
4 Carrying Positions
One of the main improvements that the Ergobaby 360 carrier brings is that it provides a front facing carrying position. A lot of parents see this as a huge selling point, and it means that it’s possible to carry the baby in 4 different positions: front facing inwards carrying, front facing outwards carry, hip carry, and back carry. The positions are all very comfortable as many previous users say.
It is worth keeping in mind that the manufacturer suggests using the forward facing position only when the baby is older than 5-6 months old. Ergobaby says that the position should only be used when the baby is awake, and it shouldn’t be used for longer than 10 minutes.
The 360 carrier is designed to offer the ultimate comfort to both the mother and father, and also to the baby. This begins with the 4 baby carrying positions and extends to the design and materials.
The carrier will also allow the baby to be able to sit comfortably in an M-like position that’s ergonomic for the baby, whether you’re carrying them on the front, back or hip. It has a bucket structure and it provides more strength than the Original and other competitors that keep the bum flat.
The seat will hold the baby’s weight and will distribute the weight comfortably across the body of the parents, while simultaneously keeping the baby’s knees at the same level or higher as the hips. This position is healthy for your baby and will help to protect the hips and spine, making sure they develop properly.
Another great feature the carrier offers is that the seat can be adjusted as the child gets bigger and taller, which is very practical as babies grow so fast.
There is a lot of padding on the area around the leg holes too, and this provides even more comfort to the baby even when they’re being carried for long periods of time.
The Ergobaby brand really has considered even the smallest of details when making the carrier. When you’re carrying the baby using the front position facing inwards, there is a padded panel at the back of the head that you can unroll to give your baby some support when they no longer want to take in the sights and their head starts rolling.
When you’re ready to nurse the baby, you’ll get extra room by rolling down the back panel to allow your baby to tilt their head comfortably while allowing them to look at you. It also has a hood that covers the sides while breastfeeding and gives privacy while they’re having a nap.
The carrier has been made in such a way that it makes it nice and cosy for whoever is wearing it too. For example, the multiple baby carrying positions mean that it’s possible to carry your baby in whatever way is most comfortable for you.
Also, the carrier’s got rucksack style straps that are heavily padded, and they really help you to be able to properly distribute the weight of your child on your shoulders. In contrast to the Ergo Omni 360 baby carrier, which was the model that came after the Ergobaby Adapt, there isn’t an option to cross the shoulders of the carrier from the back. They are both instead kept secure by a movable chest clip (which could be positioned on the back, though this depends on the carrying position that you opt for.)
The addition of these clips is particularly useful as they’re completely adaptable, so users with all different body builds are able to modify them in order to fit their own personal comfort needs. This is particularly useful, especially when two different wearers, like mom and dad, want to switch who is carrying the baby when out on the move.
The carrier also comes with a wide, padded waistband. This attaches at the back of the front with very strong Velcro straps. Aside from making sure the the baby’s weight is distributed further around the waist, the waist panel can help self conscious moms to hide a postpartum belly.
With that being said, the velcro system can both be a blessing and a curse, and in fact it’s a pretty large source of annoyance for a decent number of users. The velcro system can be incredibly noisy, and it can disturb your baby when you’re trying to put them down to sleep.
It can also be a little difficult to adjust the waistband. When you do adjust it, you will need to completely undo the whole Velcro system and then do it back up again (obviously this is in the event that you don’t succeed with getting the tightness correct the first time around).
Fabrics & Colors
Much like with other Ergobaby carriers, the model comes in two different versions. The first one is made of 100% cotton while the other is made with a breezy mesh on the rear panel and leg openings. SOmething particularly cool about this is that you can buy both versions in an array of different vibrant colors - there’s something there to suit any fashionable parent and baby combination!
The majority of parents that have used the Ergobaby 360 carrier have been pleased with its performance overall. It’s been very highly rated for the quality it provides overall, and a lot of users have mentioned that while it is a little expensive, the value for money it offers is definitely worth it.
Among some of the other features, a lot of parents think that the fact that the 360 carrier is able to offer 4 different carrying positions, including a front facing out position, is a massive selling point.
The soft shoulder straps and the wide waistband are also highlighted as some fan favorite areas that make the carrier incredibly comfortable for parents
Whilst the Ergobaby 360 carrier does have a lot of wonderful improvements over the Original Ergobaby model, including a lot of versatile carrying options, there are a couple of setbacks that have been repeatedly mentioned on parenting forums and on the review section of the Ergobaby website.
Some of these complaints include the noisy Velcro adjustment system on the wait belt, and that it’s not possible to carry a newborn in the carrier without having an insert that needs to be bought separately. Some parents also feel that the infant insert can get very hot which can cause the baby to get sweatier.
Ergobaby Adapt Carrier Review
The Ergobaby Adapt is one of the newest additions to the Ergobaby carrier line. As we already mentioned right at the start of this comparison for the Ergobaby Adapt vs 360 carrier, Ergobaby has a real talent for really working on customer feedback and making a carrier that’s perfect for most parents’ needs.
The Adapt carrier was made after the 360, so as you can probably guess, the Adapt fills in a lot of the gaps left by the Ergobaby 360 carrier. This has been done very well, though the Adapt is not without its own list of setbacks, we think.
Construction Design and Suitability
One pretty amazing aspect of this carrier is that it’s the very first carrier from Ergobaby that doesn’t require an insert. As a result of this, it’s possible to carry a newborn in it without needing to buy anything extra for the privilege of using it.
The carrier can be used for infants from 7 pounds up to toddlers that weigh roughly 45 pounds and 0-48 months. These limits are a great sign for parents that want a long lasting carrier, as it means that you can use the carrier right from birth up until roughly 4 years of age.
It’s also pretty cool that the carrier is already ready for your newborn and there’s no need to deal with any inserts, which can also make the carrier more bulky and can make the wearer and baby more likely to sweat when warm. The Adapt can be used straight from birth as long as they weigh at least 7 lbs.
As a result of the high weight limit, you can easily carry a 4 year old. Of course, you can practice babywearing even after your little one is a newborn, you can carry your toddlers too! There are also a bunch of carriers available for toddlers, and these can be particularly helpful when travelling, exploring the outdoors or taking your child for a trip to Disney.
Much like the model that came before it, the 360, the Adapt carrier comes in two different versions: cotton and air mesh. We’ll get onto that later.
Adapts for Your Baby
It’s not difficult to see from where the name for the Ergobaby Adapt came. It comes from how the bucket seat can adapt to the baby’s size as they get bigger. The carrier has 3 Velcro tabs positioned along the lumbar band that widen the seat as the baby grows. The smallest setting is for infants aged 0-3 months, while the second pair is for 3 to 9 months. The last setting is to be used for babies older than 9 months old.
In any setting, the bucket seat in the carrier has a very ergonomic design that can hold the baby in their natural frog position. Of course as you may imagine, the International Hip Dysplasia Institute approves of this positioning.
3 Carrying Positions
As is common with baby carriers made by this brand, the Ergobaby Adapt carrier provides a number of different carrying positions. These positions include front inward carry, hip carry and back carry. If you are thinking about buying the carrier then you should know that there’s not a forward facing option. This isn’t necessarily a reason not to buy it, it’s just the biggest difference from the Ergobaby 360 carrier. Some parents don’t like this, so you should ask yourself whether you’re okay with it if you’re considering this carrier.
Ergobaby also suggests carrying any newborns in the front carry position in the first 5 months before moving onto a hip carry and back carry position at 6 months.
Comfortable and Easy to Use
The carrier can be used by moms and dads from 5’ to 6.5’ tall. The majority of parents that fall within the range feel that it’s very easy to put on and off. It’s not difficult to understand why.
In contrast to the Ergobaby 360, the Adapt’s webbing buckles are easily reachable as they’ve been repositioned from the high back to the sides. This means that not only can you buckle up without requiring any assistance, but you can also crisscross the straps if this will provide you with a tighter fit.
The Adapt has a waistband that does a great job of helping you to properly distribute the weight of your baby around the hip area.
Much is always the case with carriers by Ergobaby, the lumbar belt and shoulder straps are fully padded to provide a little bit of extra support. They also don’t dig into the skin either.
Foldable Head Support and Adjustable Hood
Another thing that the Adapt brings from the 360 is that it has a head support that can be easily folded up in order to give your baby extra support for their head, and it can then be folded down when you’re sightseeing or breastfeeding.
Additionally, the adjustable hood is in place, which is useful when you need more privacy and need to protect your baby from any harmful weather.
Sadly, the Ergobaby Adapt still doesn’t come with any pockets to put any essentials in, like wallets or keys. Some parents also don’t like that this carrier lacks such a basic feature.
Fabrics and Colors
Much like the Ergobaby 360, the model has 2 different editions. One of them is made from 100% cotton. The cotton gives a lot of softness and moveability, and this means that there won’t be any rubbing on your baby’s skin.
The alternate version is the Cool Air Mesh edition. This is almost entirely padded with a very breathable mesh that lets the air properly circulate through, and it will stop your baby from overheating and sweating. It’s ideal for any families that live in hot climates, or if the wearer and the baby tend to sweat frequently.
As you would expect, the feedback from previous buyers is rather positive considering the carrier has been made completely in line with the parents’ needs. Taking a look at the reviews on the manufacturers site, the carrier has been a big hit and gets a lot of positive reviews on most of the fronts that contribute to a great baby carrier: breathability, a high quality constriction, comfort and lots of carrying positions.
Parents also like that it’s highly adjustable for a bunch of different body types. Parents like that there is a possibility to cross the straps for a more secure fit. It’s also comfortable and very roomy for slightly larger babies.
The carrier is not hard on the parent’s back and gives a lot of good support to the lumbar.
There were a lot of different opinions when it comes to ease of use. Most parents say that it’s easy to put it on and off, but some parents say that it can take a while to learn to do this.
It’s a pretty big decision choosing a baby carrier, so we definitely recommend looking at some of the customer reviews by yourself.
360 and Adapt - Similarities
- Both carriers can be used from infancy up until childhood, with a weight capacity of 45 pounds
- Both the shell and the lining are made of 100% premium cotton
- Both carriers provide a number of carrying positions, including front carry, hip carry and back carry
- Both of able to be fully washed in a machine
- They both have lumbar support
- Adjustable bucket seat system
- Well padded straps and waist belts
- Both allow you to breastfeed within the carrier
- Foldable head support
- Approved as hip healthy by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute
- Hood for privacy
- Ergonomic M position in all of the carrying positions for your baby
- Both carriers come in 2 different versions: breezy mesh and cotton. There are a myriad of colors, even up to 19 on the Ergobaby website, though this may vary.
360 vs Adapt - Differences
- Recommended from 4 months/12 lbs (can be used from 7 pounds if an insert is added)
- 4 carrying positions (front facing in, front facing out, hip and back
- Insert required for newborn
- H style shoulder straps
- Easy to use - some parents say you need to learn to adjust it
- Can be used from 0 months or 7 lbs
- 3 carrying positions (hip, back and front facing in)
- No insert required
- H style and crisscrossed shoulder straps
- Much easier to use because the buckles are easier to reach
Summary and Recommendations
Both of these carriers are incredible options that have definitely been made to impress. The carriers are quite similar in a lot of ways, including the bucket style seat that can be easily adjusted to fit your baby and still keeping them held in the recommended M shape in all of the carrying positions.
Both carriers also have well padded shoulder straps and lumbar belt, and these help to properly distribute the weight of the baby around the hip region and upper body. These make it easy to carry the baby for long periods of time without causing any damage to the wearer’s back.
We like that the models come with a high weight limit, and this means they can be used into the toddler years.
You could get either of these carriers and they’re certain to impress a bunch of passengers and wearers alike, as a result of the considerate design that the brand has created to make it more comfortable.
Nevertheless, there are a few differences between them that could influence the choice that you choose to make.
Who should buy the Ergobaby 360?
The 360 carrier is a good choice for parents that want their baby to be able to face the world in a front facing forward position.
You should keep in mind that if you are planning on carrying your baby in the outward facing front carry position, then Ergobaby does suggest using the position for a maximum of 10 minutes to avoid overstimulation.
It could suit you if you aren’t bothered by using an infant insert in the first couple of months until the baby gets better control of their neck and head.
It could also be a good choice if you want to start babywearing around 4 to 5 months and you don’t have a newborn carrier.
Alternatively, if you live in a cold climate then using the insert shouldn’t be a problem.
It’s not the best choice if you need a carrier that’s ready for newborns or if you want something cheaper.
Who should buy the Ergobaby Adapt?
If it bothers you having to use an insert, then the Ergobaby Adapt is probably a better choice for you.
The Adapt is already ready for your newborn and you don’t need an insert so it’s the ideal solution if you want to start babywearing from birth.
It’s a good decision if you live in an area where there are higher temperatures and an insert can make your baby sweatier.
It’s suited to parents who want a carrier that will let you crisscross the shoulder straps to get a tighter fit, which is very important for parents with smaller upper bodies.
Bear in mind that while the Ergobaby Adapt does let you carry on the front, the baby won’t be able to face outwards.
Both carriers are great choices for parents looking for a good babywearing solution, and both have a lot to offer as far as comfort and versatility is concerned. The choice really depends on what things you value the most.
If you like the idea of turning your baby outwards to see what you are seeing is appealing to you then you will love the 360.
Alternatively if you want a carrier without an insert that you can use from birth, then the Adapt is your choice.
You can’t go wrong with Ergobaby, no matter what you choose. You can be sure you’ll get great carriers.
If these carriers aren’t quite your cup of tea, check out our list of the best baby carriers for a few more suggestions.