Family Traveller’s Amy Hopkins and her six-month old daughter road test the latest carrier from iconic brand BabyBjörn
Baby Carrier One is the latest harness from BabyBjörn, the family-owned Swedish company who pioneered baby-wearing in the 1960s. This version claims to offer better comfort for babies, better weight distribution for wearers and enhanced closeness between parent and baby. There’s also an even more breathable version, the BabyBjörn Carrier One Air.
Working at Family Traveller and having a new baby means I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to try out lots of baby kit. In the six months since my daughter Annie was born, we’ve road-tested five or six baby carriers, ranging from soft bamboo wraps to bulky robust backpacks. After a month or so of regular use – both around our home in London and during a holiday to Crete – it’s safe to say the BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One is by far our favorite. In fact, as I write this Annie is happily strapped to her dad in the Carrier One, watching him hang washing on the line.
BabyBjörn’s original Baby Carrier has long been a hit with parents. The latest versions, the Carrier One and Carrier One Air, have been carefully designed with the help of real families, paediatricians and medical experts. BabyBjörn claim that every feature has been designed for the ultimate comfort and support of both parent and baby – supporting your growing baby’s neck, hips and spine perfectly.
Like all things Scandi, the BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One looks effortlessly chic. BabyBjörn are known for high-end baby products and this one doesn’t disappoint. The stitching is immaculate and the material feels top quality. Plus, the minimal look and neutral colours give it appeal for both mums and dads.
I began using the carrier when Annie was five and a half months old. She was going through a particularly grizzly and clingy phase, bought on by the arrival of the dreaded first tooth. I was surprised by how quickly she took to sitting in the carrier, facing forward. In fact, during difficult teething days it was often the only thing that would settle her and I often resorted to wearing her round the house for hours. For teething babies, it’s also a comfort to know that all of the fabrics used are safe to chew.
The Carrier One has a zip system that allows you to adjust the baby’s leg position – something I haven’t seen in other carriers I’ve tested. When the zips are open the baby’s legs dangle (for older babies) and when the zips are closed, baby’s legs are splayed in frog position.
The Carrier One is suitable from birth to three years old. Your baby can be carried on your front, facing inward or outward, and when she reaches her first birthday, you can carry your baby on your back, turning the carrier with one simple movement. This new back position is a new feature for BabyBjörn.
Crucially, the carrier is easy to put on and take off unassisted. This is essential if like me, you’re alone at home with the baby and need to get out and about with confidence. Using the Carrier One is easy and intuitive. It comes with a illustrated manual but I could see just by looking at it how it works. You simply pop it over your head like a jumper, buckle the waist belt, pick up your baby and hold her in place, then fasten the head support straps. Pulling on the straps gives a snug fit, with baby close to your body, although my husband Nick feels that Annie’s head bobs about rather a lot when he carries her in the forward-facing position.
There are only four clips to do up, which slide into place easily and lock with a reassuring clunk. What’s more, you can safely fasten the clips one handed, unlike other carriers I’ve tried which require two hands. Annie’s dad and I both use the carrier regularly and it’s easy to adjust between our different sizes, by yanking on the side and waist straps.
I love how reassuringly solid the Carrier One feels. The thick waistband and padded shoulder straps mean weight is evenly distributed and both my husband and me found it comfortable to wear for long periods of time, although Nick did report some slight rubbing from the back strap. For me, the carrying ergonomics are excellent and Annie looks and feels well supported. The Carrier One was invaluable during our holiday to Crete. Not only did Annie sleep in it during both four-hour flights (hoorah!), but it gave us the freedom to visit parts of the island we wouldn’t have dared attempt with our travel buggy.
Annie is very dribbly at the moment, so I’ve taken to hanging her bib over the upper part of the carrier to protect it from drool. But if mess occurs, another bonus is that the whole thing can be flung in the washing machine. The Carrier One is a solid piece of kit, and therefore doesn’t pack down as neatly as other fabric carriers. That being said, it still fits in my pram basket with enough space for a changing bag.
The BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One is a high-end carrier, which is reflected in the price. But if you’re looking for something stylish, comfortable and easy to use, that you and your partner will be happy to share, it’s well worth the investment.
BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One is available in various colour combinations of denim, black, grey, yellow and blue.
BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One costs £139.99
BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One Air costs £159.99