BabyBjorn Synergy: A Baby Carrier That's Perfect For the First Six Months

03/11/2009 at 05:00 PM ET

The Baby Bjorn Synergy ($120) combines the best parts of their other models of baby carriers- the lumbar support of the Baby Bjorn Active and the mesh breathability of the Baby Bjorn Air. Click to read our full review.

The Synergy is a great carrier for about the first six or so months of a baby’s life, before the baby gets too heavy, when the minimal lumbar support no longer cuts it. I love that it’s so easy to put on and take off, even while a baby is sleeping, and this one is particularly good in the summer, since the material is a ventilated mesh. I started using the Synergy when my son Miles was about 2.5 months old, when I wanted to hold him as much as I could before I went back to work. Since he had a pretty severe case of gastric reflux, he needed to be kept upright, so without a baby carrier I was unable to get much done. In the beginning I wore him everywhere, and he often fell asleep while I was doing this. He was still pretty light, and I could go 45 minutes to an hour before my back started bothering me. That seemed better than the Baby Bjorn I’d worn with my daughter five years ago, which didn’t have the extra lumbar support that the Synergy has.

The bigger he got though, the sooner my back started to hurt. My back can handle him for maybe 20 minutes at a stretch now. I did once try to go on a hike wearing him, and it wasn’t the best idea. At this point, I’m starting to think it’s time to switch to the Ergo because it relies on hips and pulling shoulders back, although I’ll miss the ease of the Bjorn, which is why I haven’t switched yet.

The mesh lining kept me and Miles comfortably sweat free throughout the hottest, most humid months of the year. By then he was starting to become a big bruiser and it amazes me that now at six months, he’s still contained by this compact little carrier.

Basically if you want to carry your child as much as possible but live as busy a life as I do, with a need to constantly get things done, then this is a godsend – around the house, running a few errands, a short walk… but really until the baby is six months old.

— Gillian

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Showing 22 comments

Shauna on

It’s a shame that this carrier gets so much attention when there are so many better carriers out there! I too was suckered in by the mass marketing of it until I heard about it’s poor design. It has been brought up countless times that the carriers that allow babies to “dangle” at the crotch rather than providing a seat pocket for their bum cause unnecessary stress to the baby’s spine.

For less than $50 you can get the Moby wrap which is MUCH more comfortable (I can easily carry my 6 month old for an extended period of time without any complaints) and allows for wearing newborns just as easily.

If you are looking for something to be more active in – I would recommend the Ergo- which has a similar look to the Bjorn but it’s design allows the baby’s weight to be spread out across their bum/hips. Much nicer both in looks and comfort and it comes in such pretty colors too!

Lis on

I think when it comes to Carriers each is own and you really should try a few to see what is right for you. I had the Bjorn (original) with my 2nd child. She lived in it from one month until her second Birthday. I used to carry her everywhere. I was luck she was light (she is now 4 years old and only 27 pounds) but she HATED slings etc… this was the only one she would use. For my 3rd child I had a peanut shell which was good for the first 2 months then she outgrew it. I got the Bjorn ACTIVE and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I have an ergo too but relaly do not like it for what I need it for malls etc.. too much. She hates being in it. The Active I find gives me so much more support. I met the man from Bjorn at a baby show and showed me how to wear it properly with the lumbar support right above the bum in lowest part of your back. I see many mothers wearing it wrong and that is why there shoulders hurt. I have a Moby wrap as well but for some reason none of my kids liked it. I really wanted the Serina and lily wrap after seeing it here but after trying it I knew it was not for me either. So I think everyone likes something different and you should find what works for your lifestyle.

Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital on

In response to Shauna’s concern, we wanted to reassure parents that BabyBjorn Baby Carriers are designed to properly position baby:

As pediatricians at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, consistently ranked among the country’s top five children’s hospitals by US News & World Report, and more importantly as parents, we have a personal interest in the health and well being of children. In light of our responsibility to encourage the use of safe, healthy products, Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital is pleased to recommend the use of front carriers such as those made by BabyBjörn.

BabyBjörn Baby Carriers are designed to strengthen the infant-parent bond and can be used from birth. Indeed, because the first few weeks of life are critical to an infant’s development, BabyBjorn Baby Carriers are designed to provide proper support for a newborn’s head, neck, spine and hips. BabyBjorn carriers support the newborn in the inward facing position for close, tummy-to-tummy contact with mom or dad, and the built-in head support provides important head and neck stabilization. BabyBjörn Baby Carriers also hold babies’ hips in the optimal position — the abducted position (or spread legs).

Dr. Amanda Weiss Kelly, Pediatric Sports Medicine & mother of Nora, 18 months

Dr. Allison Gilmore, Orthopedic Surgeon & mom of Bailey, 5 years old

To read more visit http://www.babybjorn.com/en/American/Questions-Answers/What-medical-experts-have-to-say/-om-BABYBJORN-barselar2/Expert-Opinion-Dr-Amanda-Weiss-Kelly-and-Dr-Allison-Gilmore-USA/.

Mrs. R. on

We have a Bjorn, an ergo, and a moby wrap… each served a different and equally important role in our daughter’s first 2 years.
I do like the Bjorn designs that include lumbar for the wearer’s back though. Ours has it, and it made it comfortable much longer than the earlier cross-back strap model.

Renee on

I have siderider by infantino for my 4 month old son and I love it.I just don’t want pay a lot money on Bjorn,That one I have works great for me and I payed only $39,99.My friend have the playtex and chicco one and she love it.

Angelique on

Six months? I guess my back is extraordinarily strong. I carry my son in the Synergy and he’s 14 months. He’s very tall (90 percentile) but not a chubby baby, he’s lean. Anyway, we’re both very comfortable with it. I can run errands, grocery shop even, and feel no strain on my back.

Shauna, can you be more specific about the research that shows the strain on the baby’s spine? I would like to know more, and your comment makes me curious about the Moby.

Bu the way, the Synergy washes really well!

barby on

Shauna is right.

Please people, do your babies a favour and research on why they shouldn´t be carried around in non ergonomic carriers. Babybjorn (and the like) are NOT ergonomic carriers.

Examples of ergonomic carriers:

-Mei tais
-Ergo
-Beco butterfly
-Marsupi plus
-Manduca
-Wraps (correctly positioned)

barby on

BTW, I carry my newborn in an elastic wrap (such as the Moby recommended by Shauna). Once the baby reaches a certain weight (around 6 kg) there are also non elastic wraps that allow mum and baby to walk around comfortably.

tigerjen77 on

I’m sorry but the Bjorn does NOT put a baby in the optimal posistion as a previous poster wrote. Legs spread is not the main concern. A babies legs should never just dangle as it puts too much pressure on the back and spine of the child. The appropriate way is to have the babies knees as high as his/her body with the fabric cupping their bottom. NOT dangling around with just a strip of fabric around their crotch to hold them up.

Newborns and younger infants do great in wraps like a Moby or a sling such as Slinglings. Mei tais are also wonderful for all ages and stages of babyhood and are my families go to carrier. (Look at Babyhawk and Ball Baby carriers for examples)

Please do your research before buying a carrier! Try a few out and find what works best for you AND your baby!

youcantcallitit on

I work in a children’s store and from polling the mothers that come in, 4 out of 5 prefer the Ergo to the Baby Bjorn Active, and most– like me, have used both. The Baby Bjorn IS great for a newborn, but by about 13-14 pounds becomes unbearable for a petite woman. It seems that tall broad shouldered women and men have good luck with the Bjorn, but that average and smaller sized women should opt for the Ergo.

Sadly, not all of us have the fortune of having a professional from Baby Bjorn assist us with proper positioning of the carrier.

I had a Baby Bjorn Active with my daughter, who by four months was off the charts in weight and height. I took her out for two hours when she was about 3 months old, and by the end I was nearly in tears. I never wore it again.

We opted for the Ergo and have been so happy. She is now 25 pounds, and both her father and I love it. We switch off easily, adjusting the straps in a matter of seconds, and she loves to ride in it.

For our baby due this summer, I’m not sure what we’ll do. The Bjorn is great for about the first 10 pounds, but the Ergo requires a special insert, which will be hot in the summer months. I’ll likely opt for a wrap or sling, which I didn’t use the first time. Any suggestions for favorites most welcome.

ingrid on

I agree 100% with tigerjen77 and Shauna: the babybjörn does NOT put the child in a healthy or comfortable position. it’s like riding a bike without your feet touching the ground, just having support at your most sensitive parts… for hours! ouch!

Angelique on

Ingrid and others, I don’t think most people wear a carrier for hours. I wouldn’t think ANY carrier should be worn for HOURS at a time.

tigerjen77 on

Actually Angelique people do wear their babies in carriers for hours. All day in fact!

It is called babywearing and it a wonderful thing for both child and parent. Children are worn from newborn to up to even ages 5 and 6! It is very common in other countries and many American women are also finding the joys in wearing our kids!

However as many of us have stated here already, a Bjorn is NOT a suitable carrier! I cannot stress enough how this carrier is NOT made to properly align and support a babies spine! Please don’t just see the pics here and of celebs with their tots in a Bjorn and go out a buy one! If you want to wear or even just carry baby for a few hours a week, do a little research to find the absolute best and safest carrier for your little one!

Angelique on

I originally got a Bjorn because it was the only one I had heard of or seen. After reading the comments here and checking out some websites, I just ordered a Beco Butterfly. I would not have known! Thanks Barby and others!!

By the way, I have nothing against wearing a baby all day, I guess it’s just my experience that my little one wants to crawl around and play and do other things after a spell. . .

Anyway, thanks again moms!

Shauna on

Sorry I’m a bit behind in reading and responding- I came back and saw someone asked for more info so I found this link which explains what the problem can be if you do not use a good carrier with correct positioning.
http://www.continuum-concept.org/reading/spinalStress.html

Virtual high-fives to you baby-wearin’ Mamas in the know out there! I put my (almost) 3 yr old in the Ergo on my back a couple weeks ago, getting it out and ready for use with my 6mo old- and she was hooked!! At 27lbs she still LOVES to be carried around in it. 🙂

Shauna on

Oh and one more thing- that comment from “Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital” is directly copied/pasted from Babybjorn’s website…
http://www.babybjorn.com/en/American/Questions-Answers/What-medical-experts-have-to-say/-om-BABYBJORN-barselar2/Expert-Opinion-Dr-Amanda-Weiss-Kelly-and-Dr-Allison-Gilmore-USA/

Just FYI!😉

Shauna on

me again- just realized that the link I just gave was s dupe– lol sorry!!!

barby on

Thank you for the links, Shauna!

Angelique on

Yes, thanks for the links Shauna!

BabyDaddy on

As an expecting dad, I was looking around for the best baby carrier and somehow ended up here. I well remember when the Babybjorn first hit here and when the controversy over them erupted in the early 1990s. While I don’t have any firm beliefs one way or another, I am very skeptical about relying on the study presented by Shauna as fact. In it, there as no definitive evidence that it “could” cause problems — just the researcher’s opinion. We’re now close to 20 years after the original report and if there is nothing more concrete against the Babybjorn, I would have to say this falls into the unproven category. (Given how many babies have been carried in them for the last 20 years, the likelihood of any significant issue would have surfaced by now.)

Julia on

Hi, I just read all the posts here about different carriers and was wondering which one besides bjorne allows babies to face forwards? It seems that every other one only allows babies to face you and not the world.
Thanks

Barby on

Babies should NEVER be carried facing forward in ANY carrier.

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