Baby Carriers for Overseas Travel

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Baby Carrier for Travel in Europe?

Feb 2011

We're going to Greece for 2 weeks in April with a 5 month old baby and we're trying to decide on the best carrier to take. We have an Ergo, Bjorn, Moby, and ring sling, and we like them all for different reasons, but we can't figure out which would be the best all-around option. We need to be able to wear the baby all day comfortably, as we won't have a stroller, and our babe really likes to face out when he's awake. He also needs to be able to face in to take naps. Anyone have experience wearing a baby for long days of sight seeing abroad? We're open to getting a different carrier than the ones we own if it is much better for travel. Thanks a lot. Michelle

Ergo hands down. I have used all these carriers too. Ring sling is no good for all day- it leaves one shoulder tired. The bjorn is not as comfortable as the ergo in my opinion and not as versatile. At 5 months, you could even put the baby on your back with the head shade/thing for extra support in an ergo. The Moby is the next best option in terms of comfort but it is more cumbersome to get off and on, esp while traveling. Plus when my baby was around 6 months, she started getting too heavy for the Moby which is a little bit stretchy, and it wasn't as great as the early days. We chose not to bring a stroller last time we went to Europe with our then 3 and 1 yr olds. I had the 1-yr old in an ergo the whole time. It was comfortable and fantastic! Ergo all the way baby

I highly recommend the Ergo. We have the Ergo Performance Max and used it to travel to Europe with our 4-month old in January. It was a life saver!!! We used it to visit museums and attractions with lots of stairs (where a stroller would have been a nightmare). She could nap in it and also look around at the sights. Since an Ergo is inward facing, the baby does not get overstimulated and can nap when she wants. And it has a great cover to block sun and cover when she naps. But the greatest part of having the Ergo was that I was able to nurse her in it. I couldn't believe how easy it was and it was so very discreet! I nursed her walking around everywhere, from shops to museums to restaurants. Nobody could tell what I was doing. It looked just like she was napping. It's funny, half our vacation photos are the baby nursing in the Ergo. To do this, adjust the carrier so the babies head is positioned in the right spot and then wearing a nursing top or tank, just latch and cover. It might take some practice but it really made the trip a success. Since we returned, we still nurse constantly in the Ergo. It makes NIP easy and is less distracting for the baby. Even if you aren't breast feeding though, I highly recommend the Ergo. It is the MOST comfortable of all the carriers (although, I have to say, the Beco Butterfly II is pretty comfortable too). The Ergo performance is super lightweight too. For what it is worth, we also own a Moby, Sleepywrap, Bjorn and Maya (yes, we went a little overboard!). While we loved the Sleepywrap when our daughter was smaller (0-4 mos), the Ergo has been our go-to carrier 99% of the time. From what I have read, the Bjorn is not recommended for long carries as it is not good for the baby's spine (it is a crotch dangler, where the ergo uses a ''sitting'' position, which is better). The woman who runs the Nature Center in Lafayette does not even sell Bjorn's for that reason. She has a nice range of Ergo's and Beco's. See this article baby-carriers/ We use the Bjorn for super short carry's inside the house where she may want to forward face. But never for more than 20 min or so. And even then, I am struck by how uncomfortable it is for me! However, I am struck by how many Bjorns are out there. So they must work for some people. Good luck and happy travels! ergolover

I definitely recommend the Ergo. That's all you will need. Someone, who traveled with a baby to Paris, advised us a couple years ago to use it for our NYC trip with our one-year-old. It was a great decision. Ergonomically, it is healthiest for both parent and baby. Also, with the sleeping hood, your baby can fall asleep in it while you continue on your journey. Do *not* use the Bjorn. It is hard on your back, especially since it doesn't have the waist support. Meanwhile, your baby's feet dangle straight down, which isn't good for his/her spine. They should be in a froggy-leg, seated position the way the Ergo and the ring sling positions them. Ring slings are nice if you're wanting to look a little nicer for an event or dinner. But if you're planning to mainly sight-see, you will just need the Ergo. Rachel

I'd recommend checking out the Cybex 2.Go. It converts for facing in or out. When the baby faces in you unzip the lower portion so it expands to better support the hips (similar to the support the ergo provides). My daughter is very comfortable both directions in it and I have used it with her on my back as well. You can also wear it with the baby on your hip. I have not worn it for extensive periods of time, a couple hours max, but it is quite comfortable and because you can wear it in different ways it may help with your own fatigue by being able to shift the baby around. My husband also uses it and finds it comfortable too. Good Luck! Have a great trip. Cybex 2.Go Fan

You do not mention the Evenflo Snugli among the carriers that you already have but as someone whose baby, like yours, demanded to see the world while awake but who was comforted by facing in at naptime -- and as a mom with back problems who needed a good ergonomic solution to the physical demands of baby-wearing -- I strongly recommend that you purchase one of these for your trip. The Snugli's advantage over the Ergo or Moby is that baby can face in OR out; its advantage over the Bjorn is that it has a hip belt which is absolutely crucial for distributing baby's weight across more than just your shoulders (make sure you look for the one that includes this feature, BTW). Like all of the carriers you mention, the Snugli allows you to carry baby on your back or in front. It's great for attachment parenting and being on the go without a stroller -- and it's not even that expensive. Baby Wearer

I would say the Ergo, for sure, except for your requirement that your little one should be able to face outward. Ergos are the best on your back of this bunch, I think. Perhaps the Moby instead, you can face a baby outwards in one. I would try it out and see how you do on a weekend wearing it for an extended period of time. You can also breastfeed discreetly inside a Moby, so that may be an additional benefit! The ergonomics of the Bjorn are not great for wearer or baby, unfortunately. And while I think ring slings are wonderful for around the house and outside travel for infants, they may not be as comfortable for you if you are wearing it for many hours of the day. good luck!

Ergo! I put away the baby bjorn (hurts my back plus it's bad for baby's back to sit facing forward) and the Moby (such a hassle to get off and on, and not as good once baby gets bigger). I brought the Ergo to a three day visit at Disneyland and wore my then 4-month-old in it the whole time (you can wear a baby on a surprising number of the rides). While I was definitely ready to take it off at the end of the day, it was pretty darn comfortable for wearing the little 20-pounder around all day while on my feet. And if you balance it out with a backpack you're all set. Seriously just bring the Ergo! Leave everything else at home. I love my Ergo

Ergo, and you can put your baby facing sideways or forward. Just have your baby sit facing forward with legs crossed in front of him/her. Check out this website for more ergo carrying options: My daughter really liked this position, although her feet would stick up in front of her and other people thought it was pretty funny looking. She liked sitting sideways too. Andi

I didn't see the original post, but I love the Beco carrier. Very few people seem to use it out here, but I bought one on the recommendation of a friend before my baby was born, and he has loved it from almost the very beginning (now almost 10 months old). I think it is easier to use than the Ergo (just from observation; I haven't used both) but has the same benefits. You can carry the baby on your front or back. Both ways baby faces inward but mine just turns his head to the side to see what is going on and is very stimulated that way. anonymous

Is there any particular reason you can't bring both the Ergo and the ring sling? Of the types you listed, that would be my suggestion. When my daughter was 5 months old I used both an Ergo and a ring sling on a daily basis, and whether at home or traveling it makes a good combination. (I pick the RS over the Moby for front carries because it packs down smaller and is more comfortable in hot weather - - assuming you have a good ring sling. You didn't say what brand or type you have.) Sticking with the carriers you already know and love is also a good idea, as compared with trying to learn how to manage something new while also coping with travel stress -- but that assumes that you do love the carriers you have. If there's something in particular that those brands or types aren't doing for you, then of course it's worth exploring alternatives. I'd love to help you try out some different options at a Babywearing International meeting. (I happen to be one of the Bay Area chapter's leaders.) Feel free to email me for more info, and/or check out our Yahoo group. BayArea/ Holly

I'm a little late to give advice on this one--I should have early on because I KNEW you'd get a million people telling you to do the ergo and I would like to disagree heartily! Don't get me wrong, I am not against Ergos, you should definitely buy one and use it. They are great. BUT if I were going to Europe and planning all day walks and hikes, etc, I would NOT choose the Ergo as my primary carrier. Your baby will be sleeping in the late morning and (hopefully) afternoon. Do you want to have to remain standing at a restaurant because it is uncomfortable to sit with your baby on in the Ergo and if you do sit you may wake him/her up? I would recommend going to REI and looking at their baby backpacks. You can take your sleeping baby OFF your back and set him/her down and those backpacks have stands so you can get a break without waking him/her up. This would be great even if you just wanted a break but didn't want to take the baby out. In addition, I have worn the ergo for 5+ hours while my baby was sleeping and the next day she had rugburn on her face from rubbing against my back when I walked. Perhaps this would happen with a baby backpack as well, but I don't know. I would definitely NOT do a sling--bad for your back and your baby is a little big for that. Maybe the best thing would be the baby backpack AND the Ergo (for the airport, etc.)? Ergos pack pretty small. I have traveled a ton with my 9 month old and I have done so with the ergo and it has been just fine, but if I knew I'd be out all day sightseeing I would definitely invest in a backpack. Traveling Baby's Mama