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Fine Motor Skill! The best toys and diy solutions for toddlers and older kids

We’re talking about one of my favorite topics today: Fine motor skill!

If it doesn’t really sound exciting, I still ask you to keep reading. Because it is. I promise. And it’s an essential part of your child’s development – brain, body and spirit.

I’ll explain why I think it’s so important. While I won’t go too deep (I think), I totally understand if you want to skip that part. Just click here to directly skip to the list of toys.

For those who didn’t click: I’d like to show you why fine motor skill is so important to develop, train and explore and whether it does more to help the overall development of our children (Spoiler: it does a lot more).

What Is Fine Motor Skill And Why Do We Need It?

Fine motor skill is a subset of motor skill. So let’s talk about this first.

Motor skill is movement

According to Wikipedia, motor skill is ‘a learned ability to cause a predetermined movement outcome with maximum certainty’.

This means that motor skill is purposeful movement of our muscles. And, yes, we have to learn it. Because when we come to this world, we have no idea how any of our muscles work. And muscles are complicated. It takes us years to learn the basics and we can improve for our whole lives.

Fine motor skill is required for precise movements

Fine motor skill (or dexterity) is the coordination of small muscles, in movements—usually involving the synchronization of hands and fingers—with the eyes. 

Fine motor skill is exactly what it says it is. It’s the little, precice movements. Picking something up, putting it exactly where you want it to go. It’s eating with a fork, drawing, using scissors, building a lego car and braiding your hair.

Often it is mistaken for using your hands and fingers just the right way. And yes, much of it is in your hands, but not everything. Because fine motor skills can affect all other body parts. It can be facial expression, clear speech, precise navigation through narrow isles in a store, or picking up a sock with your foot.

Fine motor skill has to be learned

Feinmotorik Spiele KleinkinderIt’s incredibly hard to move our limbs with millimeter precision. For us adults, it’s sometimes difficult to understand why eating with a spoon seems so hard, or why our kids still can’t get their buttons undone without help.

That kind of thinking is not fair. Because we parents have learned to use our muscles for two to four decades, depending on our age!

Babies can do absolutely nothing when they are born. They come into this world without any clue how their body works. They have no instruction manual, no online training, not even any words to ask or understand what they need to know. They have to figure it out and practice it on their own.

Many of the nerve connections in the brain have yet to be formed. And that can only happen through constant trying, experiencing and repetition. Therefore, the most important ingredients for learning fine motor skills are patience and time.

Fine motor skill helps developing other skills

Our brain doesn’t just control the motor skills. It controls all the other processes as well: Thinking, emotions, language, concentration, memory, creativity, mood and about a thousand other things.

And these different areas of the brain are closely connected and influence each other. This means that if you train the fine motor skills, other skills are also improved along the way:

Focus, memory, analytical thinking, problem-solving, social skills, imagination, coordination. Just to mention some of them.

These skills are all connected and develop together. If you train one of them, you train the others, too.

And of course, you also have a positive influence on the abilities that are directly related to fine motor skills. e.g. Balance, hand-eye-coordination or anything we associate with the term ‘sportiness’.

Fine motor skill also has great influence on social aspects. Because facial expressions and language, which are hardly possible without fine motor skills, form the basis for communication between us.

You can already see it in toddlers and preschool kids. Children who have physical problems with communicating are clearly at a disadvantage.

Fine motor skill is the basis for our survival in everyday life

Feinmotorik Spiele Kleinkinder

What have you done in the last two hours? How much of that depends on fine motor skill?

Did you get dressed, have you done your make-up, did you cook, typed on a keyboard? Did you put things away, did some arts and crafts, play the piano or did you do your laundry? Have you written a shopping list, sent a text message, made a phone call, made coffee, locked a door?

Without fine motor skill, our everyday life simply does not work. And the better you are at it, the easier is … ultimately everything.

Even your child will have problems at a very early age if she can’t keep up with her peers when it comes to fine motor skills. At school at the latest, children have to be able to reliably and precisely hold a pen for writing and drawing, to put on their own clothes and to speak clearly.

Do you need extra toys for practicing fine motor skills?

No. Because the practice of fine motor skills can be integrated into everyday life. If you look at the individual tips in the list below, you will realize that practice is just part of your normal day.

Feinmotorik Spiele Kleinkinder

You can also make toys yourself to help your child develop fine motor skills. You most likely already have most of the stuff you need for that. I’ll show you some of the things you can do in the list below.

Nobody has to spend money or buy new things for fine motor skill training.

However. There are a lot of great toys that are a lot of fun and at the same time also train fine motor skills. So if you are looking for toys or looking for a present, why not buy something that is also good for your kid’s development?

And so, finally, let’s talk about toys. Fun, child-friendly and fine-motor-skill-developing toys.

The best toys for toddlers and children up to five to improve and train the fine motor skill

Disclaimer: This article is not sponsored and represents my personal opinion. It does, however, contain partner links in text and pictures and therefore advertising!

I tried to organize the individual list items logically. I didn’t succeed. Which is because I have included individual toys in this list, as well as general toy groups, as well as do-it-yourself solutions.

So I fully admit that it is a jumbled mess that I hope you enjoy anyways because it was made with love.

Only so much: The order of the toys is not meant as any kind of rating.

1For the little ones: Encourage reaching out and grabbing things – from about 3-6 months

Babies start practicing their motor skills as soon as they are out of the womb. And you can help them playfully develop and get better every day. Or at least you can make them grab things that are not your hair or coffee cup.

Once they are about 3 months old, they become increasingly interested in the things around them. They’ll try to reach for and grab anything that is colorful, that is squeaky or rattles, anything that is easy to grip, not too heavy and not too big.

That means: rattles, rings, baby gyms, cuddly toys. Simple toys like classic oballs that you can get cheaply work just as well as slightly more complicated play equipment.

For example, this caterpillar puzzle from Lamaze is not only there to grab, but also consists of individual parts that can be pulled apart and put together.

Kitchen tools work just as well because babies are weird and like to play with things that are not toys at all. Just watch out for sharp edges and small parts. Babys like to gnaw and swallow things that are not meant to be swallowed.

In general: watch your baby and support what keeps him interested and what he wants to play with. That’s enough in the first few months. The kid is busy learning to move arms, legs, hands and feet in the desired direction.

2Stacking Toys – one year and older

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love stacking toys. I’ll try anyway. In bullet form. because stacking toys deserve a proper list.

Let’s go:

  • Stacking toys are fun and not only help to develop fine motor skills, but also creativity and imagination.
  • Stacking toys can be played alone or together with siblings, parents, friends, grandparents.
  • Stacking toys stay relevant for a long time. Depending on what game you choose, they won’t stop being interesting until your kid is four or five years old. That’s a lot of playing time.
  • Stacking toys are incredibly versatile and they come in many different variations.
  • Stacking toys are easy to make yourself. Just collect some stones, find some food containers, books, pasta or anything stackable and you’re good to go. If you want to buy them, many aren’t very expensive (depending on the toy you choose, obviously).
  • Very important: Stacking games are ideal for training fine motor skills. They are available in different levels of difficulty so that your child can continue practicing.

I like combining stacking games with an element of balance, but that’s just me. My top 3 stacking games are (beware! Amazon advertising): Click on image for Link.

Different forms
Stacking eggs


Stacking Game

3Building Blocks – 18 months and older

Yes, I know, technically, building blocks are a subset of stacking toys. But since they are so well-known, popular and so useful for fine motor skills, I have listed them here as an extra bullet. Also because our grand-grand-grand parents probably already played with them. That has to account for something.

This really goes back to the roots of playing. Because there have always been building blocks.

And it’s just fun. You can build with your children and replicate things they see every day. From houses to furniture to animals. There are no limits to the imagination here.

Building blocks are a great learning toy to have. They train fine motor skills, creativity, analytical thinking, strategic thinking, familiarize children with the basic laws of physics and improve concentration. They can also be the basis for conversation and improve language, speech and vocabulary.

In addition, they are super versatile, can be used for several generations and are relatively cheap to buy. And best of all, like all the toys in this list, they do not need batteries.

They are available in different shapes, sizes and colors. You can buy them in different materials: wood, plastic, cardboard.

==> Building blocks on Amazon

4Lego Duplo – two years and older

If I had to say one negative thing about building blocks, it would be this: building with building blocks can sometimes be frustrating for toddlers because the lovingly stacked structures often collapse at the slightest touch.

It’s fun for some kids, and they build with joy just to tear everything down. But some children get frustrated and lose their desire to build. Especially the kids who are not yet dexterity experts and a little clumsy.

Lego Duplo is ideal for those kids. Because Lego Duplo is not only endlessly versatile, but it also holds together beautifully once you have built something.

I probably don’t have to explain to anyone what exactly Lego Duplo is. I’ll do it anyway: It’s the big brother of Lego and consists of plastic blocks that are big enough for small kids to play with. Children as young as two or three years will love playing with Lego Duplo.

The rectangular building blocks all fit seamlessly together and the possibilities are endless. But this is not the end of the game. Because there are plenty of additional figures, animals, buildings, ideas, even a real electric railroad.

The advantages of Lego Duplo:

  • Open world with many different themes from knights to princesses, from animals to fairies.
  • Helps to develop fine motor skills, creativity, imagination, concentration.
  • Endlessly expandable.
  • Stays relevant for many years.
  • Suitable for one or more players.

==> Current products and prices on Amazon

5Hubelino – three years and older

When we talk about Lego Duplo, we also need to talk about the Hubelino system.

I’ll try to be brief here because I’ve already written a detailed article about this system. Especially about the fact that I consider it one of the best toys for toddlers.

Hubelino combines the world of Lego Duplo and all its advantages and possibilities with a marble run and all the fun that comes with it. In my view, there are not many toys that are as versatile and as fun for the whole family.

Because in this case, one plus one is actually a lot more than two. The world that opens up once you combine Lego Duplo and Hubelino is just amazing. And it can be enjoyed for many years.

I’d also classify this as a learning toy. The children will have to use their hands, their imagination, their creativity, their analytical thinking, their problem solution, their concentration and a lot more.

I’ll go a lot more in depth in this article about the Hubelino system. You’ll find a lot of pictures and explanations what exactly Hubelino does.

6Marble Runs – three years and older

We talked about Hubelino. But there are other marble runs, of course. And they deserve to be their own category. Because they are a great way to practice fine motor skills without even realizing it.

Marble runs are available in endless variations and for all possible ages. Some are better suited for practicing fine motor skills for toddlers, some are complex strategic toys for teenagers.

If you are specifically looking for a way to help develop fine motor skills, be sure to look for a run where the child has to do more than throw a marble in and watch it run.

Look for something that needs to be built. Look for systems that are modular and consist of building blocks or elements.

There are too many systems to mention them all. But if you’re looking for quality and organic materials, then try the marble runs from Hape. They are easy to build but can get quite complex as you add more blocks and as your child gets older.

==> Current offers on Amazon

Do-it-yourself marble run

With a bit of creativity and time, you can also build your own marble run. It’s not that complicated.

You can use empty toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls, or sliced swimming noodles, pipes, anything that comes in tube form.

Then you just have to fix the whole thing to a board, to the wall or just to any surface with an incline and you can start playing with a few marbles.

You probably won’t win a design award, but you’ll have fun building it and fun playing with it. Give it a try!

7Magnetic Tiles – three years and older

Magnetic tiles, like Lego, are a variation (or progression) of the classic building blocks. Just like Legos, magnetic tiles also have a firm connection once you’ve put them together. This means you can build relatively solid structures.

As you probably have guessed from the name, the connections, in this case, are magnetic.

Depending on the system, the magnetic components come in different shapes and can be assembled into completely different structures, machines, things.

Playing with magnetic tiles practices creativity, concentration and, of course, fine motor skills.

And these magnetic modules are really fun. I caught myself building things with them instead of cleaning quite a few times. While my daughter was in preschool…

When you purchase the tiles, keep an eye on the size of the individual elements. There are larger tiles for smaller children and smaller tiles for older children. The larger parts are easier to build with, while the smaller parts are more suitable for more complex structures and will stay interesting for a longer time.

==> Current offers on Amazon

8Eichhorn Constructor – three years and older

Construction toys – and especially Eichhorn Constructor – are more complex and require a lot more fine motor skill than simple blocks or Lego Duplo.

Because the children don’t just use their hands to build. They use their hands to hold tools, which they use to build. And this is a lot more complicated than it sounds.

The principle of the toy is straightforward. With the help of simple tools, wooden elements are assembled and used to build all sorts of things. Depending on the age, more or less complex and large buildings and vehicles are created. From very simple cars to very complex wind turbines.

My daughter loves the Constructor system. The parts are high quality, it is a lot of fun and you can be very creative.

Even small hands can screw, build and help to create complex machines. We started early with this system. My daughter saw it in a toy store and fell in love. At the age of two and a half, she got it for Christmas and immediately started to work.

She’s been playing with it regularly ever since. Sometimes alone, sometimes with us parents or with other kids. Sometimes we follow the instructions, sometimes we don’t. She’s three and a half years old right now and still too young to follow the instructions on her own.

We love this system, which incidentally, without anyone noticing, effectively trains the fine motor skills. Many different movements and hand movements have to be performed here. Screw, turn, stick, hold, pull, push, but not too tight!

Kids learn quickly to be very precise with this toy.

I really recommend Eichhorn Constructor if you have children between the ages of 2 and 6.

==> Current offers on Amazon

Do-It-Yourself Construction

The do-it-yourself alternative is, I believe, obvious. Just send the child with Mom or Dad to the garage, the basement, the workshop and use the tools you have at home.

Screw, hammer, saw, cut, build with your children. Build birdhouses, repair chairs and let the little ones help, participate and create themselves age appropriately.

This not only strengthens the fine motor skills but also creativity, the self-confidence and it teaches the children to use tools safely.

Obviously: Real tools aren’t toys. Do not leave your children unattended and teach them to use tools safely.

9Lacing – two years and older

Threading games are awesome. Many children love them, they don’t make a mess, they are quite portable and there’s no problem if you lose a few parts. You can combine different games and after the ‘work’ is done – depending on the game – you get a colorful piece of jewelry.

And it practices the fine motor skills.

I’m pretty sure I don’t have to say much more than that. Try it, it’s fun.

==> Current offers on Amazon

Do-It-Yourself Threading

This is one of the things you really don’t have to buy if you don’t want to. Because most people have things to thread at home.

For smaller children from about 2 years: Large wooden beads and laces.

For older children from 3 to 4 years: buttons, thread and darning needle.

For those who like it a little more fancy: Go into the forest and collect chestnuts, acorns, beechnuts, and drill holes.

10Puzzles – 12 months and older

Why the puzzles are so often forgotten in these lists is beyond me. Because puzzles are awesome! They can be easy or difficult. They are available for all ages. They are one of the simplest yet most versatile educational toys because they cover pretty much all areas of the brain where connections need to be made:

Fine motor skills, concentration, memory, creativity, analytical thinking, strategic thinking, problem-solving, patience …

Seriously. Puzzles are awesome. If you have a kid who enjoys puzzles, then I highly recommend that you support it.

You can start small with wooden puzzles that have only 2 or 3 parts. Then work your way over peg puzzles, frame puzzles, real jigsaw puzzles from 10 over 20 over 50 up to 1000 pieces.

(Do you realize how much I love puzzles myself?)

Making recommendations here is a bit silly because there are just so many different puzzles. So I’ll just link you the 3 puzzles my daughter has played the most with (click on picture for the link).



11Shape Sorting – two years and older

Shape sorting is something that primarily teaches shapes and colors. But usually, this is done by placing the different shapes in slots that are shaped exactly like the little blocks. And for that – you guessed it – fine motor skills are essential.

Which means you get three learning experiences for the price of one!

Jokes aside. I really love those shape sorting toys because while they are educational, most kids simply love them.

They love sorting things, figuring out where the blocks go and just assembling the toy just to dump everything back on the floor and start over.

The most common form of this toy is probably the cube which most of us know from our youth. There are differently shaped blocks, holes where they fit in and you can open it to get everything out.

It’s a great and simple toy for children from one and a half years, as it stimulates the fine motor skills, the kids learn to recognize and name the different shapes, and if the blocks come in different colors, you have that element as well. Easy and good.

As the children grow older, there are sorting toys that can be used to create mosaic-like images with differently colored pins or plugs. These are also really fun and can be played e together with parents and siblings, or they can be a single player activity.

In addition to the fine motor skills, these games also practice creativity, imagination and focus.

But there are plenty of other sorting or pinning games. Take a look around what’s currently being offered.

==> Current offers on Amazon

Do-It-Yourself Shape Sorting

For creative people: Get a floral foam brick from the garden center or hardware store. Provide different kinds of pasta (dried, not cooked) and let your kid stick it into the foam. You can create a lot of cool pictures that way, especially when the kid is a little older.

For Montessori lovers: Collect natural materials in the forest such as bits of wood, chestnuts, tree bark … Drill a hole through them and get yourself a twig or a wooden stick that fits through the holes. Then you can put the plug elements on the stick. Let the kid sort them by size, color or shape.

For talented people: Rebuild one of the linked wooden toys. It’s not that complicated if you have some tools and a bit of old wood lying around.

For future accountants: Get a piggy bank and ask Grandpa for some change. Not much sorting, but getting the coins into the slit takes quite a bit of fine motor skill. Tell Grandpa that toddlers have to practice a lot.

12Bead mazes – 2 or 3 years and older

I’m going to be honest. I don’t like bead mazes. They are big, bulky, impossible to stack, my child managed to destroy quite a few of them, and somehow they aren’t interesting for more than a couple of minutes.

They do, however, deserve a spot on this list because they are specially designed to help develop fine motor skills. And I’m sure there are people who like them a lot more than we do.

So. Here they are.

Bead mazes are available in various levels of difficulty and help develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and dexterity. The child is required to push beads from one end of one of the rollercosters to the other end, usually by hand.

And that’s about it.

==> Current offers on Amazon

But! There is a light at the end of the bead maze tunnel.

In the last years, an alternative appeared. The principle of the toy is basically the same, but it looks more beautiful, is better to store and I, very subjectively, like it a lot better.

I introduce: The Magnetic Bead Maze.

Admittedly, this is still not my favorite toy on this list, but it’s a real upgrade.

In this magnetic labyrinth, a bead runs behind plexiglass. The bead can be moved with a magnetic pen through the glass. That is fun. At least for some children – mine loses interest pretty quickly.

The mazes are available in different designs, sizes and difficulties.

If you and your child like this kind of game, then there are certainly worse ways to train the fine motor skills. You notice, I find it difficult to really be enthusiastic. I’m sorry.

==> Current offers on Amazon

13Activity Cube – 2 or 3 years and older

Activity cubes are probably the master class of toys that practice fine motor skills. Because they combine several different toys in only one big toy. They are available from very small to very large, for very small and slightly larger children.

We also have one of these cubes in our living room. And we love it.

It’s been about two years since we got our activity cube from Grandma and Grandpa. Our daughter still plays with it almost every day. If you want to keep yours as long as we kept ours, I recommend getting one that is bigger and sturdier and has room to grow.

Look for activities for small children like different colors, sorting, just moving things, and also activities for older kids, like numbers and letters, puzzles or more complex sorting games.

The advantages of activity cubes are:

  • Combines several toys in one
  • Promotes fine motor skills, concentration and usually also has other educational toys about shapes, colors, numbers, letters…
  • It’s fun for kids
  • Looks nice and decorative
  • Replaces many individual toys and thus reduces chaos in children’s rooms and living rooms

==> Current offers on Amazon

14Musical Instruments – two years and older

Musical instruments are one of the topics that are often forgotten when we talk about fine motor skills.

Overall, musical instruments are pretty much one of the best things you can do to your kid. Music strengthens concentration, motor skills, analytical thinking, logical thinking. There are studies that show that music also stimulates mathematical and language skills.

In addition, playing music, experiencing it together with friends or family strengthens relationships and forms memories that last a lifetime.

Therefore, I advocate for musical instruments! Small, big, loud, quiet, they come in so many kinds, sizes, difficulties, and they never stop being interesting.

It would go too far here to introduce all available musical instruments with their advantages, disadvantages and possibilities. Therefore, I limit myself to the 2 instruments that I currently most often play with my own daughter (3 years).

Xylophone – because you just need one

Every child needs a xylophone. There’s the vibrant, different colors, the mallet, which can also be used as a hammer and, of course, the lovely sound that is easy to produce.

I would really recommend you to take one, where you can remove the plates. Then you have an integrated puzzle game right away. And it’s more interesting for the child.

I also recommend to not buy a toy, but a real instrument for children. I know that these are a little more expensive. But the difference is worth it.

==> My recommendation

Djembe – feel the rhythm

You also need some kind of drum. You just do. We decided to go for an African djembe because it’s easy and intuitive to play with, they have one in preschool as well, and because it’s fun for Mom, too.

Djembes are available for a reasonable price in different sizes, depending on the age of your child. Like the xylophone linked above, these drums are real instruments (albeit for children).

Quite a few music schools or child education centers are offering African drum lessons for children. When the kids are a bit older, they can learn the ‘correct’ basics of drumming there.

Drumming is not only a very good workout for just about every part of the brain, it’s also a kind of meditation for stress relief and emotional balance. Mental health is an important issue for me. It’s never too early to teach your children age-appropriate tools to deal with life and all the baggage that comes with it.

==> My recommendation

15General Sorting – 18 months and older

And then we come back to the basics. To the simple games that children – especially small children – love. These games captivate, engage and inspire.

In this case, we’re talking about sorting. The general kind, not the shape sorting kind we already talked about. You will be surprised how much fun this simple activity will be for the little ones and how long they can be entertained.

And here you really do not need to buy any toy. Sorting requires only two bowls (if you’re brave, then one plus the floor) and stuff you can sort:

Noodles, dry beans and lentils, buttons, paper clips, berries, Smarties …

Since this is a game that can be fun starting at 18 months, I would like to point out the suffocation risk. Do not leave your children alone with small parts that can be swallowed.

16Drawing, Crafting, Chores

Honestly? If you regularly draw, do handicrafts or otherwise are creative with your children, then you do not really need extra toys to train fine motor skills.

Because while coloring, drawing and crafting (and eating and brushing your teeth and collecting stones and folding socks) you train the fine motor skills easily and without noticing it. Because holding pens or cutting things doesn’t work without fine motor skills.

Which means: Draw with your children, build something with your children, do things with your children. Encourage your children to practice things that are difficult for them, that are challenging.

Drawing pictures is hard. Cutting a shape with scissors is super-hard. They won’t be successful for the first, fifth and maybe even tenth time. But eventually, they’ll get better, and eventually, they’ll be good at it. And then they can be proud of themselves.

Because you have to learn fine motor skills. There’s no way around it.

Feinmotorik Spiele Kleinkinder

Be confident in your child and let them do things even if they seem a little too young for them. Let them put on their own pants, cut with a knife (under supervision!), do their laces. There are a million ways to practice fine motor skills in everyday life. Often the only thing you need is a bit of patience (or a lot of it).

And now I wish you a lot of fun playing, practicing and fine-motor-skilling.

Thank you for reading, for tolerating my butchering of the English language and for being patient with me.

If you want to read more about toys, come here and stay for a while. I’ve done a lot of research, testing and reviews on the German part of this website and will translate a lot more content in the future.

If you are interested in a particular topic, let me know. I am always available for conversations via the comment function or via e-mail at katja@kleine-fische.com.

All the best

Katja

Hubelino Review – why there’s no better marble run for kids

Hubelino marble run

It’s all about the marbles today. As I said in the headline, the Hubelino marble run for kids is in my opinion seriously the best. At least for children between the age of three and ten. Maybe even a little older.

In this review, you’ll find out why I’m so impressed by this marble run system and whether it is the right one for your kid and your family. Because there are probably people out there who don’t love it quite as much as I do.

Buckle up and get yourself some tea. This Hubelino review is going to be detailed.

Also: I’m German and very much apologize for all mistakes in this review. I guarantee that it’s honest, but I don’t guarantee that the grammar makes sense.

As always: This review is not sponsored. We purchased and paid for all the toys in this review. We use them daily. The review does, however, contain affiliate links.

What is Hubelino?

Hubelino is a marble run system and fully compatible with Lego Duplo. The general principle of Hubelino and Lego Duplo is the same and all the building blocks of both systems fit together seamlessly. You can easily use Lego Duplo to build your Hubelino foundation or build a Hubelino marble run on an already existing Duplo building.

The Hubelino building blocks are made from plastic and are stuck together and on top of each other to build whatever form or building or structure you can imagine. They come in various sizes and can all be combined just as you want.

The blocks themselves are very simple and basic and are therefore endlessly variable. They are used to build the foundation for the marble run.

On top of these building blocks, you build the actual marble run with the help of the run elements. These also come in different sizes and shapes and the combinations are practically endless.

Your only limitations are your own creativity and the number of available building blocks and run elements (spoiler: you’ll need more than you think).

Run Elements

Run elements are what the marble run is made of. The marbles will run in those blocks.

There are a growing number of different sets with different combinations of those elements. We’ll look at these a little later in this review.

Every element comes in four different colours: red, blue, yellow, green. The colours are pretty much the same as the Lego Duplo colours.

Hubelino run element
Start and end
Hubelino run element
curve
Hubelino run element
crossing
Hubelino run element
big curve
Hubelino run element
small slide
Hubelino run element
big slide
Hubelino run element
curved slide
Hubelino run element
small run
Hubelino run element
medium run
Hubelino run element
tunnel
Hubelino run element
turn

Building Blocks

You’ll need building blocks to build the foundation for your marble run. If you already have a lot of Lego Duplo building blocks, you can easily use those or combine the two systems. This is one of the reasons why I love the Hubelino system so much. You can utilize the whole Lego Duplo world with all the building blocks, structures and accessories.

Just stick some run elements on them an voilà, you have a marble run.

Don’t underestimate how much building blocks you’ll need for your run. Especially if you want to build a big one.

Hubelino Baustein Fundament Hubelino Baustein Fundament Hubelino Baustein Fundament Hubelino Baustein Fundament Hubelino Baustein Fundament Hubelino Baustein Fundament

The Hubelino building blocks that come in the various sets are mostly just white. Which is great because you can easily spot them. A completely white foundation also looks great. If you don’t like the white ones, you can also get them in the colours of the run elements – red, green, yellow, blue.

Additional Elements / Expansions

Very important and a lot of fun are the additional elements. They are awesome if you want to build a more complex run or if you just want to add a little something.

I want to emphasize the quality of those elements. They are robust, solid, fit perfectly and they work. Which is kind of sad that it needs to be said. But I had so much toys that barely work that I feel the need to say this. They work great!

The additional elements are all orange. Bold colour choice, but at least you can easily spot them.

The additional elements are not included in the normal sets. You will have to buy them separately. Click on the image for a link to Amazon or scroll further down to find all the information.

Hubelino additional elements catapult
catapult
Hubelino additional elements cradle chute
cradle chute
Hubelino additional elements twister
twister
Hubelino additional elements switch
switch
Hubelino additional elements see-saw
see-saw

If you have building blocks, run elements, additional elements and Lego Duplo blocks, Duplo figures and whatever else there is, you can build basically anything from the smallest toddler marble run to the biggest imaginable marble city.

The limit is, as I said, only your creativity, patience and the number of blocks and elements you have available.

Company, Material and Manufacturing

Hubelino is a German family business that has been operating since 2008.

The Hubelino marble run, on the other hand, has only been available since 2013. Which is probably why it’s basically unknown in comparison to other marble runs that are currently sold. Which is a little sad, but we might be able to change that.

I have asked the company about the manufacturing process because I wasn’t able to find anything online.

They confirmed that they manufacture the Hubelino elements exclusively in Germany. The whole process from design, production to packaging takes place here (or there – depending on where you are).

This is – according to them – the strength of Hubelino. Because there are a lot of marble runs made of plastic. But there aren’t many good ones.

The Hubelino expertise is quite clearly the production of plastic parts. The founder and managing director is also the managing director of a company that supplies plastic parts for various technical applications like engines and industrial machines.

The production uses exclusively ABS plastic. Lego and Lego Duplo are made of the same high-quality material. There are many benefits to this plastic, mostly regarding longevity and resilience. The material is also recyclable, which means that defective or imperfect parts can just be grained and reused.

All Hubelino products are chemically and mechanically tested by Bureau Veritas in Hamburg. They are compliant with all international guidelines for toys (e.g. EN-71 and ASTM).

Why is Hubelino so great?

I’m not even trying to sound professional with my titles anymore…

This section is going to be very detailed. For everyone who doesn’t have the time or the patience to sit and read through all of it, I’ll summarize the biggest advantages.

  • It’s fully compatible with Lego Duplo. The elements fit together seamlessly. You have to look really closely at the blocks to even tell them apart.
  • It’s endlessly expandable. You can always add more building blocks, more run elements and more additional elements. There are always new sets and new possibilities. You can always go bigger, more creative, more complex. It grows with the child.
  • It’s solid, robust, almost non-breakable, washable and there’s hardly any wear and tear. Ours look as good as new after almost two years of playing. They can be used for a long time and I would be shocked if they didn’t resell for a decent amount once your kid has outgrown them.
  • Eco-friendly, sustainable manufacturing, made in Germany.

Here you go. That’s why it’s the best. But stay with me because it’s going to get even better! I have pictures and videos.

(And if you have absolutely no time, then I’ll leave you a link to Amazon here for the best value starter set.)

What are the benefits for my child?

From my point of view, there’s basically no toy that is perfect and can fulfil all possible requirements, no matter if it’s quality, learning experience, fun, interaction, consciousness or whatever else you might find important.

Hubelino comes close, though.

Why I think that Hubelino is a great educational toy.

  • Hubelino is compatible with Lego Duplo (I might have already mentioned this a time or ten). This means you cannot only build ‘normal’ marble runs but you can create whole marble worlds. That stimulates creativity, imagination and improves concentration. It also means that children spend more time playing with this toy no matter if they want to build a zoo, a dollhouse or a parking garage.
  • Sticking the blocks together, pulling them apart, building, fitting, placing. This system is a great training tool for fine motor skills without the children even noticing that they are doing it. Which is why it’s such a great toy for small kids. And if the kids aren’t there yet to do it alone, they can help older siblings or they can build together with Mom and Dad.
  • It improves logical and analytical thinking. It stimulates the ability to be focused on a solution. It’s remarkable how long kids can play with this and try and figure out how to build exactly what they want. I see this with my three-year-old daughter who is usually all over the place and never stops long enough to concentrate on anything except for chocolate and Hubelino.
  • Hubelino is great for spending time together and playing together with everyone in the family. It’s a toy for many different ages. Small children, school-aged children, even teenagers, parents, grandparents. They not only play with it because the kid likes it, Hubelino is genuinely fun to play even for adults. It’s just quality time together.

Last but not least. Hubelino is so much fun!

I’ve also looked at the different ages and what benefits Hubelino has for each group:

Hubelino for Toddlers

There are a few very good reasons why I love the Hubelino marble run for toddlers. And I observe these reasons almost daily as our daughter was gifted her first Hubelino set when she was two years old. She’s three now and loves to play with her marbles.

Please note: The manufacturer recommends Hubelino for children starting from 4 years old. I believe this is because of two things:

  • There are a few small elements you have to look out for. Especially with toddlers who like to put things in their mouth. You should never let your toddler play with Hubelino without supervision. Especially the marbles should be watched. Although they’re bigger than ‘normal’ marbles, you should still have an eye on them.
  • Children who are younger than four years can’t really build working marble runs on their own.

Hubelino Murmel Kugel

But. That said. Our daughter still loves it.

Because even if it’s too early for her to build her own marble runs, she can still help to build it, help to design it, and she can definitely let the marbles run.

Why we bought a Hubelino marble run for our daughter (and not any other)

  • The building blocks are stuck together and the whole construction is a lot more solid than all the other marble runs that we’ve tried and that would be suitable for younger children. Especially those that are just stacked. Even toddlers can operate the runs without just having everything collapse. Even if the fine motor skills are not the best yet.
  • It’s compatible with Lego Duplo (I’m sorry for mentioning that yet again). Which means that our daughter can contribute other things like putting Duplo flowers and animals on the track. She can help to build without having to build the marble run. If that makes sense.
  • Hubelino can be as small or as big as you want. You don’t have to build everything in one go. You can build in sections, a few minutes here, a few minutes there, but still use the small sections even if the run is not yet complete. This is great for the attention span of a toddler.
  • Big Hubelino runs can be very complex and complicated. There are a few examples in this review. But they don’t have to be that big and complicated. Below this list, I’ve included an example of a toddler-run that I have built for my daughter. Because simple is sometimes better.
  • The Hubelino blocks and elements are absolutely easy to clean and low maintenance. You can even put them in the washing machine. They endure all possible and impossible liquids, dirt, whatever. They can also be used outside.
  • The elements are made of plastic, which makes them very light. They are easy to handle for small children and easy to carry and transport. We always have a small bag of the blocks and elements with us when we go on vacation or if we’re overnight somewhere. And if you lose an element, it’s not the end of the world.

Obviously this doesn’t mean that toddlers can’t enjoy the big runs. Especially when Daddy helped to build it:

Hubelino for Kids from 4 to 6

Four-year-old kids can already build their own, small runs. The great thing about this system is, that you can build the easiest and simplest runs. Why not build a starter run with only 4 or 5 elements?

And then you can take those runs and expand and grow and let them be more complex.

Or build several very easy and small runs and combine them. You can do this with boxes, steps or just more building blocks to lift them up.

This will train and improve logical thinking, concentration, fine motor skills, and the children will be rightfully proud of themselves.

If you haven’t noticed yet: I think Hubelino is one of the best educational toys for children in this age group.

Hubelino for School Kids

Hubelino Kugelbahn Kinder

Now it’s getting more complex! The construction can be higher, wider, loopier, with different tracks, additional elements and own ideas. Seriously. Ask your kid, they are a lot more creative than I am.

If you have enough building blocks and run elements, basically anything is possible.

The general rule of thumb is: around the age of six, Lego Duplo gets a lot less interesting and will sooner or later be abandoned for the normal Lego line. This is a bit sad because there are so many great things about the Lego Duplo world and so many interesting elements. I personally think that with the addition of Hubelino, your Lego Duplo investment will last quite a bit longer. Because it can be a lot more challenging even for school kids.

Hubelino für Adults

Ok. Let’s be real.

Hublino Kugelbahn große Kinder

In case you didn’t notice yet: My husband and I love Hubelino. There. I said it. There were honestly quite a few rainy Sundays when all three of us were sitting in our daughter’s room, building ever higher and crazier marble runs. And I’m not sure who of us had the most fun.

Where can you buy Hubelino?

Outside of Germany, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Your best bet is Amazon. Though even on Amazon, you’ll not always get all the ‘normal’ sets or additional sets. Watch the shipping costs, they vary quite a bit.

This is going to improve once more people will be interested in Hubelino. So do your part 🙂

I’ll introduce all the available sets from the manufacturer, so you’ll know what’s out there. I’ll also link them to Amazon.

If you are a Hubelino starter and have no building blocks or elements, it makes the most sense to start with one of their sets. With those, you’ll have all the parts you need to build a decent run.

They come, of course, in different sizes and each year, there are new sizes and combinations. Which sometimes gets a little confusing but doesn’t actually matter as all blocks are compatible. Just get the set that you need to build the size of the run you want to have.

The Small One – Starter Set

If you’re not quite sure if this system is the right one for you, you may want to try it with this small set. It comes with 85 pieces and you can build small marble runs with it.

Perfect for a first try, a present, for small children or maybe as an add-on for a bigger set.

==> 85 piece starter set

The Middle One – Basic Building Box

Reasonable size starter set that I personally would recommend. It comes with 106 pieces.

You get enough blocks to build a decently sized marble run but it’s not excessive in case you really don’t like the system for whatever reason.

You get all the building blocks and normal run elements.

==> 106 piece building box

The Big One – Big Building Box

If you’re serious with your marble run ambitions, you can get a pretty big deal with this big building box. It comes with 200 pieces.

Big kids, no matter what age, will love this.

Also great if you have more than one kid and they like to build together.

(Note: This had unreasonably high shipping costs at the time of writing this article. In this case, I’d recommend buying two of the normal building boxes. You’ll get a better deal with that.)

==> 200 piece building box

Run Elements

If your family is anything like mine, your kids already have a good number of Lego Duplo building blocks.

In this case, it might be enough to buy only the run elements without the Hubelino building blocks.

But keep in mind that you’ll need quite a few blocks for a marble run foundation. The more, the better, especially if you like to build high.

==> 50 piece run elements set

Building Blocks

You can also buy the building blocks for the Hubelino run separately. In case you run out of them.

==> 105 piece white building blocks set

Base Plates

For the foundation, you’ll also need the base plates. Any Duplo compatible plate works. Of course, there are also plates in the building boxes.

If you need more, you can order them separately.

==> big base plate

Additional Elements and Expansion Sets

We’ve already introduced the additional elements. They are not included in the starter set or building boxes and they’re a great addition to your marble run world.

You can buy the additional elements with their own sets with various run elements and building blocks.

==> expansion sets on Amazon

The App and the Website

Yes, indeed, there’s a Hubelino App. There’s also a Website.

Those are the two only things I’m not really excited about. Apparently, someone decided ‘We need an app!’ Then they paid a student to build something and called it a day.

As there is apparently no English language version, I won’t go into the details content-wise. Just know that there are at the moment exactly 8 building instructions.

The website, on the other hand, is not so bad. At least the German part. There’s not much content in English. Which is also a little sad. Because why not? It can’t be that hard to translate an existing webpage.

There are also building instructions on the website. About twenty-five of them. They are also only available in German, but that’s not a big problem, as you need only the pictures. Again: I don’t understand why no-one translated them.

Fortunately, no one needs the app or the website to build great runs. Your kid will do just fine without them and in my very humble opinion, it’s better for creativity and imagination to build your own.

Let them enjoy their childhood until they’re forced to assemble their first IKEA-bed.

Are There Other, Comparable, Marble Runs?

Sure. Kind of. I’ve looked at a lot of other marble runs and tried most of them at least a couple of times. For me, personally, none of them can tick as many boxes as the Hubelino. At least at the moment. This may change once our daughter gets older and our requirements change.

People Who Shouldn’t Buy Hubelino

No matter how great I think this toy is, there are always families and children who wouldn’t like this system and thus shouldn’t invest their money into something they won’t use.

Hubelino is not the right toy for people who don’t like plastic

If you don’t like plastic and rather have toys made from natural, organic material like wood, then Hubelino is not the right system for you.

Because Hubelino is a lot of plastic.

Hubelino works best in combination with Lego Duplo

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Hubelino can only be played by people who already have Lego Duplo at home. Not at all. With all of the Hubelino sets, you can build awesome marble runs all on their own.

But.

If you and your kid tried Lego Duplo and didn’t like it, then I’d reconsider buying Hubelino. Because the way you build and construct the runs is the same as you would with Duplo blocks.

If you’re not sure, then start with one of the smaller starter sets and see how you like it. You’ll know very soon whether it’s the right system for your child.

Let’s Summarize this Review

This was a lot of text. I doubt that many people are still reading.

For you brave people that are still here: I love you.

Advantages of the Hubolino Marble Run System

  • Very good quality. Exclusively made in Germany.
  • Low maintenance, washable, robust, solid, long-living. Suitable for travelling and outdoors.
  • Fully and seamlessly compatible with Lego Duplo.
  • Grows with the child from toddler to school age.
  • You can build as small as you want and as big as you want. As simple and as complex. You can start with only a few elements and expand for as long as you like.
  • Great educational toy to improve concentration, focus, motor skills, logical thinking, analytical thinking, problem-solving, patience, imagination and creativity.
  • Great way to spend family time together and build with siblings, parents, relatives, friends…

My Very Personal Subjective Opinion

If you’re still not convinced, there’s nothing I can say to change that 🙂

No, seriously. I don’t often give such a strong recommendation. But Hubelino does everything right in my opinion. The quality, the playing experience, the learning experience, the social experience.

If you have young children, who love Lego Duplo, are marble run fans or are interested in construction toys, there’s not much else out there that’s better than this system.

Go buy it.

==> Hubelino on Amazon

 

Alright. I have written ‘Hubelino’ so many times that it doesn’t even feel like a real word anymore.

If you don’t like this marble run, then I’d love to hear why. Leave a comment, let me know.

If you already have one, I’d also like to hear from you.

Thank you for reading this. Thank you for clicking on the link. Thank you for enduring my English grammar. This site is not new. But the English portion is. This is the first review I’m publishing and I’d love for it to help people make good decisions.

This website might seem empty but it won’t stay empty for long.

I hope you find this helpful and come back some time.

with love

Katja

 

Babybjorn One Review – Is it as good as it looks?

Review Babybjorn One

I’m testing and reviewing the Babybjorn baby carrier One, all models. And I’m trying to answer all your questions. How is it compared to other carriers? What are the pros, the cons? What are the features and the bugs? I want you to be able to decide whether it’s the right carrier for you and whether it’s worth the price. In this article: Babybjorn One, Cotton Mix, Air Mesh, Outdoor and Mini. 

And this is what it’s all about

Babybjorn Carrier One Review:

Baby Carrier Babybjorn One – The Features
The Models: Babybjorn One, Cotton Mix, Air Mesh, Outdoor, Mini
The Carrier in Various Developmental Phases
Babybjorn One Compared to Other Carriers
Summary 

Disclaimer: This review is not sponsored and represents my very personal, very honest opinion. It does, however, contain affiliate links and therefore ad content.

2nd Disclaimer: My native language is not English. You’ll notice. I did my very best.

Here’s my honest opinion for everyone who doesn’t have the time to read this obscenely detailed review

The Babybjorn One carrier is different from most of the other carriers. It’s elegant, minimalistic, constructed and has a very engineered strap and buckle system. It also has some nifty details.

I definitely recommend the carrier, especially because of its ergonomics and functionality. It’s very good, very appropriate for baby’s development and the quality is excellent.

But. You have to like the way it works and looks.

Because ‘comfy’, ‘cuddly’, ‘cozy’ are not the adjectives that come to mind when you see, touch and feel this carrier. It’s bigger than other carriers, more voluminous and for lack of a better word, more industrial. And there’s room for improvement when carrying toddlers. Getting them into the carrier when it’s on the back is just a little more complex than it needs to be.

On the other hand, the Babybjorn One is outstanding when we’re talking about flexibility and adaptability. Straps and buckles let you adjust the carrier easily. You can carry a newborn as well as a toddler without having to compromise regarding ergonomics for the child AND for you. Especially the seat area for the position of the legs as well as the head and neck support are one of the best I’ve seen in carriers.

I personally think that this carrier, with the big buckles, the modern design and the big volume is a statement piece and finally something different. Because most of the other carriers look similar. I’m not saying they are bad or even ugly. But I’m saying that variation is a good thing.

==> And here are the current Amazon prizes and special offers

And now, let’s talk about the details.

(Get yourself some coffee or tea, it’s going to be a long one.)

Baby Carrier Babybjorn One – The Features

My First Impression

I’ve looked at and touched and tried a lot of carriers. But this one is somehow different:

  • The buckles are bigger and remind me more of an airplane seatbelt than a baby carrier. They are a lot of fun to open and close, though.
  • The carrier is very solid and robust, including the straps. The quality is great, it feels very high-end and the material feels pretty expensive, too.
  • It’s the very opposite of playful.
  • It’s quite voluminous and has something like a backplate.
  • You’d never call this carrier bohemian or crunchy or hippy-chic. Those are all words that come to mind when I usually think of baby carriers.

To be a bit clearer: This is a carrier for engineers, for people who like design, for no-nonsense mums and dads.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not a bad thing. But this carrier is different from the usual carriers, like the Ergobaby, the Manduca or the Bondolino. And it’s very different from simple wraps or mai tais.

I believe that Babybjorn very intentionally goes in another direction. They purposefully distance themselves from the typical ‘babywearing mamas’, who are seen to be a bit different. And this is a good thing. Because the times, when you had to be a bit cooky to wear your baby, are long gone. These days almost everyone carries their babies (because it’s great for everyone), so it’s time to have more options.

And if you have no idea what I mean, I have pictures to illustrate what I’m talking about.

Babybjörn Trage One Test Detail Babybjörn Trage One Test Detail Babybjörn Trage One Test Detail Babybjörn Trage One Test Detail

Here are some pictures from a different, more ‘usual’ carrier, the Bondolino. I think the difference is quite obvious. To be fair, there is also quite a price difference.

bondolino trage details

The Babybjorn is geared towards a very specific target group. This is…

  1. clever – because there is a big group of people who will love this design.
  2. pretty well done – at least regarding look and feel of the carrier. We’ll talk about functionality and usability a little later.

The Features of the Babybjorn in Bullets

  • Fully adjustable seat width for the perfect leg position. Adjustable from newborn to toddler.
  • Adjustable seat height, from newborn to toddler.
  • Padded and shock-absorbent waist belt. Adjustable: approx 31 to 62 inches in diameter.
  • Adjustable, well-padded shoulder straps.
  • Adjustable head and neck support. It’s foldable and out of the way if you don’t need it.
  • Built-in infant insert for newborns.
  • Size of the leg openings can be adjusted.
  • 4 carry positions: front facing backward for newborns and older babies, front facing forwards, on the back.
  • Very long usable time from birth to about 3 years (8-33lbs).
  • The International Hip Dysplasia Institute acknowledges the carrier to be hip friendly.
  • Machine washable.
  • All materials are free from harmful substances and approved according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100, class I for baby products.
  • Meets the requirements of the European safety norm DIN EN 13209-2:2015 for baby carriers and the US-American norm ASTM F223.
  • Small packing volume as you can roll it up.
  • Detailed, illustrated manual as well as how-to videos online from the manufacturer.

Straps, Buckles and Adjustments

The belt and strap system is well thought-out and makes babywearing easy and comfortable.

I just wanted to get that out before I start complaining about the little details.

The way how this carrier works differs significantly from the way other carriers work. I’ll show you exactly how and if this makes sense. Before we do that I’ll say again that from an ergonomic point of view, the carrier is really good and appropriate, even for small babies.

Not only did they get the ergonomy right for the kid, they also got it right for the one who has to carry the carrier. This is mainly due to the well-padded straps and the many possibilities to adjust the Babybjorn One.

This carrier has come a long way from the first version that was heavily (and rightly so) criticized, mainly for leg positioning.

The waist belt distributes the weight and makes carrying even heavy (and wiggly) toddlers a breeze.

Because despite being called a waist belt, this belt puts a good amount of the weight on the hips. And hips not only always tell the truth, they are also pretty strong. This isn’t a big thing as long as your baby is a newborn. But once it grows – and it will – you’ll carry around 20 lbs, and you’ll be grateful for the relief this belt gives your back.

Babybjörn HüftgurtIt’s well padded, fits great, is easily adjustable and it’s not too big and thick to be comfortable. Even if you’re more on the petite side.

Lengthwise, it’s one of the most adjustable belts I’ve ever seen on a carrier. You can adjust the length from 30 to 60 inches in diameter. Plus, the strap ends can be put away and don’t dangle around. Which is something that drives me nuts. Very few carriers have this very obviously practical feature.

I’m actually a big fan of this buckle. It’s not even really a buckle but more of a wide hook. This makes it super easy to open and close, even without looking at it.

The shoulder straps are well thought-out…

They are not too wide and not too small and like the waist belt, they are well-padded and easily adjustable. What else could you want?

(That’s a trick question because there’s more!)

The straps have a velvety inner lining. At first, I thought it is an unnecessary gimmick. But the more I’ve worn this carrier, the more I’ve come to appreciate this. Because right there, on this constructed, minimalistic design carrier, there’s this little bit of comfy, soft, cushiony strap that you normally don’t even see. So someone really thought about mum or dad who is carrying the baby.

I really like and appreciate that.

Here’s what the straps look like on narrow and on broad shoulders and when carrying on the front and on the back:

Schulterträger Babybjörn One Trage Schulterträger Babybjörn One Trage

… the back yoke is not my favorite thing in the world.

Why is it called a back yoke if half the time it’s on your front? We’ll never know.

The idea for the back yoke (or front yoke when you carry the baby on your back) is not bad. It’s a sturdy strap that can be pulled up and down. I actually really like the way it’s attached to the carrier.

But why, why, is there no buckle? Seriously, who decided not to put a buckle in there to open this strap??? It just makes no sense.

I’m not joking here. You can’t open this strap. I’ve never seen this. I’m shocked.

Babybjörn One Brustgurt

Obviously, I’m being a little dramatic. It’s not a dealbreaker that you can’t open this strap but it’s definitely inconvenient. Because it means that you have to pull this carrier over your head. Every time! And it makes getting your baby in a carrying position on your back a lot more complicated than it should be (more on that later. with pictures.).

And it’s so not necessary. Because it would have been so easy to put a buckle in there. Or a hook. Or something.

Dear Babybjorn, please change that. Add a buckle.

The rest of the strap and buckle system is so good. It’s easy, it’s comfortable, it’s endlessly adjustable in seconds. And I’ll show you how:

First decision: newborn or toddler?

There are two height positions. Before you put on the carrier, you need to decide whether you need the newborn position or the baby position:

Babybjorn One height position
Height Position Newborn (24-27 in)
Babybjorn One height position
Height Position Baby (>27 in)
Zipper for big hands
Zipper for Big Hands…
If you chose the newborn position, the baby sits higher and closer to your face. As a general rule of thumb: When the baby is in a carrier, you should be able to kiss its head. Then it’s well positioned.

As you can see, the Babybjorn stays true to its design concept. This zipper is made for real man hands: thick and red. Satisfying.

The leg-hole-minimizer (I have no idea what to call this)

babybjörn One beinlochverkleinerungThis is great. Because now your newborn can’t fall out through the side. Or something like this.

To be quite honest, I have no idea how to call these things, and I have no idea if they’re necessary. But they are easy to adjust and they are there. So why not. Safety first.

Very important: Fully adjustable seat width

This is, in my opinion, the most important adjustment you can make. Only ever buy a baby carrier where you can adjust the width of the seat. Because this is essential for the development of baby’s hip. You need to get those legs up and spread.

Rule: The seat should go from one knee to the other. The knees need to be as high as baby’s belly button. The legs should curve around your body which spreads them naturally. Imagine the legs forming the letter ‘M’.

This adjustment changes my rating of this carrier from good to excellent. Because this is, no joke, the best system that I’ve ever seen in a carrier. I hope the other manufacturers are watching and taking notes.

The reason why it’s so good:

… you can adjust it with one hand
… it’s ridiculously easy to adjust
… you can do it yourself while the baby is inside the carrier.

Great and innovative solution. A lot of thought and love went into this detail which I really appreciate because as I said, the width of the seat is one of the most important things when it comes to good ergonomics. I’ve actually written a whole article about leg positions and hip development. I’ll link this as soon as I’ve translated it. Until then, just believe me. You need a properly adjustable seat.

Incidentally, it is also the main reason why the first version of the Babybjorn carrier was developmentally really unhealthy and widely critiqued. They listened and they improved. I like that.

Babybjörn One Schulterschnalle

We’ll adjust the height of the seating again…

Once the baby is in the carrier, you can finetune the height with the upper end of the shoulder straps. Which is really great. Because now you can find the perfect position for the baby for every person who carries the little critter. Very individual and very easy.

 

 

 

And now the big buckles on the back

These are the last buckles. And the biggest. They are closed on the back of the carrier and are attached to the lower end of the shoulder straps. This way, the carrier closes tightly around the baby and keeps it very safe and cozy (Just because the carrier doesn’t look cozy, doesn’t mean it can’t be cozy). Now you can adjust the width of the carrier directly with the shoulder straps. The more you pull on them, the tighter the carrier gets. Pretty clever solution.

These buckles work well and close with a satisfying ‘click’. They are a bit different than ‘normal’ carrier buckles. But after a few tries, they are easy to handle. They’re also a lot of fun to close.

Before we grab our baby, I’d like to talk about another detail that is one of my highlights.

The foldable neck and head support is brilliant.

But: Did they forget the hood?

Indeed, there’s no hood. The thing is, I don’t even miss it, even though almost every other carrier does have one.

Why I don’t miss it? Because this neck and head support does work as intended. It is a real, actual, solid, sturdy support of the neck and the head. And whenever I take my baby outside, I make sure to protect her from whatever weather is out there.

Sun? She wears a sunproof hat. Rain? She wears a rainproof hat. Wind? She wears a windproof hat. Hail? We stay inside because we’re not crazy.

I don’t need extra element protection from the carrier. I do need proper head support, though. And this is almost as solid as a brace. It also protects against unwanted looks and shields the little ones from too much action and impressions.

I especially like that this one is foldable. Because whenever you don’t need it, you just fold it down and it’s gone. No dangling, no hanging, no nothing.

Babybjörn Nackenstütze Babybjörn Kopfstütze

As you can see, as long as the babies are really small, it sort of does protect them from the elements. Though there’s still nothing on the very top of the head.

Alright. We talked about all the adjustments. Let’s look at the carrying positions and the actual babywearing now.

The 4 Front and Back Carrying Positions

I’m going to make this easy for me and for you and will link the very professional videos of the manufacturer instead of trying to describe all the positions and how to get the baby in there. You’re welcome.

You can also download the manual here if you want to have it in print.

Front Carrying Position Facing in

(This is 2 positions because Babybjorn counts the two heights – newborn and baby – as two separate positions. Sneaky.)

Back Carrying Position

There’s not really a possibility to let an older kid climb on the back and into the carrier on his own and then pull up the carrier. Can you picture what I mean? Because that’s something I like to do with other carriers.

That means it’s a little more work to get a toddler into the carrier. I’m not a fan of that concept. I don’t like work in general…

Front carrying position facing out…

…is something I never, ever recommend. Don’t do it.

It’s not healthy for hip development. It’s an ergonomic catastrophe. Especially when you carry them facing out too young. It can also be too many impressions for the little ones.

If you do it anyway (I’m not your boss), your kid should at least be 5 months old and not heavier than 25lbs.

(Don’t do it.)

Babybjorn is very proud of this carrier

There’s a lot of branding. No less than 3 very big labels very helpfully provide the information that this carrier was indeed and really and actually made by Babybjorn.

At least the branding is nice.

The Models of the Babybjorn Carrier

All of the models and all the materials are free from harmful substances and approved according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100, class I for baby products. Additionally, the carriers meet the requirements of the European safety norm DIN EN 13209-2:2015 for baby carriers and the US-American norm ASTM F223.

You can wash them in the washing machine in warm water (40°C). Wash them separately, use mild and bleach-free detergent and don’t tumble dry.

In my experience, they don’t need a lot of washing. Most of the time it’s enough to wipe them down with a wet cloth to get rid of the daily dirt.

Babybjorn One – Cotton Mix

Material: Outer fabric: 60% cotton, 40% polyester. Lining: 100‍% cotton. Padding: polyester and PU foam (straps)

The Babyjorn One Cotton Mix is the basic model.

It’s mostly available in darker colors like grey, denim and black. But be sure to check because sometimes there are quite fun special editions available.

==> Babybjorn One Cotton available models at Amazon

Babybjorn One Air Mesh

Material: 100% polyester. Leg protection: 100% cotton.

This one is available in lighter colors. It’s also the model you see me wearing here in this review. It’s actually a really pretty color and breaks up the more rigid design.

This carrier is called Air or Air Mesh or Mesh. It’s basically the same carrier than the basic model.

There’s only one difference: This carrier is made from airy, breathy, quick-dry 3D mesh. This mesh has 3 layers: A very soft mesh that’s against the skin of the baby and a very robust mesh on the outside. Between the two there is a filling.

In the manufacturer’s words: Instead of padding, which can make a baby carrier bulky and too warm, the filling in the middle layer consists of a fine, single-fiber thread that gives the baby carrier the stability of padding, yet ensures a very good airflow, so it stays airy and cool when you’re babywearing.

I tried the Air extensively and I love it. The air circulation in the summer heat is really good compared to other carriers. But honestly, the difference is not massive. If you like the basic cotton model better, you will not miss out too much.

==> Current available models and prices

Babybjorn One Outdoor

Material: Main material: 100% polyamide, outer protection: 100% polyurethane, mesh: 100% polyester, leg protection: 100% cotton

More colors and more fun with this model.

This carrier is again based on the base model. It’s also water resistant, comes in a pouch and looks a little more sporty and outdoorsy. There are some loops and a little bag for keys or a mobile phone.

It’s quite good looking and the price is not much different – depending on the color. I quite like it. But the difference is more in the looks than in the features.

==> Find your favorite color here

Babybjorn Mini

Technically speaking this carrier is not one of the One-models. But I want to mention it in this review because I like the concept and I do not want to write a whole dedicated review.

It also looks a bit like the Babybjorn One, so this totally counts.

This one is a lot smaller, though, and was specially developed for newborns. Which is why I really like it.

If you are looking for a carrier for your very little one, then try this one. Because I’ve touched and tested it, and the concept is sound, it’s very well made, and it’s a comfy little cocoon for your newborn baby. I’ve also talked to other parents and the carrier gets almost always stellar ratings.

The features:

  • Small, simple carrier, that is easy to put on
  • Very soft, comfy and cuddly
  • Only a few adjustments are necessary, so it’s very easy to use
  • Sturdy, adjustable head support
  • Perfect for babies up to about 12 month
  • Available in 3 variations (Jersey, Mesh, Cotton)
  • Machine washable

==> Get yours here!

Baby Carrier Babybjorn One in Different Ages

The requirements for baby carriers change when the baby gets older. Therefore I’d like to talk about the different ages and how the Babybjorn performs in each.

Babybjorn Carrier One for Newborns

The Babybjorn One is one of the big, voluminous carriers. This can be a bit much fabric and material for very small, newborn babies. There’s another thing that bothers me for the small ones: With this carrier, the baby doesn’t rest directly against the skin of mum or dad. There’s a fabric barrier between the one who carries the baby and the baby. There’s no direct skin contact.

I personally am not a fan of this. I like them as close as possible. But this can also be an advantage. My husband, for example, likes this because especially in the summer, he sweats a lot less when there’s a bit of distance between skin and skin.

Especially for newborns, it’s extremely important to adjust the width of the seat properly. That’s the only way you’ll get a developmentally appropriate leg position. The seat should always be as wide as the distance from knee to knee. So the knees are up and the legs are gently spread around your body.

The big buckles seem a bit overkill for newborns. But, well, you plan to use this carrier for a while so it’s worth to deal with it for a few weeks.

It may not be the most comfortable carrier for newborns, but it does have enough adjustments to make it ergonomically sound and developmentally appropriate.

Those are:

  • seat width
  • seat height
  • head and neck support
  • adjustable leg holes

Therefore I do recommend this carrier for newborns, especially if you look for a carrier that will last you through the whole babywearing time.

Babybjorn Carrier One for Babys from 4 Months to 18 Months

This is the time when this carrier shines. And it’s also the time when most people are probably going to use it. It was specially made for proper babies that are a bit bigger than newborns but not yet toddlers. During this time it’s the most comfortable and ergonomic.

Once they are 4 months old, the little ones can hold their head, they start to balance their weight, and, once they get closer to 12 months, they’ll be able to sit properly. They are not yet mobile enough, though, to constantly want to walk on their own, and most of them like to cuddle and cozy up to mum or dad.

The carrier is a great support for the legs, for the pelvis, the back and the head and neck. Even if the baby falls asleep. That’s why I love especially the solid head support that you can just fold up with one hand without having to deal with a floppy hood or straps or buckles. It’s just one second and done.

Now, when the baby is bigger, the big, bulky buckles make sense. You can buckle up very quickly because they are easy to find and easy to use without having to see them. Closing them is very satisfying and is quite fun.

This carrier does give the baby room to breathe and move, but it also keeps him safe and comfortable. And the thick, padded back support is also almost like an armor. You don’t have to worry about bumping into things or moving very gently. The baby is safe.

If you look for a carrier for a baby from 4 months to about 18 months, you should definitely look into this carrier.

Babybjorn Carrier One for Toddlers

Now we’ll talk again about the back yoke and the back carrying position.

Compared to other carriers you’ll have to work a little more before your toddler sits comfortably in the carrier.

And I know that not many people carry around their 2-year-olds. But those who do it with another carrier know, that it’s so easy to just put the carrier on, let the kid hop onto your back and then pull the whole carrier up. Done.

That’s not possible with the Babybjorn. You’ll need to put the carrier on, strap the kid in on your hip, then push it onto your back, and then tighten everything. And hope you strangled nobody in the process.

(My toddler loves this, btw, because it’s obviously the funniest thing in the world…)

Babybjörn Kleinkind Babybjörn Kleinkind Babybjörn Kleinkind Babybjörn Kleinkind Babybjörn Kleinkind Babybjörn Kleinkind

There are 4 reasons for why I think this is not great, but I still recommend the Babybjorn:

  • Not many people carry around heavy toddlers on their backs
  • Once you are carrying around a heavy toddler, you have so much experience with this carrier, that it’ll be a piece of cake to strap in your kid
  • Toddlers usually quite like to participate and help in this process
  • Once they sit in the carrier, it’s really good and the weight distribution is great for your back

Other than the thing with getting them into the carrier, the Babybjorn is a solid carrier for toddlers.

It helps, though, when you start babywearing with this carrier when the baby is younger. Because the adjustments for toddlers are a little tricky if you start when they are older.

I think this is because you have to be careful when tightening the shoulder straps. As I already described in an earlier part of this review, the shoulder straps also adjust the width of the carrier itself. So you can’t pull too tight or you’ll constrain the toddler too much. They don’t like that. At all. And they’ll tell you. Loudly.

If you only look for a toddler carrier, this might not be the one for you.

If you look for a carrier for the whole babywearing time including the toddler months, I’d definitely recommend the Babybjorn. You can use it up to 33 lbs.

Babybjorn One in Comparison to Other Carriers

Babybjorn or Manduca?

I think it’s a matter of taste. Honestly, both carriers are excellent but very different when it comes to style. Maybe the Manduca is a little better on the outer edges of the age range, meaning newborns and toddlers.

The Babyjorn does have the design edge and is a little more modern. Even though the Manduca closes the gap with the new XT model. I’m not sure though if this is yet available in the States.

Surely both carriers are comparable in terms of ergonomy and quality. I think it comes down to what you like more.

There’ll be an in-depth review of the Manduca as soon as I manage to translate it.

==> Details at Amazon

Babybjorn or Ergobaby?

This, too, comes down to looks, carrier system and buckles.

I do have to say, though, that I think the Babybjorn is a little better when it comes to ergonomy for newborns.

The Ergobaby, in turn, wins the toddler age. Because it’s a lot less complicated to put on and you can – in my opinion – babywear a little longer. Although it’s rare that I see parents carrying toddlers who are heavier than 30 lbs or older than 3.

Of course, there’s also again the design. Decide for yourself.

==> Details at Amazon

Babybjorn or Marsupi?

It would be a lot fairer to compare the Marsupi to the Babybjorn Mini. We don’t do that, though, which is why we can answer this question super easily. You just have to know for which age you need the carrier.

Birth to 6 months? Marsupi!

Everything older and heavier than 6 months? Babybjorn!

If you are looking for a carrier that you can use during your whole babywearing time, you should get the Babybjorn.

But if you already know that you’ll only use the carrier until your kid is about 6 months old, then take the Marsupi. This carrier is specially made for newborns and is really good at what it was made for.

==> Details at Amazon

So What Does This Mean?

Let’s summarize advantages and disadvantages:

    Advantages of the Babybjorn One Carrier    

  • Intuitive carrier system
  • Long babywearing time
  • Fully adjustable seat width
  • Very well padded waist-belt and shoulder straps
  • Many adjustments for ergonomic babywearing
  • Great solution for ‘loading’ small and medium size babies
  • Great neck and head support which is very solid, adjustable and can simply be folded down
  • Adjustable seat height
  • Completely free from harmful substances
  • Good for hip development
  • Machine washable

    Disadvantages of the Babybjorn One Carrier    

  • Doesn’t come with a pouch or bag to store in the basic model
  • No hood
  • ‘Loading’ a toddler is a little complicated
  • Very big
  • No back yoke buckle

My very personal opinion

The Babybjorn Carrier is one of the better carriers that are available today. It’s a high-end carrier when it comes to ergonomy, quality and manufacturing. It’s very well made right down to the details. The design is unique and well thought-out. 

There’s room for improvement, however, especially regarding the comfort of buckling in.

I do honestly recommend the Babybjorn One, especially if you are looking for a carrier that you can use from birth to toddler. It’s suitable for babies as light as 8 lbs and goes all the way up to 30lbs toddlers.

You’ll have a lot of fun and a lot of wonderful babywearing time with this carrier. 

==> Go look at it on Amazon

 

And that’s it. I hope I answered all your question. If I missed one, please leave a comment, I’ll do my very best to answer it.

This is my first carrier review on the English part of this website. It’s by far not the first review I’ve ever written and it won’t be the last one that I’ll publish. Come back in a few weeks and there will be more.

I have a lot of experience with carriers and I love to share it with you and hope to help you make the best decisions.

With love

Katja

 

Photo credit: WOWS_ on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Ergobaby Carrier Review: Comfortable, Ergonomic and Back Friendly?

I’m talking about baby carriers again today! There’s been so much going on in the last years, so many new carriers, so much development. But we’re talking about one of the classic models today. The Ergobaby! It’s light, it’s comfortable and it’s really good. My daughter and I still love it. And she’s 3 years old!

Let’s take a closer look.

What You’ll Find in This Article

babytrage ergobaby

What is the Ergobaby carrier?
Features of the Ergobaby carrier
Quality, Material, all the Models
How to Carry the Carrier
Our Experiences
Pros and Cons of the Ergobaby Carrier
Our Rating and Summary
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

 

What is the Ergobaby Carrier?

Hi! I’m really glad (and amazed) that you found your way here. I hope you’ll find this information helpful. If you need more information, leave a comment or send me an email. I’m happy to talk about all the carriers in the world. katja@kleine-fische.com

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored article. It does, however, contain affiliate links and therefore ad content.

In case you don’t have the time or patience to read the entire review:

After testing it thoroughly and using it now for roughly 2 years, I highly recommend the Ergobaby Carrier. It’s particularly useful for babies between 5 months and 3 years. The padding is spectacular. It distributes the weight comfortably and it’s a high quality, well-manufactured product. Not only for babies but also for toddlers. 

==> All current models, colors, and prices on Amazon

The Ergobaby is one of the comfort carriers. That means it works just like a backpack (or front pack). It has a well-padded belt, well-padded straps that can be crossed. It also has a ton of possibilities to adjust and adapt to different babies and carriers.

Putting on the carrier is quick, easy and simple to learn. You can quickly put the baby into the carrier and take it out just as quickly. There’s no difference between putting it on at home or when you’re on the go (those of you who fought with a 20ft sling in the rain before know exactly what I’m talking about).

Before we talk about the Ergobaby features, I’d like to quickly summarize the advantages of using a baby carrier in general. Just in case you’re not convinced yet.

Why Baby Carriers are Really Good for Babies and for You

  • Babies are meant to be carried. That’s how we evolved and how we’ve always done it, before we gave up on it and invented the stroller. But they love being carried. They love skin contact and soft movement. Especially during the first 6 months of their live it gives them a feeling of comfort and safety. Most of the babies are most relaxed when they’re as close as possible to mom or dad.
  • You have your hands free and can eat something, clean up, tidy, read a book, drink a cup of coffee take a deep breath… That may sound mundane right now, but once your baby is here, those few minutes of free time will be precious.
  • Correct baby carrying prevents hip dysplasia and is proved to be great for the development of your baby’s back and the whole motion apparatus.
  • Having your baby so close with you, being able to hold it, kiss it, smell it, is just wonderful. Really, really wonderful.
  • Baby carriers like the Ergobaby are extremely practical. They are easy to transport, to store and to handle. It’s so much easier to travel, shop or use public transport with a baby carrier, compared to a stroller.
  • Baby carriers don’t cost a ton of money and you’ll have no related costs.
  • Compared to slings they are a lot more comfortable to put on and to carry, especially if you have an older baby or a toddler.

The Features of the Ergobaby

The features are a little different for the various models. These are the general features. We’ll talk about the differences a bit further down.

Product Features

  • You can use it for a long time. From birth to about 3 years, 7 to 45 lbs, depending on the model (for the Original and 360 you’ll need an infant insert in the first weeks.).
  • It has a small pouch to store necessities like key, extra diaper, phone..
  • Head protection and baby privacy hood (SP 50+), can be adjusted.
  • Shoulder straps come with a buckle or can be crossed – depending on model.
  • Length of the shoulder straps is very variable.
  • Machine washable in warm water.
  • Clear and in-depth instructions.

Carrying Features

  • The Ergobaby is indeed an ergonomic baby carrier. It can be easily adjusted to fit a wide variety of differently-sized carriers and babies. It provides a healthy carrying position for hip and back development.
  • Provides lumbar support for the carrier and prevents back pain.
  • All models are suitable for breastfeeding.
  • The shoulder straps are wide and very well padded. They distribute the weight and prevent the carrier from pulling at the shoulders.
  • The waist belt is comfortably wide and also very well padded.

Quality, Material and Models

The Ergobaby is made from 100% cotton. Well, most of them are. There are some special editions that contain other materials. Read the labels.

There is also the organic edition. These models are made from 100% organic cotton.

You can machine wash all the models in warm water. From my experience, they are also easy to clean with a wet cloth.

The quality of the baby carrier is solid. The whole thing is robust, very well made and it comes in a thick, sturdy fabric which is extremely easy to keep looking good. You can wipe it, wash it and even after quite a few machine washes it still looks fresh.

babytrage ergobaby details

We’ve been using our Ergobaby very regularly for almost three years now and it’s always been very low maintenance. The fabric is still without holes, pilling, scratches or pulled strings. The zippers work perfectly, the buckles fasten just as on the first day.

There are some signs of use, obviously, but it’s mainly some discoloration of the fabric – it’s canvas, though, so it adds to the look.

The Models of the Ergobaby

It seems like there’s a new model almost every year. Still, it’s relatively easy to compare them and find the right one as they have some very distinct features.

One thing, though, they are all comparable in quality and the way they are made and word. So just pick the one which has the features you need.

They are also all based on the same carrying system. The waist belt, the shoulder straps, the baby pouch are mostly the same.

There are some questions you can ask yourself before purchase, which will lead you to the right model:

Q: Do you want to use the Ergobaby right from the birth of your baby? 
A: Pick the Adapt or the Omni 360°. For all other models you’ll need an extra insert.

Q: Do you want to carry your baby facing forward?
A: Pick the 360° or Omni 360°. (Or even better, don’t do it because it’s not good for the baby…)

Q: Do you live in a warm climate or want to carry your baby mainly in summer?
A: Pick one of the mesh models.

Q: Do you just want to carry your baby and nothing else?
A: You can pick any model you like. I’d personally recommend the Original.

Ergobaby Original Collection

It’s the base model, the one that has been on the market for the longest time. It’s been consistently updated and improved, and it’s a solid, well-made carrier with a few bonus features like the extra large pouch.

Ergobaby describes it as ‘award-winning, ergonomic and a global bestseller’. Which pretty much nails it. I love this carrier. It was the first carrier we tried and it will be the one we’ll keep until the very end of our baby carrying time. (Which is approaching far too fast, as our daughter is now 3.5 years old.)

You can carry your baby in front of you facing inward, on your hip and on your back. Nursing is definitely possible. It has all the padding you’ll ever need, great lumbar support and it’s very flexible and adjustable.

The Ergobaby Original is suitable for babies from 12 to 45lbs. You can buy an additional newborn infant insert and use it from birth.

Or just buy it as a set  (==> Prices at Amazon).

This carrier is awesome. There’s just no other way to say it. Especially once your baby grows older, heavier, gets more mobile. I’ll go into detail a little later why it’s so great.

==> Current price at Amazon

Ergobaby 360° Collection

Also suitable for babies from 12 to 45 lbs.

The main difference between the 360° and the Original is that you can wear the baby facing forward with the 360°. If you want to do that.

It also has no pouch in the front. Which is a little sad, if you ask me.

But other than that, it’s basically the same as the Original. If you want to carry from birth, you’ll also need the Newborn infant insert.

For some reasons, I really like the look of this carrier.

==> Current price at Amazon

Ergobaby Adapt Collection

The Ergobaby Adapt adapts. (Sorry. I needed to say that.)

This means that you can wear your baby from birth and you don’t need an infant insert. The straps are crossable. This is great for petite persons because it’s easier on the shoulders.

You can NOT wear your baby in front facing forward, though. It also doesn’t have the pouch.

==> Current price at Amazon

Ergobaby Omni 360°

The Ergobaby Omni 360° is a combination of the Adapt and the 360°. This means you can wear babies from birth and you can also wear babies facing forward (starting at around 6 months).

==> Current price at Amazon

Ergobaby Cool Air Mesh

This isn’t really a model, it’s more of a fabric choice for the Adapt, 360° and Omni 360°. As far as I’ve seen, there are no Originals with the Cool Air Mesh.

Ergobaby says that there’s no better carrier for hot weather. I beg to disagree because I think the Babybjorn One is actually a little better because it has less skin contact. But, well. The Ergobaby is still pretty good.

It’s breathable, lightweight and durable. If you live in a warmer, humid climate, then this might be the one for you.

==> Current price at Amazon

Carrying Positions and How it Works

The Ergobaby is a carrier that you can use for a long time. One of the reasons for that is that you have 3 or even 4 carrying positions, depending on the model.

All models can wear babies in the following positions:

  • Front position, facing inward
  • On the hip
  • On the back

The 360° and Omni 360 offer another position:

  • Front position, facing outward

1. Front Position facing inward at any age

2. On the hip for babies 6 months and older

3. On the back for babies 6 months and older

4. Front position facing outwards for babies 6 months and older

 

These are all videos for the Omni 360°. But they all mostly work the same. The Ergobaby also comes with very detailed instructions. Once you put it on a couple times, it should be no problem.

For the very first time it doesn’t hurt to have a second person and a second pair of hands to help, but even that is not necessary. You can totally do it.

Our Personal Experiences With the Ergobaby Original

Ergobaby TrageWe have the Ergobaby since our daughter was about 6 monthes old. It was love on first try and we’ve been using it ever since.

In the last 2 years, we’ve tried a lot of carriers. But we’ve always come back to this one.

There are quite a few reasons why all of us really love this carrier:

It’s good for the baby. It really is. The seat brings the legs into the ‘M’-Position that is crucial for hip development. The back, neck and head are well supported when the baby is younger, and the carrier leaves enough room to grow and move once the baby gets older and bigger.

We didn’t need any instructions or have to learn how to put it on. It’s very intuitive and easy to wear and adjust. It just makes sense and we all (Mom, Dad, Granddad) managed to make it work within a few minutes on the first try.

It can be adjusted very quickly and easily. Which means whenever the baby gets too heavy or another person wants a chance to carry the baby, you can just give the carrier to someone else, adjust a few buckles and you’re good to go.

The Ergobaby is one of our favorite carriers because it’s so easy to get the baby in and out. Even getting our very active toddler on the back is very easy and takes only a few seconds. Which is why I personally reach for it the most whenever I go to get groceries, go on the bus or want to get somewhere quickly.

Our daughter loves the carrier. She sits safe and secure but it doesn’t restrict her movements too much. She loves being carried, but she doesn’t love being squeezed or pinched.

To this day she loves sleeping in it. This was a lot easier when she was smaller. You can use the hood to support the head and you can adjust the length of it. This doesn’t work anymore, so we’re using a scarf. Not ideal, but I actually know no carrier that has a better solution.

The Ergobaby is very back friendly. I don’t have back problems, so usually, I can use any carrier that fits me well. But my husband back is a disaster. The Ergobaby is one of the only carriers that really offers support where he needs it. Obviously, every back is different. But the weight distribution between shoulder belts and waist belt plus the padding is really a solid solution. If you have back pain, I’d suggest that you are extra careful when adjusting the carrier. A small change can make a big difference.

The carrier is extremely practical. No part of it is on the floor when you put it on. This is great outside especially when it’s raining.

My only complaints: The hood is not a good protection against the elements such as rain. And in this price range, I expect a small bag to carry it or store it.

Summary: Why We Love the Ergobaby

The pros of the Ergobaby

  • Easy and quick to put on. Easily adjustable. Very intuitive.
  • The shoulder straps are held together with a clip either on the front or the back, depending on your carrying position. In some models, you can cross the straps. Great for people with narrow shoulders.
  • The belts and straps work well for petit or not-so-petit people. Great for families where different people of different sizes wear the carrier.
  • No velcro.
  • No part of the carrier touches the floor when you put it on. Great for on the go.
  • You can use the head protection to keep the head secure when the child is sleeping. It can be buttoned to the shoulder straps.
  • Great carrier for bigger babies and toddler as it’s easy to get them into the carrier and out of it.
  • Great padding which is extremely important for carrying heavier babies and toddlers
  • Robust, long-living and low-maintenance. Great quality and very well made.
  • Great resell value.

The Cons of the Ergobaby Trage

  • The original is not ideal for newborns – even with the insert. If you want to carry a newborn infant, you can either choose the Ergobaby Adapt or you can combine one of the other models with a simple sling for the first weeks. Those are cheap and you won’t have to use it for very long.
    ==> Options and prices on Amazon
  • What about the bag? We need a bag to store and carry it.
  • The head protection does not protect against rain.

My Opinion and Experience with the Ergobaby

The Ergobaby is perfectly suitable for babies from birth (if you choose the Adapt or Omni 360°) to toddler age. It’s easy to put on, offers great padding and back support and is developmentally appropriate and ergonomic for your baby. It’s equally practical for short, quick uses and for extensive baby wearing – at home during the day or outside to go for a hike. The Ergobaby is one of the best carriers that I’ve ever tested, reviewed and used. I most definitely recommend it. 

==> You can buy it here (Original, base model)
==> Or here (Adapt, starting from birth)
==> Or, you know, here (Omni 360°, from birth plus outward facing option)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Ergobaby Carrier – For what age?

  • Ergobaby Original: 4 months to 3 years, 12 to 45 lbs, with the infant insert from birth
  • Ergobaby Adapt: birth to 3 years, 7 to 45 lbs
  • Ergobaby 360°: 4 months to 3 years, 12 to 45 lbs, with the infant insert from birth
  • Ergobaby Omni 360°: birth to 3 years, 7 to 45 lbs

Can you carry a newborn in the Ergobaby carrier?

Yes, you can, depending on the model you choose. See question above.

Which Ergobaby Model is the best?

All of them are good. They have different features, though, and you should choose according to your intended use:

  • Ergobaby Original is the base model and is enough for normal use. If you want to carry a newborn, you need the newborn inlay.
  • The Ergobaby Adapt can carry newborns from birth. You don’t need anything extra. It’s also made from breathable mesh – ideal for a warmer climate.
  • 360° means that you can front carry it with a forward facing baby (I don’t recommend this).
  • You can use the Omni 360 from birth and also carry a front-facing baby. Which I still can’t recommend because I’m a baby-carrying snob.

When can you stop using the newborn insert?

You can stop using the insert if your baby is somewhere between 4 and 6 months. It should be at least 12 lbs. You do not need an insert when using the Ergobaby Adapt or Omni 360°

Can I carry a front-facing baby?

Yes, you can do that with all models that have the 360 in their name.

Can I carry the baby on my back and on the hip?

Yes, you can do that with all models. But wait until your baby is about 5-6 months old to move it to your hip or your back.

Is the Ergobaby suitable for petite, heavier, taller, smaller people?

The shoulder straps and waist belt are very adjustable and suitable for people of very different sizes.

Does the Ergobaby have sufficient head and neck support?

Yes, all the models include head and neck protection and support.

Is the Ergobaby healthy for the baby and good for the development of hip and back?

Yes, all models support the recommended ‘M’-position of the legs. They also support the natural curve of the spine and leave the baby room to grow. They are developmentally appropriate and do not hinder any development or growth.

==> You can buy it here (Original, base model)
==> Or here (Adapt, starting from birth)
==> Or, you know, here (Omni 360°, from birth plus outward facing option)

 

I hope this review helped and I wish you, your family, your baby a wonderful wearing time.

If you have any question then just leave a comment or send me an email: hallo@kleine-fische.com

You may also be interrested in:

==> Babybjorn One Review

 

All the best

Katja.