BabyBjorn Original Review
Pros: Inexpensive for SSC, easy to use, comfy to wear
Cons: Hang to dry, harder to fit for baby
Our Analysis and Test Results
BabyBjorn, a Swedish family-owned business started by Björn and Lillemor Jakobson sold its first product, a baby bouncer, in 1961. Soon after, they expanded their product lineup to include high chairs, changing tables, travel cribs, and baby carriers. With the Original carrier launching in 1973, BabyBjorn went on to encourage babywearing by dads with advertising centered on fathers and gender-neutral carrier colors for wearing by both parents. To date, more than 30 million little ones have been carried in a BabyBjorn carrier.
The Original is below the average for the group concerning the baby's comfort, but the carrier is cozy enough to keep most babies content. The seat width and adjustment are only average, and you need to set them before you put a baby in the carrier. The Original has fewer buckles and adjustment points so it can be harder to get a custom fit for every baby. The fabric isn't as soft as the competition, but we don't think it is rough either.
The Original offers impressive parent comfort with results higher than much of the competition. Only a handful of products we tested earned higher scores for parent comfort. The Original is not as comfortable as competing BabyBjorns, but it is easier to put on, and the padded straps help distribute baby's weight on your shoulders. It doesn't have a waistbelt so carrying heavier children for longer periods may be uncomfortable as there is less structure to support the weight. There are extra straps that sort of hug around your back to help take some of the weight off your shoulders which is useful.
Ease of Use
The Original is relatively intuitive and has fewer straps than its larger cousin. It has a simple design, and most parents will probably be able to figure it out without using the manual. You put the carrier on before you put your baby in so it is easy to manage than the competition that requires you to hold your baby as you put the carrier in place.
Ease of Cleaning
The Original can be machine washed with warm water. BabyBjorn recommends mild bleach-free detergent and hanging to dry. Air drying will take longer than most clothes as the carrier is structured and includes some thicker padding. This method translates to some downtime where you won't be able to use the carrier, and we think parents will avoid washing it for this reason. The Original is also hard to spot clean thanks to the fabric design and the longer drying time.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and BabyGearLab Review Team