Ergobaby Omni Dream Baby Carrier review
"For those looking to buy a premium baby carrier, this won't disappoint. For the right user, the stitched-in privacy hood could be a massive plus. You’re paying for the brand name, to some extent, but with that comes true reassurance that your child will be safe, comfy and secure."
Clear instructions attached
Comfy, well-padded straps
Privacy hood isn't detachable
Tricky to fasten without help
The new Ergobaby Omni Dream is the newest carrier in the Ergobaby Omni family. Made from exceptionally soft brushed cotton, this stylish baby carrier is customisable and easy to adjust to fit babies and wearers of different shapes and sizes, and is available in four colourways - Onyx Black, Pearl Grey, Midnight Blue and Slate Blue.We asked journalist and new mum Grace Holliday to put it to the test with her seven-week-old daughter for our Ergobaby Omni Dream baby carrier review.
The best baby carrier is one of the most tricky items of baby gear to buy. Slings and baby carriers come in a wide range of different styles and designs but they all have one thing in common. They make it possible to carry your baby close whilst having your hands free. However, it's challenging to work out which type of carrier will suit your lifestyle. Parent-tested baby product reviews like this Ergobaby Omni Dream baby carrier review can help you to narrow down the selection and pick the perfect baby carrier for your most precious cargo.
The Omni Dream is an ergonomic baby carrier, which means the design supports your baby’s natural posture in the safest carrying position to encourage healthy hip development. It’s important that a baby carrier is comfortable for the wearer too. A lumbar support waistbelt takes care of that, with padded, crossable shoulder straps to ensure your baby’s weight is evenly distributed across your body.
How we tested this baby carrier
After struggling to get to grips with a wrap sling she already owned, Grace and her husband happily volunteered to try out the new Ergobaby Omni Dream carrier for this review.
‘We watched YouTube tutorials and studied Instagram infographics for clues on how to make a piece of cloth into something useable,' says Grace. 'But every time we nearly got there, something was in the wrong place. It all just felt too loose; the toy monkey we used (in place of our baby) was falling from one side to the other. So we relegated the so-called sling to the bottom of the wardrobe and agreed that we needed a proper baby carrier.'
Suitable for ages: 0-4yrs (7lbs-45lbs / 3.2kg-20kg)
The first thing Grace noticed about the Ergobaby Omni Dream baby carrier is the fabric; think of the familiar softness of your favourite pair of jeans. ‘Ergobaby say it’s their softest baby carrier yet, and I can believe it,’ says Grace. ‘It’s reassuring to know there's no rough material rubbing against my daughter’s face or body, especially during long periods of use.’
Available in four colours, Grace opted for Onyx Black. The lighter colours caught her eye initially but on the basis that you can use this carrier up until your little one is four years old, she reasoned that black would offer the best defence against inevitable stains. (Happily, it's also machine washable.)
The main task for setting up a carrier is adjusting it to your child's size. On that score, this carrier impressed our tester. 'Stitched into the material are different coloured rectangles, each relating to a different size setting,' explains Grace.
'The smallest waist setting is indicated with red thread, the middle with yellow and the largest with blue. Ours came with the straps velcroed to the red rectangles. A label stitched in place informs us this is suitable for children from 50.8cms tall. Down the line, this stitching and the label will remind us to adjust the size as needed; to the yellow rectangles from 61cm tall and the blue rectangles when 71cm tall.'
Suitable from birth to toddlerhood, the Ergobaby Omni Dream offers all four carry positions. (Inward and outward-facing on your front, as well as hip carry and back carry.) This means there's no need for an infant insert for newborns, and you won't need to buy another carrier as your baby grows.
Comfort and features
The prospect of putting on a baby carrier is daunting. How easy is the Ergobaby Omni Dream baby carrier to use? Grace found the process surprisingly straightforward.
'I laid the carrier out on the table in front of me and clipped it around my waist, then I picked up my daughter, grateful that she wasn't doing her best impression of a squirming octopus for once,' she says. 'With both hands under her armpits, supporting her head, I placed her gently against my chest. I used my left hand to hold her while using my right hand to lift the strap over my right shoulder, then did the same on the other side.'
'Making sure she was secure against my chest, I pulled the sliders on each side to tighten the carrier. Finally, I leant back slightly and used both hands to clip the buckle at the back, just below my neck. I checked her legs and arms were comfy, then removed her razor-sharp talons from my chest.'
Grace repeated this process over the course of 10 days, and no major issues arose. 'If she fussed when I put her in, I gently bounced her with one hand under her bottom,' she says. 'For every ten times we've used this baby carrier so far, she fell asleep in under a minute at least eight of those times.'
If Grace could change one thing about this carrier, she’d make the privacy hood detachable. (It’s stitched permanently into the front pocket.) 'The hood is designed for sun protection and privacy but for wearers who are not breastfeeding - including dads, other carers, and formula feeding mums plus anyone using the carrier exclusively in the house - this extra piece of material isn’t helpful,' says Grace. 'Personally, I’d rather be able to remove this and use the pouch to store things in, although there are two small pockets on either side of the waistband for that purpose.'
Value for money
This isn't a budget baby carrier. But we wouldn't hesitate to recommend it if you're looking for a premium piece of baby gear that you'll get years of use from. Overall, Grace and her husband agree that it's a carrier worth investing in if your budget allows. 'It's an expensive piece of kit but you’re paying for features that genuinely make carrying your baby safer, easier and more comfortable for you both,' she says.
To conclude her Ergobaby Omni Dream baby carrier review, Grace made an important decision: that piece of fabric from the bottom of the wardrobe won’t be seeing the light of day again anytime soon.
You might also like our Cybex Yema baby carrier review - we rated it the best baby carrier overall. And don’t miss our other baby product reviews.
As a parenting specialist for more than 15 years, Heidi has written for most national newspapers and for a wide range of consumer magazines, including Mother & Baby where she was the Shopping Editor for six years, looking after regular consumer features including buying guides and gift roundups.
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