If I could make one umbrella statement for most parents, it would be that they do their research. Most parents, once they have the responsibility of having a life in their hands that depends on them for everything, they get real serious, real quick. So, if you are among one of these parents or parents-to-be, you may have come across the Ergobaby Embrace carrier and the Ergobaby Omni 360. So what is the difference between these two?
The short answer is that the Ergobaby Embrace is more of a convenient travel size carrier that is ideal for newborns, though it can fit older children. The Omni 360 is geared for regular use and you can use it well into your child’s toddler years.
Of course, there are a lot more differences than just that. For specific differences between the two models, read on.
One of the main differences between the Ergobaby Embrace and the Ergobaby Omni 360 is that the Embrace is more directed toward convenience. It might seem odd to say that the Ergobaby Embrace is more “portable” than the Ergobaby Omni 360 since they are all meant to be carried, but the Embrace is easier to take along with you when you aren’t wearing your baby.
In fact, you can easily roll the entire carrier up into a small roll about the size of a rolling pin, and less dense of course. This can easily fit into your diaper bag when you are not planning on carrying your baby. Whereas the Ergobaby Embrace is quite a bit bulkier, and not something you would necessarily want to carry around with you if you weren’t actively wearing your baby.
Why Is This A Good Feature?
You might wonder why you would even care to have this feature in a carrier since you would likely be carrying your baby.
It comes in handy much more than you might think. Here are some examples of when it would be convenient:
- When you are at the grocery store and your baby is in the cart but starts to get fussy.
- If you want to subtly nurse your baby on the go.
- When your baby is in the stroller, but won’t settle down enough for a nap.
- When you are on the go at the beach or outside somewhere where you won’t necessarily want to wear your baby the whole time, but will for part of the outing.
It would be very convenient to have a portable carrier around for just these sorts of situations.
Ease of Use
If you are comparing with one that is easier to get your baby adjusted in, I would say that the Ergobaby Omni 360 is a tad bit easier than the Ergobaby Embrace. The cross-body straps in the Ergobaby Embrace give you a lot of support, but they can be tricky to adjust, even when your baby is all the way in the carrier. But with all carriers, it takes a while to figure out the most comfortable way to do it. The Ergobaby Omni 360 also has the option to cross the body straps, so it could be difficult to get used to as well.
The great thing about Ergobaby is that they have very informative videos that help you figure out just what way to adjust everything so you know exactly how it should fit.
There is quite a difference between the Ergobaby Embrace and the Ergobaby Omni 360 when it comes to the positions that it offers. The Ergobaby Omni 360 is named that because the parent can position the baby in all directions around her or him. So the Omni offers front, back, and even side wearing positions.
The Ergobaby Embrace is limited to front wearing, and even the front wearing positions are a bit more limited. The support for the baby just isn’t as strong as it is in the Ergobaby Omni 360, so if you are wanting to wear your baby facing out, you may only be able to comfortably do that for a short amount of time. The carrier just doesn’t offer the same amount of support that the Omni does.
That being said, the Ergobaby Embrace is fully equipped to handle inward facing positions and outward-facing in a front carry position. The Embrace is also newborn ready, and you won’t need to buy an extra insert.
Babies do a lot of growing their first two years of life. It might seem like a lot because they are so small, but percentage-wise it is quite a bit. Many babies are born around 7 pounds and by the end of the first year, they weigh around 20 pounds on average. They can triple their body weight in one year.
That is a lot of growing.
The Ergobaby company along with most other companies that specialize in baby carriers, of course, would like to have a product that will be useful for parents for the longest amount of time possible. But how can they make a product that will fit a baby of 7 pounds and then also fit a baby for more than triple that weight?
Well, Ergobaby uses different methods in the Ergobaby Embrace and the Ergobaby Omni 360. Both are effective, but one might be more appealing to you than another.
In the Ergobaby Embrace, Ergobaby designed a carrier that will adjust to the length of the baby. They do this by rolling the waistband up for newborns and rolling it down as your baby gets taller. This way the edge of the neck support reaches about ear height while your baby is young enough that he or she cannot hold the head up.
This method ensures that your baby has the right neck support and avoids having an unsupportive seat area.
Another thing I like about this method of fitting for newborns is that your baby isn’t too low on your chest. When I am carrying a newborn naturally, I wouldn’t carry him or her low on my belly like I would an older baby, because it wouldn’t feel natural. The Embrace carrier holds the newborn up so that I can snuggle the baby with kisses.
Ergobaby Omni 360
The Ergobaby Omni 360 uses a different method of adjusting for height, though I don’t feel that it is inferior or superior.
First of all, the Ergobaby Omni 360 will be held slightly higher than it normally is on the waist, though it might not be as comfortable to put it as high as the Embrace carrier, simply because there is more stiff lumbar support on the Omni 360.
Before you put your baby in, make sure that you move the panels inward so that the carrier has more of a bucket seat and it isn’t as wide–causing your baby’s legs to be spread too wide. This will be the innermost panel adjustment.
Then you will move the neck support inward and down to give your newborn more support where the neck would hit them rather than an older child.
Again, one method is not necessarily better than the other, but the Ergobaby Omni 360 adjustments do allow for a carrier that can better serve a child long term.
You might not think that a strap placement would be a big deal, but many people actually have a preference, when it comes to straps.
The Ergobaby Embrace only has the option for cross straps, which they can do because there is no backpack option. Many claim that the cross straps offer more support on your back, which is great for the parent who is carrying the baby.
You will need to remember that the straps are adjustable to be wider or narrower at your shoulders and this allows you to have a bit more support in the inward-facing positions.
However, when your baby is facing outward, you want the seat to be as narrow as possible, so that it doesn’t spread your baby’s legs out too wide, risking some hip dysplasia. You can see how to adjust it correctly in this video:
If you want to learn a bit more about hip dysplasia, you can read my review of the Lillebaby Complete Carrier here.
Ergobaby Omni 360
The Ergobaby Omni 360 has the option of criss-cross straps or straight straps. This allows you to choose the option that is most comfortable to you. I personally think that the straight straps are easier to put on when you are alone, but others claim that the criss-cross straps are the way to go and very easy to adjust. Either way, there is sure to be an option that you prefer over another.
It is worth noting that the straps can only be straight when you are using the carrier in the backpack position. Otherwise, you get a whole lot of weird looks with cross straps in the front.
Both the Ergobaby Embrace and the Omni 360 are capable of carrying babies from the newborn stage until well after the first year of life.
Ergobaby Omni 360
The design and weight requirements allow the Ergobaby Omni 360 to carry babies from 7 pounds to 45 pounds, or from newborn to 48 months (aka 4 years). That is a pretty incredible amount of time that you could use the carrier for!
This is because you can hold your baby in several different positions that the carrier will support and because it has some innovative seat panels that you can adjust to fit different hip sizes as your baby grows.
One of the most important factors that keep you able to use this carrier for a long amount of time is that you can put your baby on your back. Once your baby is about 18 months, carrying them on your front can be really rough on your body. It can also be inconvenient since they are much bigger and it is difficult to do things with them constantly on your front.
The Omni 360 allows you to carry your child on your back where your body will be able to support the weight much better and your child will be much happier and out of your way.
The Embrace has three positions, as mentioned before, but all of these positions are on the front of your body. There is no backpack position, and it can be really difficult to carry your child on your front one they start getting heavier and more active.
The Embrace can carry babies from 7 pounds to 25 pounds. This is nearly half the amount that the Omni 360 can handle and it is less than half of the amount of time, since many babies are 25 pounds at about 18 months, vs. 48 months.
This is probably one of the biggest deterrents when you are deciding between the Embrace and the Omni 360 since you want to get the most options out of one purchase. However, many parents don’t wear their babies past 18 months. Some prefer strollers and some simply don’t go on many long walks after this point. Your child is more active and may prefer to have the freedom to run around more. So although it sounds like the Omni 360 would be the obvious choice, you might find that you don’t need a carrier after the 25-pound mark.
One of the most noticeable differences between the Ergobaby Embrace and the Ergobaby Omni 360 is the fabric.
The Embrace is true to its name and it does look like the more cozy option. In fact, it looks almost more like a wrap than a carrier. Ergobaby manufactured the carrier out of stretchy knit material that is a combination of synthetic and natural fibers. It is soft but durable. The fabric is close-knit and thick so it will not easily stretch out unnaturally but it will offer a little more flexibility than the fabric used in the Ergobaby Omni 360.
Ergobaby uses two different fabrics in the Omni 360.
There is an all-seasons option, which is primarily a mesh fabric. This fabric is ideal for hot days. However, honestly, when you are strapped to your baby, even on cooler days, it can get pretty hot. The breathable option is really a neat feature and it works better than you might think.
Then there is the original cotton Omni 360. Ergobaby manufactured this in a cotton blend. This has little to no stretch, is thick, and is very durable. It isn’t baby soft, but it isn’t rough enough that it would irritate baby skin. It is just a durable, high-quality fabric.
If fashion means a great deal to you, and you want as many options as possible, then the Ergobaby Omni 360 might be your preferred carrier of choice. This carrier has many different fabric choices. Some are always available and some are limited-time fabric designs. The ones that are offered always are the solid colors that most people pick because they know they will go with virtually every outfit.
The Ergobaby Embrace comes with really only solid colors and only a handful of them, though the ones that they have are classic colors that won’t really clash with much. You might not get comments from people walking on the street about your carrier fabric, but it will always be high quality and snuggly looking.
Ultimately, the Ergobaby Embrace is a carrier that is more well suited to the early years of life. This carrier is more like the baby wrap in that it is made of more comfortable fabric and it holds your baby almost like a hug rather than carrying your baby with the best support in mind. It is best for when your baby is young and doesn’t weigh enough that it will put a lot of strain on your back.
So if you are planning on carrying your baby in a carrier for only the first year and a half, this carrier is a great choice! It is comfortable, safe, and secure.
If, however, you are planning on carrying your baby in a carrier for the entirety of his or her toddler years and you want to get a lot of daily use out of it, the Ergobaby Omni 360 would be a better buy for you. It does take the baby into preschool years, and for parents who are serious about babywearing, this one is the one for you. The Ergobaby Omni 360 also has more options available for positioning your baby, so there is that to consider as well.
They are both quality carriers and you likely will enjoy either one of them. It mostly comes down to how long you want to use it.