Oh hi kids.
First of all, if you are a regular GOC reader, feel free to just ignore this little post of wackiness. If you arrived here by way of a babywearing forum, welcome.
Let me start with a disclaimer: I am not a babywearing professional, a certified volunteer, or an employee of the Ergo company. I am, however, a person who pays attention on the internet.
There is a huge amount of information surrounding the whole “Ack! Is my Ergo real? Will my baby fall? Am I failing at parenting?” issue. There are a number of blogs offering annecdotal info about what identifies an Ergo as a counterfit carrier, and though these blogs are super helpful for learning to recognize things that might warrant investigation into the origin of your carrier, they are not the end all be all. Not convinced? Let me blow your mind.
Here are some crappy pictures of my genuine, authentic, verified-by-the-lovely-Lezlie-of-Ergo-Customer-Service Ergo:
Step One: Did you purchase your Ergo from an authorized retailer appearing on this list or directly from ergobaby.com?
Yes: Congratulations! You almost certainly have a real Ergo. 99%-ish. If you’re still concerned, see Step Two.
No: Move on to Step Two.
Step Two: Is the Ergo in question in your possession?
Yes: Step Three, please.
No: Ask the seller/gifter/friend/neighbor/countryman to provide evidence of authenticity in the form of an email from Ergo, or ask them for the information in Step 3 and email Ergo yourself.
Step Three: Contact Ergo via email or phone to verify the authenticity of your Ergo. Here is the link: Contact Ergo This process will take about 10 minutes of hands on time and maybe 24-48 hours of waiting for email (they are pretty fast, the Ergo folks). They will tell you what you need to send, but if you want to get a jump on things, collect the following:
–The number on the tag you’ll find inside the hood pocket (not the zippered pocket, the little one that also holds an iPhone nicely as long as you don’t bend over).
–That same tag.
–Your carrier laid out flat, front and back.
–The female side of the waist buckle.
–The hood straps, and note the number of snaps on them.
–The logo label on the front of the carrier.
Ergo may ask you for other pictures, but these are good ones to start with, and sending them all with your inquiry email might save you a step.
Step Four: Wait to hear back from Ergo. That’s it, folks. That is the ONLY way to know for sure if your Ergo is a Fergo or the genuine article. It is okay to ask a seller to provide this info. Say it with me: “It is OKAY to ask for this info! I’m not being a pain, I’m being responsible.” If they refuse, well, there will be another Ergo on the swap tomorrow. Take a deep breath. Move along.
But, Karyn, WHY do I CARE if my Ergo is real? A carrier is a carrier and they are all made in China and it seems safe and it worked for my baby and my mother carried me in it and I’m still alive and DON’T JUDGE ME OKAY!!!!!
Okay, again, breathe. Listen, it is none of my business what you cart your kid around in. I let my dog lick the baby’s fingers while she is using them to feed herself. I put my 8 month old in sandboxes. I’m no hero. However, it’s worth noting that counterfeiting is crap, people. There is no safety testing, no regulating, it’s illegal, it’s lame, and it’s just plain dishonest. Use your carrier if you wanna, mama, but don’t try to sell it as a real Ergo – that’s shady, and the buyer deserves to know what he or she is putting seriously precious cargo into. For more information on why you should care, and what to do if you identify a fake, I highly recommend checking out this blog: http://www.reallywhatwerewethinking.com/2012/08/fake.cheap.ergo.carriers.html
Go forth and babywear, mamas. It’s a beautiful world.