Going Reviews: The Ergobaby Ventus Performance Carrier

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I love wearing my baby. I try to urge everyone to choose babywearing over alternative methods whenever possible. Check out my post on Why I Wear My Baby to get a better understanding of how important it is for parent and child and know my stance on the topic.

Being one who always wants to try everything, I was delighted when Ergobaby agreed to send me their new Ventus baby carrier from their Performance Collection to review. The Ventus is designed for the active parent who wants to comfortably take their child on adventures both around the city or hiking on trails. Adventures, baby, comfortable; all sound great to me!

I’ve had the pleasure of wearing Avery in an Ergobaby Original carrier and we both enjoyed the time spent with it on. But, when it gets hot outside which is guaranteed here in Texas, things can get sweaty, fast!

In the Ergobaby Original Carrier
In the Ergobaby Original Carrier

When the Ventus arrived, I immediately noticed the difference in overall look and feel from the Original.


The Ventus is lighter and less bulky with breathable, moisture-wicking fabric throughout. It only comes in one color, graphite, and is perfect for a gender neutral carrier.


The Ventus offers 3 carry positions (front, back, and hip), but I’ve only worn Avery in front so far. Once she’s a little older and sitting up on her own, I will feel better about trying her in the back position.

Putting the carrier on was fairly easy, and if you’ve ever used a soft-structured carrier before, this will be no problem. The straps are pretty thick and proved slightly difficult to adjust which is annoying when you have a squirmy baby to hold on to at the same time. But, those thick straps also help to limit slippage and the need to re-tighten after a while, so I’m okay with the straps.

Front carry position
Front carry position

I truly appreciate the ability to move the chest strap up and down to get the right fit, and reaching behind my head to connect it was pretty easy. Actually getting the clips connected is hard at times; I just have an issue with how they are shaped and feeling my way to connect them. It’s not always, but just a minor thing to note.


Our first walk in the Ergobaby Ventus was over an hour and Avery slept most of the time while I was able to comfortably move at a brisk pace. Avery felt secure and snug against me the entire time and we both kept rather cool despite the heat and humidity that day.

Napping with the hood up!
Napping with the hood up!

If you are looking for a baby carrier, a small but very important thing to look for is a built-in hood. The Ventus has one and it works great to block everything from wind, dust, sun, and noise when I’m walking and trying to let her nap.

Once it is adjusted to fit Avery and me, the lightweight structure feels great all around except one area. The straps wrapping around me under my arms rub and put pressure on my shoulder blades. This only happens when I’m on a walk and I don’t notice it when moving around a store, but I walk a lot!

See how the clip us just under my arm where it will rub.
See how the clip us just under my arm where it will rub.

Again, the rubbing comes and goes and doesn’t stop me from using the carrier since it really is a great option for us both. Going Mom even enjoys wearing Avery in the Ventus and we even argue over who is going to use it when we’re together. But, Going Mom, as usual, wins.


That’s okay though, I love seeing my two girls together and know how much Kelley misses Avery when she’s at work; they both put a permanent smile on my face.

Part of what makes the Ventus so light is the absence of the bells and whistles like other carriers. You get a zippered  pocket that conceals the hood and that’s it. To me, this is good and bad. If I were to go hiking in the Ventus, I would want some sort of storage compartment.

In our Onya Outback, it is heavier, but it has several pockets to store necessities which always comes in handy for me. So for going on an outdoor adventure, I’d prefer the Onya.

But if you have other places to store your necessities, the Ventus is a great choice with its breathable, lightweight material. I’ve actually started keeping it in my car so it’s always on hand when I bring Avery to the store. Plus, I know she likes that she can already stick her head over the top without an infant insert.


And it’s the perfect spot for her to chew and soothe those sore gums.


I have only tried a few soft-structured baby carriers thus far, but the Ergobaby Ventus is an overall great carrier for the active parent just as it claims. Since it is made to carry babies weighing anywhere from 7 to 45 pounds, it will last years as your baby grows with no need to upgrade.

Being lighter, Going Mom enjoys wearing this one more than our heavier Onya. I don’t mind the extra weight in trade for its storage space, but I would say the Ventus would be preferred by those with a smaller frame.

Here is the list of features on Ergobaby’s site:


  • Body Material/Shell: 100% Polyester
  • Body Material/Mesh: 100% Polyester
  • Lining Material: 100% Polyester


  • Comfortable for Parents: Baby’s weight is evenly distributed between the hips and shoulders

  • Ergonomic for Baby: Baby is cradled in a natural sitting position

  • 3 Carry Positions: Front, Back and Hip

  • Baby Weight Range: 7*-45 lb/3.2* – 20 kg (*Newborn with Infant Insert)

  • Stitching: Reinforced at all fabric intersections for extra durability

  • Shoulder Strap Length Range: 24”-44” (61cm-112cm)

  • Waist belt Circumference Range: 29”-55” (74cm-140cm)

  • Shoulder Strap Padding:4mm EVA with 15mm High Density PU Foam

  • Hood

  • Machine washable

  • Designed in the USA

I have and will continue to enjoy using the Ventus with Avery and want to thank Ergobaby for the opportunity to use and review their carrier. As an active dad I want to get out and move with my baby to show her the world, and carriers made for this are awesome!

Check out Ergobaby on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest and send them some babywearing love!

Disclosure: Ergobaby sent me their Ventus Carrier free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are strictly my own. I did not receive compensation for this post.

21 Steps to Improve Your Diet + 11 Foods to Quit Eating

I just read the book Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food by Dr. Cate Shanahan and, wow, even as a very healthy person, I’ve found areas to improve for our food choices.

This is not a long review of the book, though I suggest you read it, but rather an extremely helpful list she included at the back of the book.

I can’t even begin to explain how important nutrition is for our bodies, and it’s vital for our kids. What we feed them now is what their bodies use as building blocks for create new tissue in order to grow. Would you rather them build a body from non-nutritive fast food composed of highly processed fats, sugars, and unnatural chemicals, or from wholesome food, minimally processed and full of everything the body needs to grow strong?

So that would be a loaded question, yes, but seriously, nutrition is something I don’t take lightly, and will never be able to just laugh it off when someone says “I shouldn’t be eating this, but….”. Yeah, just don’t eat it then!

I’m sure this will generate many mixed responses, but please, consider how maybe giving yourself and your kids better food will help your entire family live a happier, more healthful life.

And now on to the list. I credit one of my favorite authors, athlete, and podcaster, Ben Greenfield, for the list he has in his excellent post on Dr. Cate’s book, Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food.

21 Steps for a Better Diet

1. Drink more milk.

Best choice: raw, organic, whole.

Next best: whole, organic.

If lactose intolerant, choose yoghurt. Do not buy low-fat or fat-free dairy.

2. Buy sugar-free peanut and nut butters, the kind with the oil on top (all that oil is typically absorbed by sugar molecules in brand-name peanut butters).

Avoid those that use palm oil, they tend not to taste very good.

3. Buy sprouted grain bread instead of whole wheat or white.

Popular brands are Ezekiel and Alvarado Street Bakery. These are usually sold in the refrigerated or freezer section because they are preservative-free and need to be refrigerated. Many are wheat-free as well.

4. Instead of boxed cereals or instant oatmeal, eat toast with butter, sugar- free peanut butter, or poached eggs for breakfast instead.

5. Use fresh, seasonal vegetables instead of frozen whenever possible.

Season with salt and add generous amounts of butter and your kids will love them. Steam vegetables (like broccoli, asparagus, carrots, and cauli- flower) instead of boiling, which leaches vitamins and minerals.

6. Buy Bubbies or other brand lacto-fermented pickles and sauerkraut and use as condiments/side dishes instead of chips or cookies at lunch.

Save the juice when the jar is empty for salad dressing and to use as a starter for making your own sauerkraut.

7. Never use margarine or low-fat, low-cholesterol “spreads.”

Buy organic butter from pastured animals. Popular brands are Organic Valley and Horizon.

8. Choose healthy oils (see table listing of Good Fats and Bad on page 173 of Deep Nutrition).

9. Make your own salad dressing.

Even easier, pour olive oil then balsamic vinegar over your salad (pouring the oil before the vinegar helps it stick
better). Use a ratio of approximately 2:1 oil to vinegar. For extra flavor fast, add 1 Tbsp of the juice in the Bubbies pickle or sauerkraut jars.

10. Boil a dozen eggs to keep on hand for a quick lunch.

11. Eat large salads three to five times a week.

Don’t bother with iceberg lettuce. For variety, experiment with other greens, including radish leaves, arugula, beet greens, or whatever looks particularly fresh. Add celery, carrots, sprouts, capers, pine nuts, sunflower seeds.

12. Use fresh herbs often.

Add basil to salads with tomatoes; add parsley to hamburger; add garlic to butter for vegetables; rosemary to chicken; mint to beef stews or fatty roasts; ginger to stir-fries.

13. Instead of canned tuna, buy salmon or mackerel with bones in.

Mix with olive-oil based mayonnaise or small amounts of regular mayo and mus- tard to use for lunch as a replacement for nitrate-laden sandwich meats.

14. Eat liver once a week.

15. Eat soups made with bone stock once or twice a week.

16. Use bone stock rather than water as the base for making rice, mashed potatoes, noodle dishes, etc.

17. For variety, substitute beets or turnips for baked potatoes.

18. For light desserts that give a sweet finish to your meal, drink Kombucha or wine.

19. Use bone-in chicken, turkey, and red meats whenever possible.

20. When eating boneless cuts of beef, like fillet, serve with bone-stock gravy (also known as demi-glace).

21. Buy fatty cuts of meat, like New York strip, and sear the fat on the grill before cooking to enhance flavor.


11 Foods to Stop Eating

1. Vegetable oil

2. Added sugar and honey (to tea, coffee, etc.)

3. Soda

4. Juice, except fresh squeezed. (Why not just eat the fruit? It’s got more fiber and more antioxidants!)

5. Energy bars and “health” bars

6. Boxed cereals

7. Fried fast foods

8. Powdered “proteins,” and powdered milk (note from Ben: I only support organic, cold-processed protein powders. Most protein powder out there is complete crap, so this rules applies about 99% of the time).

9. Salad dressings made with any kind of vegetable oil, including canola

10. Low-fat products, including milk, cheese, salad dressings, cookies, and other baked goods

11. Snacks and desserts – especially if you want to lose weight

Want to know the reasoning behind these recommendations? Check out her book and let me know what you think.

I understand this is a touchy subject, but as some know, I am “deeply” passionate about the food that I put in my body and my family’s. I’ve felt the difference when I changed, and I hope you will do the same. If not for yourself, for your growing kids. I know this girl, as well as all children, deserve it.

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Get Them Talking: Six Ways to Develop Early Vocabulary Skills

I wrote the post below over a year ago, when Avery only made a lot of noises, but now she’s starting to communicate A LOT to us and I know these tips helped. Going Mom and I have worked on all 6 ways to develop early vocabulary skills consistently which created the walking, talking, crazy talking little girl we have today.

Since they worked so well for us (and still going), I wanted to share this post again to help anyone in the same position. Parents, enjoy the tips and get your little ones talking sooner rather than later. Trust me, them letting you know when they pooped is more than worth it!

Me: Hey Avery, are you hungry?

Avery: ……..

Me: Okaaayyyy, how about we try walking?

Avery: …….

Me: What’s wrong, did you poop?

Avery: ………

And so on and so forth. Thus is the typical conversation most parents have with their babies.

When you start life as an at-home parent your infant, silence is inevitable and expected. Sure, there’s crying and cooing, but unless you’re caring for other kids at the talking age, you have no one to actually converse with when at home.

We only have one kid, so it’s just Avery and me spending every day together, learning and growing along the way. I love it. It’s fulfilling, rewarding, better than sitting in an office (to me), way better than daycare (financially and physically), and it sometimes drives me INSANE!

Oops, did I say that? It’s not when she’s extremely fussy and screaming out loud, or when she’s pulling out my leg hair as I’m trying to cook meals for day; it’s the silence. Crying, I can take, but sometimes it gets quiet, a little too quiet.

Don't mind me, I'll just sit here and stare.
Don’t mind me, I’ll just sit here and stare.

As I first mentioned, it’s expected from an infant, but at a year old and close to making actual words with her babbling, it’s just awkward when she turns silent. I’ll be working in the kitchen as she’s happily pushing her boxes across the floor (yes, we’re classy) or we’ll be playing in the front room, but all too often, she turns silent and stares into space.

I know you’re thinking, “Must be poop!”, and I used to think the same, but that’s usually accompanied by grunting and a strawberry-red face. I’ll check anyway because you never know (right?), but 8.3 times out of 10, there’s no poop in sight……or smell.

Luckily, there are solutions to most problems in the world, and I’ve found six that help combat the awkward silence as an at-home parent. As she grows, many of these will act as a wonderful base to build upon and hopefully expand her vocab skills and mind.

1. Explain what you are doing. When I’m in the kitchen (it’s a lot!), I’ll catch Avery staring at me as I work. Instead of just carrying on in silence, I’ll explain to her exactly what I’m doing as if she’s a student anxious to jot down all of my notes. I do this for everything from the exercises I do when working out and even during diaper changes. This gives me the pseudo-conversation I sometimes miss and helps keep her engaged in daily activities.

2. Explain what they are doing. Since it would be narcissistic to only talk about yourself, describe the actions your kid is making too. This goes along with number 1 above, and will help them begin to understand their capabilities.

Yes dear, you are accurately portraying Chucky, the killer doll.
Yes dear, you are accurately portraying Chucky, the killer doll.

3. Make eye contact when speaking to your child. In doing so, your child may be more inclined to communicate. Of course, watch what you’re doing too; like changing dirty diapers!! I’ve tried looking into her eyes while explaining how I’m cleaning her bottom and next thing I knew, well, you know. #ParentingFail

4. Read to them often. Even when they can’t stand still and try to tear the pages from your hands as they scream, keep reading! Avery does this to Going Mom and I daily, but trust me, you’ll help build vocabulary skills and maybe even have them reading before others their age. Make sure to choose books with big, bright colors and fun pictures. Moby Dick is not the best book to start with. 🙂

5. Acknowledge their sounds and actions. When Avery started blowing raspberries, we made sure to return the action and let her know what she was doing. Now that’s she’s babbling a lot, we repeat (as good as we can) the string of “words” she spouts out and encourage words like “momma” and “da da”. Lately, Avery has become an expert at sticking out her tongue on queue and it makes my wife and I so proud!

6. Play music. You don’t have to have “The Wheels on the Bus” on repeat, play actual music, whatever you like, and it’ll be fine. This is a big one for keeping sane and having some kind of background noise at all times. Almost every day, I turn on Pandora with a mix of my favorite channels and frequently sing out loud with Avery staring at me in bewilderment. Despite the strange looks you might receive, have no doubt that your kid will pick up on words that help expand their vocabulary. For this reason, I tend to stay away from the Eminem station….

Although you can never fully escape the awkward silence when you’re an at-home parent with only one kid who’s not yet talking, these six solutions will help get you through this time and help build your child’s speech and learning skills as well.

Have you made use of any of these before?

Do you have other tips/advice to share?