I came so close to buying a Baby Bjorn baby carrier. Another mum had shown me hers and told me how easy it was to clip on and off. It looked great … and seemed easy to use. What mum isn’t drawn to something practical that could make her life easier? But then, a few days later, a friend of mine sent me an article about all the baby related things which a chiropractor was recommending you don’t put your baby in. It included things like jolly jumpers, baby walkers … and the Baby Bjorn carrier.
- The dangling legs of a baby who’s facing outwards may stretch their developing hip joints and increase their risk of hip dysplasia.
- When you wear your baby outwards it shifts their weight distribution from their bottom onto their crotch/testicles/pubic symphysis. Imagine how you’d feel if you were sitting with all that pressure on your privates. “The sitting bones are strong with lots of padding – designed perfectly for weight-bearing, whereas the pubic symphysis and testicles aren’t,” says Dr Harrington.
- Outward facing has the potential to interfere with normal spinal curve development by flattening out the backward kyphotic curve. “An absence of normal spinal curves reduces the strength and flexibility development of the spine for life; and can delay normal milestone development,” says Harrington.
One Of The Advantages Of Facing Your Baby Inwards: Of course a really great advantage of wearing your baby facing inwards is that they can snuggle into you to seek reassurance from you and switch off from the surrounding world if they want to – something they can’t do when facing outwards. As an adult when we’ve had enough of all the stimulation on a busy street we can just go somewhere else. Imagine how much more intense the stimulation of a busy street is for a baby and how full on it must feel for them if they’re strapped into this outward facing position they can’t get out of. When I see babies facing outwards in a busy environment (like a busy shopping mall or street) I often wonder whether there’ll be an extra big stress-release-cry for mum and dad to deal with later.
Why Risk It? If you don’t wear your baby in a carrier where their knees are higher than their hips it can lead to hip problems in babies who are susceptible, ie. in babies who already have some form of instability or “clicky” hips. Also, any hip problems caused by a baby carrier may only become noticeable once your child is walking. Correcting hip displacement could mean years of pain and struggle, so why take the chance – get a carrier that supports your child’s hips.
Examples Of Carriers/Wraps That Meet The Healthy Hip Guidelines:
Want More Info On How to Avoid Hip Displacement? If you want to read more about how to place your baby in a baby carrier or baby sling to avoid them getting hip displacement, click here for some info from The International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
It’s Your Turn Now: I’d LOVE to hear your tips and experience of using different baby carriers in the comments box below, as I’m certain there’s a lot more that I could learn!
We got some questions from parents who have read your blog post. The way I see it, the most important thing is that parents do carry their children. As there are plenty of brands and alternatives out there it doesn’t have to be in a carrier from BabyBjörn, if you’re not happy with it. However, the medical concerns you’re referring to are not called for. Safety comes first. We would never make a baby carrier, or indeed any other baby product that would be harmful to babies.
You’re referring to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute which have plenty of material online and are experts in the field. We’ve met with them during the development of our latest Baby Carrier and we’re proud to now have this statement on our web page:
“This product has been developed reflecting the advice of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. Baby Carrier One is following the recommendation of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute in order to secure an appropriate position of the baby.”
It’s a great thing that so many parents these days are carrying their babies. It’s practical, it’s a nice thing to do but we firmly believe it has many positive effects and strengthens the bond between the baby and the parent so we’re very happy that this is gaining popularity in so many countries around the world. Parents should pick a carrier they’re happy with but there’s no need to worry about BabyBjörn. 30 million babies have been carried in them until now and we hope many more will in the future.
Happy baby wearing!”
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