How Should I wear my baby?
Front, back or hip carry?
Front carry is comfortable up to the weight of 5-7 kgs. With a heavier child, it becomes tiring since the muscles of your waist have to compensate the weight pulling you ahead. Hip carry can be used for bigger babies as well, but after a longer period you will feel tired again and it is not good for your spine either. An older – and so heavier – child should be carried on your back, because this part of your body is anatomically able to carry bigger weights for longer periods of time. From the age of 4 months, babies are getting more open to the outer world. Front carry position does not let them look around while hip and back carry makes it possible. This is another reason for changing to hip and back carry around the time the baby is 4 months old.
Avoid front-facing carry!
There are more reasons for this recommendation. The first and most important is that front facing position might hurt the baby’s spine, and it is not good for the hip development either. Secondly, babies gain knowledge about the world through their parents in the beginning (they percept their gestures, their heartbeat and their vibes), and so they need a direct contact with the person who carries them. If we keep the baby in a front-facing position, it might be tiring for him, and what is more, he has no possibility to turn back and find protection on the breast of his parent.
Although it has been proved already many times that front-facing carry risks the anatomical and mental development of the baby, manufacturers still do not want to hear about it. Do not be misled by the fact that many people use kangaroos, unfortunately it takes a long time to change public mind. And there is another important difference between kangaroos and convenient carriers. In a kangaroo, the baby’s weight centres on the inguinal part of the body, which is not healthy for him.
The anatomically correct position
A convenient carrier keeps the baby in a sitting position and supports his hollows of the knees (e.g. buckle carrier, Mei-Tai). If you do not keep your child in a sitting position, it is important to support him on the whole surface of his body (e.g. stretchy wrap). To achieve an anatomically correct position, the baby’s knees should be slightly higher than his booty, and his legs should be in a wide straddle (squatting straddle position). In the case of young babies, their knees should be completely pulled up in the so-called frog leg position.
The right technique,
is especially important for wraps. This carrier needs the most experience. It is good to know someone who can teach us the right tying methods, or it is worth taking a wrap course. A Mei-Tai can also be tricky to tie, but you can learn the technique easily from pictures or other guidelines. If you use a buckle carrier, it might take some time to learn how to put it on your back with your child if you are alone, but otherwise it is very easy to use it.