Warning: I’m about to get on my soapbox.
Let’s talk baby carriers. Did you know there are other options out there other than Baby Bjorn? How did they corner the market with their inferior product? Baby Bjorn currently offers 6 models of baby carriers on their website, but only 1 offers the support that baby’s hips need. Dangling a baby from it’s crotch can cause hip dysplasia. What, you’ve never heard of hip dysplasia? Yeah, I hadn’t either. Well let me tell you all about it.
That’s my Cupcake when she was just a few weeks old, sporting her harness. She had hip dysplasia. Hers was congenital. There was nothing I could’ve done to prevent it. It was just because of the way she was in my belly. She wore this contraption for the first 12 weeks of her life. And another brace for an additional 12 weeks at night. The harness kept her legs out in a frog position 24/7 to allow her hips to sit correctly in their socket. This is the healthiest position for a baby’s hips. Luckily for us, the harnesses did the trick and surgery wasn’t needed, but that isn’t the case for everyone.
So what does this have to do with baby carriers? Some baby carriers do not put baby’s legs in this frog position. I see people pinning Baby Bjorn’s left and right and recommending them to first time moms, but these carriers are NOT good for baby! The one model that allows for the “wide” frog leg position can also be adjusted into the “normal” position.
Here’s an example.
See how baby’s legs are hanging straight down? That position doesn’t allow the hip joints to sit correctly. This can allow baby’s hips to dislocate. Do you really want to dislocate your baby’s hip? I didn’t think so!!
A better carrier choice is one that puts baby’s legs in the frog position. An example….
This is an Ergo (my carrier of choice). It has a nice wide spot for baby’s behind and legs to sit in and keep baby’s hip even in the socket.
You may notice that in the first example baby is facing out and in the second baby is facing in. It’s true, you cannot face baby out in these wide carriers, but this is actually a good thing. If baby is facing out (s)he cannot look away from stimuli. The world is a busy place and it can be very overwhelming for little ones. Sometimes they need to hide. Carrying facing in allows them to look away. Also, when baby faces out it puts more pressure on the carrier’s shoulders and back. Another option instead of facing out is, once baby is old enough, to wear baby facing in on your back. That way baby can see what is going on, but can also look away from stimuli if desired.
And the wide carriers have a higher weight limit, meaning the carrier will last you a lot longer. Cupcake still rides on my back in the Ergo at 23 months and 27 lbs and it’s not uncomfortable for me (even with carrying the baby in my belly).
Here’s a little more info from experts on hip dysplasia. If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe them.
OK, lecture over. Back to our regularly scheduled blogging.
What’s your favorite baby carrier?