As I was reading the summer 2014 issue of Pathways to Family Wellness, I came across several articles on baby wearing. As a mom of three, I have worn all three of my children from birth through age 3. I wore them for many reasons. Hikes outside and grocery shopping were only two reasons, amongst others such as just cuddling and snuggling on the go in our busy lives. With my supportive carriers, I could have worn them longer, but I had another baby that needed the carrying by that time they were three.
In the Pathways to Family Wellness Summer 2014 Issue, I found an article that addresses this recommendation. The article was called 7 Reasons Not to Carry Baby Facing Out. Here is what author Jean Ohm, D.C. says:
1. These carriers are not designed to support the child’s developing hips. In this type of carrier, baby’s legs dangle down. The optimal position is knees up above hips in a squatting posture, and straddled. This is how a baby naturally goes when picking them up from the ground.
2. Outward-facing carriers put undue stress on the infant’s spinal curves. This can affect spinal alignment and have lifelong effects on the child’s spine, nervous system and well being.
3. Take notice: Many parents who have their infants facing outward are either holding their baby’s legs up or baby is grasping their parent’s fingers. Babies are off balance in this position and it adds stress to their spine and nervous system.
4. Babies bond with human faces, particularly those of their own parents. This early bonding lays the neurological foundation for empathy and the ability to relate to others.
5. Babies like to nurse on demand. Babies can nurse on the go, as a way to reconnect with Mom as observing their new environment.
6. Babies like to nap frequently. While napping, baby can have a secure, warm cuddle at the same time.
7. Wearing babies facing out hurts. It will alter your center of gravity and put a strain on your spine. When shopping for a baby carrier, selecting a well supportive carrier is a must. For small babies, an adjustable ring sling such as the Maya Wrap, Sakura Bloom, or Sleeping Baby Productions sling are all good choices. If looking for a soft structured baby carrier, a few good ones are the well known ErgoBaby, Kinderpack or Boba. There are also many good stretchy and woven wraps that can be used for newborns through toddlerhood. Whatever you choose, don’t wear your baby facing out!