Do you experience pain or discomfort in your back, neck or shoulder areas while wearing your baby? If so, ask yourself these three questions to help you figure out why. Babywearing should be a comfortable and enjoyable experience so if you are feeling anything but that; it’s time to evaluate the situation.
Question 1: Am I Wearing My Baby too Low?
The most common reason for discomfort when carrying a child is carrying the child below one’s centre of gravity. This area of the body is the place of concentrated mass, which is approximately your navel area. If your baby’s legs are unsupported and dangling below your navel or, if your baby is so low that you cannot kiss the top of his or her head, the weight of your little one is most likely below your centre of gravity. The uneven distribution of weight on your body will cause the muscles in your upper body to tighten and contract and over time, these overworked muscles can become tight and sore.
When using a carrier, place your baby onto your body at or above your belly button depending on the size of your baby. Ensure the carrier supports your baby's legs and knees at hip height and bent at a 90-degree angle. Also, ensure that your baby is up close and snug with you so you and your child can move as one.
Question 2: Is It My Carrier?
Often, new parents receive a carrier as a gift and in turn, they feel obligated to use it even if it is not what they would have chosen. Word of advice, do not feel obligated to use the carrier if you feel discomfort or pain. You are the one who has to wear it. Whether you received a carrier as a gift or chose a carrier that is not working for you, consider trying a few different carriers to see what works for you.
There are a few ways to go about it. You can purchase a carrier and try it out and return it if it is a no go. You can pay for a babywearing consultation from an educator who will most likely have a variety of carriers for you to choose or, you can borrow from a baby carrier lending library in your area.
Question 3: Do I Have a Weak Core?
If you have had a C-section or an injury to your back and have never done much to restore your core, you may have to turn some attention to that area to make it strong again. Core strength is super important – it is the area in the body that houses all your organs and is the place where your extremities connect. It is the most disliked area to workout, but it is so important that it is functioning optimally. If you want some exercise ideas, read our blog, Essential Exercises for a Stronger Core.
Hopefully, when you ask yourself these questions, you will find a solution because you deserve a comfortable, effortless babywearing experience.