As a mother to my new baby boy I knew that I wanted to do anything and everything the best way possible. I read books and listened to anyone who would share their experience and well-meant advices. It was overwhelming and confusing at times. One thing for sure is that I had a gut feeling that I wanted to hold and snuggle Noah as much as possible to nourish our relationship with closeness and love.
Did I know, or even hear about, how to carry a baby? Did anyone suggest, tell, or ask me about my baby’s hip health, or about my baby’s spine? Did anyone ask me if my back and shoulders were okay? No, and no one.
The history/ background
I had purchased a stretchy carrier as many moms do for their newborns; as well, I had a handful of hand-me-down slings, wraps, carriers, and backpacks, all designed for keeping baby close. It was amazing, and it fit well with my ideology of keeping my baby close and snugged up to me! As a family, we loved to carry Noah; I loved to wrap him close in a stretchy cotton fabric wrap, and my husband Travis preferred the easy of a harness carrier. As time went by, I started to struggle with the need to constantly readjust the wrap; Noah was growing fast, and the stretchy cotton was starting to give way as Noah increased in weight.
On the flip side, Travis was starting to experience pain and deep soreness in his shoulders and back from carrying Noah in the harness carrier. They say ignorance is bliss, and we just kept carrying Noah, while compromising our own health, as we were certain it was beneficial for Noah and us. Babywearing really fit into our active, and nature loving, lifestyle.
What happened after?
Noah grew! He grew and grew and grew, into a healthy, active, rambunctious boy. He was always moving, always exploring, and always ready for adventure. Noah started walking at ten months, and soon learned to climb, run and jump, always keeping me on my toes. Shortly afterwards, I started noticing that his legs, particularly his left leg, took on a peculiar shape. More specifically, his left leg started to develop a slight bend. I have always been open to complimentary medicine; after a few visits with an amazing osteopath Marc A., Noah’s legs seemed to be self-corrected.
Later in Kindergarten, Noah jumped off the monkey bars at school (again!) and hurt himself. The symptoms this time were different, he kept wetting his pants, but only while he was active and moving; this fact took us a while to figure out. As it turned out, the force of his jump from the monkey bars had hurt his hips, tilted his pelvis, and twisted his bladder. Again with assistance from our awesome osteopath, Noah’s hips soon corrected and healed. I was told that these things just happen. I was told these things can easily happen even while playing soccer. I was told that these things just happen to growing little bodies. Was it true? I began to wonder though; was Noah’s hip problems related to how I carried him, or was it only a coincidence or a chance? An accident maybe?
By now, I was starting to research and learn more about healthy hip development in babies. I had a growing concern that Noah’s hip issues were connected to the poor babywearing positions, and ill-fitting carriers, I used with him when he was little. My gut kept telling me to keep an eye on his hips, spine and legs as they grow. My gut urged me to make sure to stay active, healthy, and move barefoot. My gut kept reminding me that we should visit our beloved friend and osteopath Marc A. every so often. I knew I wanted the best for my child, as every parent does!
A better way to babywearing
When our daughter was born three years later, I longed for a better way to carry my new baby, as I wanted to continue to keep them close to me. All the while, I was still gaining more knowledge about my babies’ hip health, and I knew there must be a product on the market that was both comfortable, and designed to support the growing process of little bodies. This was key to me as I knew I would be more busy than ever and out and about with my toddler, therefore the comfort and design of the carrier was important.
This is when I met Ingrid, founder of Helina Baby, still in its developing phase. With the purchase of my first Helina Carrier, I was also provided with an educational workshop on baby anatomy, hip health and how to better wear my baby to support and benefit her growing body. Since then my babywearing experience has been revolutionized! I now know that my babies are thriving, supported, and growing healthy. Wearing the Helina Carrier is easy and comfortable, we go on walks every day and spend our weekends hiking, with the little ones cruising and napping.
Why does hip supporting your baby's hip matter?
Your little infant grows! It’s true! From an infant to a toddler, then, into a little child, a teen, all the way to adult! At birth, baby’s joints are made of soft, pliable cartilage in comparison to the strong and solid joints of an adult. This softer structure in a child means that it is easier, anatomically, for the ball (the femoral head) to slip out of the socket (the acetabulum) and be misaligned or fully dislocated, especially under downward strain.
The baby’s spine develops in stages, starting with ability to hold their head in the first few weeks and progressing with more tone and strength as baby learns to roll, sit, crawl, squat and walk. Not until the walking stage is the spine developed.
My responsibility as a parent is to assist my children's development in any way possible so that my child has a healthy start in life! When Noah was a baby, I did my best with the knowledge I had. I know better now, and am grateful for my friend Ingrid and baby health educators who have shared their knowledge of hip health, movement nutrition and child development.