How to Wear Your Baby
Did you know that your newborn’s hip joints are made up of mostly cartilage? This means that the hip is delicate, pliable and susceptible to injury. To facilitate the natural growth and development of baby’s hips, wear your baby with thighs supported by the carrier, knees higher than their pelvis and bent at 90 degrees. The shape of your baby’s legs and pelvis will form the letter M.
Note: If your baby’s knees extend beyond 90 degrees (looks like legs are straightening), the carrier base is too wide for your baby. If your baby’s knees hang below the pelvis, the carrier base is too narrow for your baby.
Babies have a natural predisposition to spread their legs and bend their knees. If they cannot
maintain their frog-like position when being carried, then forces from incorrect positioning go into their hip joints.
Keeping your baby comfortable through supportive positioning not only benefits the hips of your baby but sets a good foundation for spinal development as well.
Just like how petals of a flower take time to open, so does your baby’s spine.
You can support the spinal development process by allowing your baby’s spine to stay rounded when carrying. Although walking indicates complete development of the necessary curves of the spine, it is still a good idea to wear your baby in the suggested supportive position to nurture further growth and to provide comfort.
More tips about carrying
When using a carrier, the safest position for your baby’s head is turned away from your body with his or her chin away from their chest (a two-finger distance) to keep an open airway. Head placement is very important, especially for newborns, since they do not have the neck strength to reposition their heads if their airways are obstructed.
Wear your baby high on your body so that your baby is carried at or above your navel (baby's bottom at or above your navel). Wearing your baby high like this helps to avoid strain on your back, shoulders and neck sometimes associated with babywearing.
If you decide to do a back carry, make sure your child can sit unassisted. It is easier and safer to do back carries when children have developed the core and neck strength to sit on their own.
It may seem like the modernized approach of wearing babies facing outward is a good idea, but this approach limits contact and bonding and does not support baby’s hip nor spine development.At Helina Baby we advocate supportive carrying and recommend front, hip and back carry for children always facing the parent.
Doctor Fettweis speaks about leg positing in a carrier
What Ashlee learned about hip health
For more resources on hip health, please click here