How to Wear Your Baby
Care. Comfort. Closeness.
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 your 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. Baby's legs should be free outside the carrier.
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 towards the ground, the carrier base is too narrow for your baby.
A Baby's Natural Predisposition
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.
Is it okay to wear our babies with their legs extended? Orthopaedic surgeon answers the question.
Transporting your baby with extended legs whether facing you or away creates stress to the hip joints and prematurely straightens the spine as well. In the womb, your baby's spine is like the letter C. It is not recommended to carry your baby with their legs unsupported.
Babies deserve the best care in all aspects of their lives, therefore, they deserve to be placed in the most supportive position in a carrier. Although there is no evidence that carrying a baby a certain way will result in conditions X, Y and Z, we do know that unsupportive positions do not encourage child development.
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.
For more resources on hip health, please click here
The International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI) acknowledges the Helina Baby Meh Dai carrier as a "hip-healthy product."