Babywearing doesn't automatically equal safe babywearing. There is a safe babywearing which supports the developing hip and spine of the baby, the safe head position along with supporting the babywearer's back properly. There is also babywearing which does not take the developmental stages of a baby and the babywearer into consideration.
In our babywearing school we teach only safe babywearing backed up by decades of research from all around the world.
What is a safe position for a baby who is being worn?
A baby, when being picked up, will pull the legs up in the correct position which will place the hip joint into the socket in a perfect position to ensure correct hardening of the cartilage present the first few month after birth. This position is called squatting straddle position or wrongly called frog leg position.
This PDF file will help you understand why safe babywearing is important along with information on certified babywearing instructors.
A good baby carrier will always ensure this healthy hip/leg position for the baby. Our experienced teachers will show baby carriers and tying ways of baby wraps and slings to support this correct squatting straddle positioning.
With this squatting straddle position the baby's buttock will be lower than the knees. This allows the baby to keep the curvature of the developing spine, which is almost a C at birth (kyphosis) . Baby carriers trying to straighten this position are putting the developing spine in danger of deformation.
Straightening of the spine happens in three different stages and takes about one year. We show the development of the spine and how to support it properly in every stage. If the baby carrier is supporting the squatting straddle position, your baby will be comfortable and enjoy coming along. You, the babywearer, will also be comfortable as your back and shoulders are supported correctly along with the center of gravity, somewhat changing due to your baby being straddled around you, is as close to your body as possible without obstructing your baby's airway. There are several positions supporting this perfect developmental position and you'll be learning all of them.
Why should baby's feet be outside rather than inside the baby carrier when worn chest to chest or on the babywearer's back?
Research has shown how important the slightly tilted position of the pelvic floor for the hip is. If the legs are inside, the spine bears some of the jolts that would otherwise be absorbed by the squatting straddle position of the legs and knees. Baby can also not be actively involved in stabilizing him or herself which gives the baby a sense of loss of control. If baby is still all rolled up, try massaging and stretching baby's legs at least every time you change your baby. With legs in, the babywearer should not be moving around much but rather sitting down with the baby in the carrier. The spread-squatting position is the best for baby's hip development, hence a cradle position is not recommended, even for tiny babies.
New research from hipdysplasia.org shows our teachings to be correct and best practice for babyweraing. Click on the link to see perfect visual aids for a good carrier. Baby Carrier Best Practice from Experts
An Article written by Dr. Ewald Fettweis, M.D. about hip screening in the UK. The translation is not the best but it shows the effects of hip screening by over-extending the hip to be a problem. This is important as over-extending the hip in an ill fitting baby carrier can lead to the same problems.