I believe it’s safe to say Millennial parenting and baby wearing/ carrying go together (almost) like Bernie and his mittens (staying on trend here! lol)
Baby carriers are on almost all registry lists, yes! And while it’s trendy, it’s been around In so many ways, for many years! Remember the good old “back carrying” method our (African) mothers(and fathers) used?
Baby wearing can be considered essential because:
- Your hands and arms get a break from doing all the baby-holding work.
- It allows you to do other things while keeping your baby close.
- You get a boost of oxytocin (the love hormone) when you have physical contact with your baby, which promotes bonding and (according to research) can help improve postpartum depression and anxiety.
- Convenience in public- It’s easier to navigate through crowds using a baby carrier than pushing a stroller around.
Deciding to use a baby carrier is the easy part. Which type of carrier you’ll be wearing baby in, can take a little more research.
Like everything else, not all baby carriers are created equal; and it’s important to look into what carrier you are choosing for your baby. When looking for a carrier, you definitely want one that promises to be comfortable for both you and your baby. Make sure you’re picking one that evenly distributes your baby’s weight and does not put unnecessary pressure on your back and shoulders.
Here’s where the big word comes in: an ergonomic baby carrier!
By definition, an ergonomic equipment is designed in a way that makes it comfortable and effective for people that are using it.
What is an ergonomic baby carrier?
An ergonomic baby carrier supports the natural posture of babies, while encouraging healthy hip development. It should support your baby’s legs, up to the back of his knees, so his/her legs aren’t left dangling. Baby should be able to freely move his lower legs as he grows.
Ergonomic carriers come with a wide, comfortable base that supports your baby’s weight so more of it is on her bottom rather than her crotch, and holds your baby’s hips and legs in a frog leg or M shape. If you fail to remember anything at all, please remember this: baby’s hips and legs should be in a frog leg or M shape. Referencing our (african) parents’ back carrying method, you notice that is indeed an ergonomic method, because baby’s legs always assume the frog or M position. So the ergonomics in baby wearing is actually not trendy, if you come to think about it. Technology has only provided different materials to perform the same function.
Below is a graphic illustration of the above text by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute:
Why should you choose an ergonomic baby carrier?
- With an ergonomic newborn baby carrier, there is no concern about poor development of baby’s neck, spine, pelvis, hips and legs, as they are being supported correctly.
- They hold your baby like a human would. Though nothing can hold or soothe a baby like their actual parent would, it’s important to go for carriers that hold and support your baby just like you would. You would find many ergonomic carrier manuals showing that you’re doing it right WHEN your baby is high up against you, so you can kiss her head, “while safely supporting your baby’s head, back, bottom and knees as you instinctively cradle her.” You may have also noticed or heard that newborns naturally assume the M or frog leg position; so you want a carrier that mimics that posture as best as possible.
- Allows you to babywear longer. Because an ergonomic baby carrier evenly distributes your baby’s weight, you can comfortably carry your baby for longer sessions, as well as from the newborn stage up to his toddler years.
It is no surprise that excellent ergonomic baby carriers like the Ergobaby allow you to baby wear up to 36 months.
Brands that sell ergonomic baby carriers:
I don’t think this list is exhaustive, but it’s a great place to start when looking for ergonomic carriers.
We use the Ergobaby; and 2 kids later, it’s still going strong! It’s easy to say, we love it!
I hope this post helps you to make the right, and best decision for you and your baby!
Always in Love and Health,