brought to us by Mothering sponsor Boba
Thoughtful Design Bests Babywearing Challenges
It’s no secret that babywearing is the most natural choice for baby’s physical, emotional, and social development—but that doesn’t mean it always comes naturally. When choosing a baby carrier, it’s important to understand what growing babies need and how you can best support them.
Unfortunately, some baby carrier manufacturers have not thought through babies’ physiological development, and their poor designs can have unintended consequences. Luckily, carriers like the Boba 3G Baby Carrier are designed to avoid these pitfalls. Before you put your precious cargo into a baby carrier, make sure you’re choosing one that will help him grow up healthy and strong.
The ideal position for baby
When you look at a person from the side, you can see that the spine has four slight curves that form an elongated “S” shape. These curves help keep us flexible and balanced while absorbing the stresses of daily life. We aren’t born with these curves, though; they develop over time as a means of adapting to gravity.
At birth, babies are in a state of flexion, still curled up, with their spine in a C-shaped curve. (Just try to stretch out a newborn, and you’ll see how instinctively the body springs back to this tucked position.) At first, a baby does not have the strength or balancing curves in his spine to hold his head up. But gradually, as the muscles in his neck get stronger, he begins to lift his heavy head against gravity and a curve starts to develop in his neck. When babies start to creep and crawl, the curve in the lower back and the muscles that support it develop. By the time they’re about a year old, babies have developed all four curves of the spine.
To support babies in this natural progression, it’s important to keep them in their natural position at each stage. So newborns should stay in the tucked, curved position they normally assume. As they get a bit older and their legs naturally stretch out more, they can be in a seated position with legs wrapped around their parent.
The trouble with front-facing
Front-facing carriers force babies’ spines and joints into an unnatural position, which can harm the baby as he grows. Out-facing carriers lack leg support, retract the shoulders, and place the spine in a compromising “hollow-back” or hyper-extended position. This causes the infant to absorb the pressure produced with each of his parents’ steps. Spondylolisthesis, the slipping of the vertebrae to compensate from repeated stress, is a risk of the outward carry.
It’s not only the spine that suffers when babies’ legs are stretched out prematurely. According to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, this practice puts the hip joint at risk of being permanently deformed or becoming dislocated.
Support babies as they grow
The Boba 3G Baby Carrier supports babies in their natural positions as they grow. Its easy, built-in newborn conversion allows you to use it from birth without having to purchase any additional accessories.
The Boba’s wide seat supports baby just as a mother’s arms would, taking the weight off the spine and distributing it in an ergonomically appropriate way. When your baby becomes a toddler, you can attach foot straps to the carrier, giving her a way to keep her thighs up at hip level, allowing her back to naturally round, taking pressure off her pelvis and lower back.
Choosing the best baby carrier
Babywearing gives your baby the best start in life. It keeps him close, warm, protected, and attached. And it lets you continue exploring the world, with your new little person in tow. Make sure to take the extra step and choose the baby carrier that is designed to best support your baby as he grows.