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carrier for bad back?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I really want to wear DS, but haven't been able to yet. We have a mei tai that he does not like when I wear it (is ok with DP though). When I put him in it with me he just wants to 'nurse'. I haven't tried with a pacifier, but I don't know if that would be a bad idea? Could he get hurt facing me with a paci in his mouth?

I also have a bjorn, but I was told the 'crotch carry' was bad at such a young age. When can I start to use that? He doesn't mind that one (though I haven't tried it since my back flared up).

But my real question is about back pain. I have a cyst on my lower spine. I discovered this a couple years ago when I was in agonizing pain. So agonizing that I'm not sure what was worse - that or the 30 hrs of natural labor I had before the c-section! At the beginning of this month the pain started to come back and is getting worse. When I carry (in arms) DS on my shoulder sometimes I can barely walk. I'm working on that, but in the meantime, is there a carrier that would be better for me than the mei tai? Should I try a wrap with a specific hold? I have a length of woven fabric I could cut down for a wrap. I'm trying to get into physical therapy and will ask them too, but that is going to take a couple of weeks.

I tried a search but didn't find what I was looking for. Thanks mamas!
post #2 of 10
A woven wrap may be a great carrier for you. They are very supportive and distribute the baby's weight over a large area. They are also very versatile, and chances are that if you were willing to play around with a few different tying variations you would probably find one that was comfortable to you.
I don't know though if a woven wrap would change the issue with your son just wanting to nurse when in the carrier though (unless you use the woven to do back carries, which is possible at his age). He wil still be in a similar position against your chest. If he does use a pacifier, I don't see any harm in letting him have one while in the carrier, as long as you are comfortable with that.
About the Bjorn... chances are it will not be a great choice for your back. There is lots of debate over whether or not the position the Bjorn holds the baby is "bad" for their spine and hip development, so I won't really go into that. BUT, many mamas find that while it's a fairly comfortable carrier for newborns and small babies, as they get heavier it becomes very painful to use, especially when used for a front facing out carry (since the baby's body and weight can be thrown forward, away from you). Men usually have an easier time with the Bjorn, because they have better upper body strength as opposed to women, who do not.
Anyway, you would probably do well to experiment a bit with some different carriers and positions to try and find something that doesn't aggrivate your condition. Do you know if there is a babywearing group anywhere near you? I also have to say you really should discuss the issue with your physical therapist/care provider. I know you said you were planning on it, just wanted to echo that. They may tell you that it's best for you to not carry the baby too much, which may be good advice for you, but it's not necessarily practical. Baby's need to be carried and held sometimes, it's just the way it is. Better to have them help you find a solution so that when you do have to carry the baby it won't be as painful (or do more damage).
I'm sorry you have been having such a hard time with babywearing and I hope you find something that works soon.
post #3 of 10
I have back issues, and the only carrier that doesn't leave me aching after after less than 5 minutes is my Moby. I can comfortably wear the Moby for about an hour of straight walking (DD is about 18lbs, so not a heavy kid considering she's 17 months). We use the hug hold and the lotus hold, though we usually don't keep her legs up because she's more comfortable with them dangling. (there are instructions on the Moby website that you would be able to follow with your woven wrap). you don't say how old he is, would he be able to face out? if so he would be less likely to want to nurse constantly facing out.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mamas! He's about 10 weeks, with good head control for his age, but still wobbles just a bit. He's much more interested in the world now than he was last time I tried to put him in the mei tai, so maybe the nursing problem isn't a problem anymore? Last night I gave the wrap a try (using the woven fabric I have) and I think it might work, but by the time I figured it out and got DS in he was pretty annoyed with the whole process. I'll need to practice getting him in and out before I can wear it long enough to be sure. We do have a babywearing group, but they meet mid day during the week, when I'm at work. I'm hoping to stop by the store that specializes on a Saturday sometime soon. They aren't open Sundays or after work.
post #5 of 10
I think the key is to get something that carries a lot of the weight on your waist or, better yet, your hips. So many baby carriers pull mostly on your upper back, which is hard to sustain even when you don't have a spine problem!

I switched from a Snugli (shoulder straps) to a Connecta (shoulder and waist straps) and it was much much better. I carried DD in there until she started walking.

I've heard Ergo is also very comfortable, so check that out. Beco is also popular. I haven't tried either of these on.

DD didn't like the Moby, but maybe I'll try earlier with #2 and see if it works ok. Honestly I like the simplicity of my Connecta (or any soft-bodied carrier, as they are known). No adjustments or wrapping, just snap and go :-) Most styles have a nice wide seat for baby, much more supportive than a crotch carry.
post #6 of 10
Originally Posted by moonjunio View Post
I think the key is to get something that carries a lot of the weight on your waist or, better yet, your hips. So many baby carriers pull mostly on your upper back, which is hard to sustain even when you don't have a spine problem!

My thoughts too. The wide firm waist/hip band of some SSC, soft structured carriers, allows the hips to carry the weight. I am not fond of nursing in my Beco Butterfly but I have to admit my son feels lightweight in it and he is over 20 lbs. For what it's worth, the Gemini is the new Beco and looks like it will be popular.

Also I'd go with the nursing, if your son really enjoys it in a carrier. Being in close proximity to the breast does naturally encourage babies to feed. Babywearing's even a reccomended practice for failure to thrive babies for that reason.

Good luck this weekend at the store
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
I think I'll start saving for a SSC. I hadn't heard of the Connecta. I'll add that one to the list to check out. It seems pretty well liked!
post #8 of 10
I would go for a Gemini for saving your back. I have one and never feel any weight on my back, it is really amazing.
post #9 of 10
the ergo i have a reeeaalllyyyyy bad back, and the ergo is the only one that doesn't hurt me. the best money i ever spent on a carrier.
post #10 of 10
I had a Baby Bjorn with DS2 and it KILLED my back. I also had a similar problem with my Maya Wrap unless it was positioned, just so.

So, I guess my contribution is about what didn't work.
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