We're in the market for a new soft structured carrier. We have the infantino ecosash (like a mei tai), which was working well, but we need something with more support because he likes to be carried pretty much constantly. Ds will be 4 months next week and weighs just over 14lbs. Here's the thing, though - he HATES facing in with front carry and is not yet old enough for back carry. Not sure about a hip carry as the carrier now we have doens't allow for that. Also, he isn't a big fan of either of the slings we have nor does he like the moby. I need something that comfortably allows for him to face out and something that will do back carry for when he's able. I'm not too concerned about the cost as long we'll be able to use it for a few years. I'm much more concerned about comfort, both for him and for us. The ecosash was great when ds was smaller but now it is starting to give both dh and I bad back pain. I think we'd prefer something with buckles instead of ties, but I'm open to both. Any suggestions?
Carrier for front carry facing out?
I would urge you to try a back carry now rather than facing your child out. 4 months is plenty old enough to be worn on the back in any carrier, IMO, unless your child is delayed somehow. I am not personally comfortable with back carrying a newborn, but I began wearing DS on my back at 2 months without a problem. You just need the right carrier.
I would suggest a mei tai for you, or a beco butterfly. Either can be worn on the back and would be suitable for the age of your son.
I don't know if you've read the reasons for not facing out, but there are many threads discussing it at thebabywearer.com
It was enough to convince me to not do it (I had tried it a few times).
The Pikkolo and new Beco Gemini both say they have ergonomic options for FFO. (There's another SSC as well, but I can't recall the name right now.) From my personal research, FFO itself is not detrimental; the specific position of the baby's hips/bottom is. You want baby in a seated position with knees above hips rather than with his weight all on his crotch. This can be achieved in a wrap if you spread the fabric appropriately (and, IME, if you aren't too busty) and supposedly in the above carriers. I say supposedly only because I haven't personally used them.
If you have a sling, you can try a hip carry. Sometimes that works well for them when they are nosy. My 5mo has been hip carried in a ring sling for quite some time.
We have a Beco Gemini and DH uses it for forward facing our nearly-9 month old. It holds her legs in a good position IMO. I find it hard to get her close enough to my chest not to pull on my shoulders (but I am an H cup so maybe that's why as a PP mentioned). She absolutely *loves* it and DH just turns her around when she shows signs of being tired or needing some snuggling.
You've certainly piqued my curiousity! One of things I love about MDC is how well "heated" debates are handled. More often than not the members here are respectful and insightful, so I would love for you to elaborate on your opposition to front facing. I searched and found some concerns about overstimulation and improper spine and hip development, so is that what you're refering to? I am very interested for you (or anyone) to offer more information on the overstimulation arguement, or any other concern about front facing.
I think that overstimulation is a genuine concern and I confess it is another reason why I am reluctant to do it. Although I suspect that some babies are more sensitive to it than others. DH is aware of it also and turns J when he thinks she needs it. It's one of those things where we're looked at the pros and cons and decided that we're ok with it for short periods.
I certainly wouldn't want her FF for a hours on end and I/we wouldn't ignore her cues but neither would I blanket ban it, for this baby at this time.
This site talks about it briefly. I'm not sure if there is any actual research. Maybe someone else has some?
I have done quite a bit of reading about BW over the last 5 years and never encountered much on this. I'm very interested to hear what you have learned that has formed your position on this! And no, I'm not looking for a heated debate; I'd love to hear your perspective because I appreciate opportunities to learn. I hope you will share!
Here are a few resources.
Here are a few resources.
Thanks, Tiffany, but these are all about the physical part of development. (I have read a lot on this and concur.) The pp alluded to emotional/psychosocial development issues, and I haven't seen anything on them other than some information on overstimulation/not allowing the baby to disengage by turning his face toward mom. I was looking for more information in that vein.
Is any of it supported by any evidence? I haven't really seen any anti-front-facing stories (other than the ergonomic issues, which are real) that were anything other than supposition and intuition-based.
I remember a time when back carries were seen as the ones that were potentially developmentally damaging if done for too long to babies who were too old, because they limit babies' range of motion and field of view and force them to continually twist their necks to the side in order to see anything.
Sorry - I'm back to this thread now!
The reason that FF is not right for me is the overstimulation of the baby PLUS the fact that if (when!) your baby falls asleep it's kind of inconvenient to have their head slumping to the front!
The overstim issue was explained to me as being a bit like the Clockwork Orange! Apparently babies do not know to close their eyes to shut out the world, whereas it is easy for them to snuggle into your breasts if they are facing inwards. I don't have any evidence to back this up, so take it how you will. Add to this the fact that I find it bad for MY ergonomics, lol. I have large breasts and the baby is wrapped too far away from my centre of gravity to be comfortable. I also believe that it is difficult to get a good seat for the baby, even when using a spread wrap.
In terms of being able to see the world, I find a high back carry (or any back carry actually) is fine. A high back carry in a wrap allows them to look over your shoulder, but they can still snuggle in if/when needed.
It think front facing or rear facing really depends on the baby. I never did FFO with my first but with DD2 (six months) if I'm holding her, she will turn herself as hard as she can and not be content until she is being held FFO. For that reason (showing a readiness and a keeness to face out) I put her in FFO position. That being said, I am very attentive to her cues and moods and am ready to flip her to facing me or to take her out of the carrier if it seems she is getting overwhelmed. There is no box that fits everyone or every baby so all we can do is go with the cues our own babies are giving us.
I used the babytrekker from newborn up through 18 months. The forward facing out front carry was a favorite of my boys'.
It doesn't work that great once baby/child gets taller as the legs dangle. The newer design has leg straps but I'm not sure if those actually help since I've not tried that version.
I like my new boba and ergo for older kiddos so far, but no forward facing out with that. I'm hanging onto my babytrekker just for that carrier position.
My kids have no spine issues. I don't babywear a ton though. Maybe a half hour to an hour a day on average during warm months. I have worn the kids for far longer at times, but not often.