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Suggestion for carrying positions once baby likes facing forward?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Our daughter is almost 5.5 months old, and we've been wearing her since birth: first in a Moby wrap (on the front, of course), and then in a Sakura bloom ring sling alternating with the Moby (depending on how long, and how much in-and-out was needed) and now in an Ergobaby carrier or the ring sling (depending on the length of the walk - she's now at least 16 lbs!). She loved it initially, and would either look left and right or just fall asleep, but for the last month, carrying her has been a struggle since she is never happy with the position:


The front carry in the Ergo is the most comfortable for me at this point since it is symmetric, but she now hates it.  She will grunt and scream in this position, unless she is really sleepy and I hold a pacifier in her mouth until she falls asleep.  She likes hip carrying ok (I also have to use the pacifier in this position somewhat to keep her from fussing), but that position (even if I alternate hips) just wreaks havoc on my back and shoulders if I do it too often.  We tried back carrying, but she just uses that as an invitation to yank hard and repeatedly on my hair, so that doesn't work either.  What she really wants to do is to be held at my front, facing forward, but looking into this, it seems that it is bad for their back/hip development.  In particular, she doesn't even just want to face forward, but even to bend her torso forward from there, so that her upper body is parallel to the ground, like a figurehead on the prow of a ship.  We have taken some walks where I hiked for miles with her in this position, and it is murder on my shoulders.  She fundamentally also seems to hate being confined, no matter whether we use the Ergobaby or the sling, or the Moby...


I really want to keep babywearing, but I'm getting a bit frustrated - I'm hoping that someone out there might have some advice?  Thanks in advance for reading my post!

post #2 of 11

Do not wear her facing out, this is unnatural and it is not good for her little spine and hips.  As an FYI, my almost 3 year old is FORTY pounds and I still wear him!  Not so often anymore but I do wear him on my back in a wrap or my Kinderpack or Dream carrier.


Anyway, I suggest you do wear her on your back and try this.  1.  Put your hair up.  It's no fun for a baby to have hair in their face so no wonder she is yanking on it.  2.  Try wearing her up higher on your back so she can see over your shoulder.  Put the waistband of the Ergo higher up on your natural waist instead of it sitting on your hips.  Lots of people wear SSCs on their hips and the babies have a great view of their parent's back!  But if you wear the carrier up higher, your baby has a nice view to look at and keep them occupied.  Also, if they get sleepy they can put their head on your shoulder.



post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply, LatteMama.  I guess I was a little unclear - I have never carried her facing forward in the carrier - just holding her in my arms in front of me, since we will be miles away on a hike or about town, and then she will fuss and fuss and fuss until I take her out of the carrier.  So we've had some long walks with me holding her like a sack of potatotes/figurehead on a ship, where she faces out forward in front of me while I try to hold her up in some suitable position with my arms - really tiring...


We tried the back carry again today, but she still yanked on my hair even with it totally up, and she fussed the whole time, clearly unhappy.  I'm also not sure how to get her high enough up to see over my shoulder - I had the Ergobaby strap right up under my boobs, and she still wasn't high enough to really see over my shoulder.  (I'm  pretty tall, at 6'2", so maybe that is the problem?)


If anyone has any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them - I really want to be able to wear her, but she just seems to hate being confined or unable to face forward (unless she's asleep). :(

post #4 of 11

We had the same issue when my daughter was about that age, always wanting to be out facing.  But, I agree with the previous response that it is not a good idea to face your baby out in a dangle position due to the stress on the hips and spine (I am a pediatric PT).  It can also be overwhelming for them from a sensory standpoint as well.  I also used a ring sling a lot at that age due to the variety of ways you can pop the baby in and out of it, depending on their mood at the time.  We used the kangaroo carry a lot (see video below) and it satisfied her desire to face out and my desire to keep her safe and protected.  




Good luck.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

whitneyg, thanks for the link - we can't play utube videos here (internet too slow, plus low caps on data transfer) - do you know of any link that is just pictures and text?  I tried hunting around the internet and can't find anything. 

post #6 of 11

Here is kangaroo carry, but without video:



post #7 of 11

It looks like you're in NYC...if you are, you can go to Metro Minis in Manhattan and they'll help you try on carriers and find one that works for you.  We also have a babywearing group here that meets twice a month, you can find us on Facebook under Carry On Baby Babywearers.  If you come to a meeting you can try on all our carriers, and we can help you figure out how to do a back carry that doesn't make your baby angry.  :)

post #8 of 11

I think a German Style wrap worn on back in a high carry would be answer. An Ergo will not get her up high enough to see over your shoulder.


post #9 of 11
Cww, I think a rucksack carry high on the back would be your answer. I have a 6 mo old DS who loves yanking my hair while I am wrapping him, but once his arms are contained and he is comfortably settled on my back, high enough to see everything over my shoulder, the fussing stops like magic and hardly a peep out of him for any length of time, as long as I keep moving. Visit your local group as PP suggested and I am sure someone there can show you that method and maybe lend a wrap to try and see if it works for your DD for a week or two.
post #10 of 11

Sweet Pea and I just started using this carry with the moby: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1tk-4VRas0  She's a little heaver that your little one (roughly 18lbs) and loves looking out and seeing what's going on in the world.  She seemed quite happy in it.  May-be it'll help with your girl too.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for all of these wonderful suggestions, everyone!  I've unfortunately been swamped with work and haven't had time for much hiking around, so we haven't had a chance to try out some of these, but am hoping to soon.  Thanks, GoGoGirl, also, for the info about the group in NYC - we're actually in Switzerland right now for another six weeks, but if we're still having any issues when we get back, I will definitely look into the group.  Thanks again to everyone for sending their suggestions - I'll try to post back as soon as we try some of these. :)

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