Is a Bjorn really so bad? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 48 Old 11-16-2009, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have an Ergo, a ring sling, and a wrap and I can't get any of them to feel comfortable with my newborn. The only thing that is comfortable for both of us has been the Bjorn. Now it's getting uncomfortable now that he's 13 lbs., but he's still not big enough for the regular Ergo carrier (which I adore with an older baby). Is the Bjorn really so bad to use while he's young?
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#2 of 48 Old 11-16-2009, 04:45 PM
 
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IMO, yes. I would never carry my baby in a Bjorn. Here are some reasons why:

http://www.continuum-concept.org/rea...nalStress.html

There is another good thread here about this... lemme see if I can find it. I'll check back in.

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#3 of 48 Old 11-16-2009, 04:55 PM
 
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I don't think so. I wore my dd in a Snugli all the time, and my SIL used a Bjorn with all her kids.

I will point out that the linked article in the pp was written by a chiropractor. Why don't you search for some studies on the connection between spondylolisthesis and baby carriers, and see if you can find any reputable ones that prove a connection?

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#4 of 48 Old 11-16-2009, 04:58 PM
 
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I don't think there is anything TOO detrimental when done in moderation...that is why it is still sold. Most people only wear it for short periods of time once in a while. I would certainly advise against it if you were going to use it for naps or while doing housework or other things that may take more than an hour or more than once a week.
Logically, though, think about it, would you want to be dangled by your crotch...are you sure HE is comfy in there?
Also, personal preferance is a big factor, but I prefer MeiTais for all ages, very similar to the ergo...

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#5 of 48 Old 11-16-2009, 05:08 PM
 
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I couldn't find the exact link I was looking for... I think it is a pretty old one. It had some good points in it, though. If you search "Bjorn" on these forums you'll come up with lots of threads though, and some have good information.

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Originally Posted by Fuamami View Post
I don't think so. I wore my dd in a Snugli all the time, and my SIL used a Bjorn with all her kids.

I will point out that the linked article in the pp was written by a chiropractor. Why don't you search for some studies on the connection between spondylolisthesis and baby carriers, and see if you can find any reputable ones that prove a connection?

For me personally, I'd rather not take the risk. My chiro, naturopath and pediatrician all say "no" to the Bjorn. That alone is enough to make me really question the safety of it. Combine that with the fact that I know *I* would be very uncomfortable being suspended by my crotch by a narrow strip of material and it pretty much seals the deal for me. The crotch is not designed to bear weight in that way. It isn't worth the risk... especially as someone with a family history of back and spine problems.

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#6 of 48 Old 11-16-2009, 05:08 PM
 
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I don't think they're that bad if you don't use them too much. I had carpal tunnel or something that caused really bad pain in my wrists and hands in the early postpartum days and I could not make a ring sling or wrap work to save my life, so I used a Snugli for a bit. It was a lifesaver on days when my daughter was fussy but I had to do some stuff. I probably used it an hour tops on the days I'd use it, and DD's development has been totally normal.

The thing is, a 13-pound baby in a front pack can be pretty uncomfortable for you - so keep trying with the other carriers! Good luck.
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#7 of 48 Old 11-16-2009, 05:18 PM
 
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I didn't follow the link above but i have read a study on spondylolisthesis in Alaskan Eskimo's whose normal way of carrying their babies also suspends them like the bjorn does by the crotch, and the incidence amongst those people is something close to 60%. It could be genetic, but i figured DD already had genetics of her own to deal with, and if i could spare her an environmental factor like this i would.
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#8 of 48 Old 11-16-2009, 05:20 PM
 
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I would not want to hang by my groin for any length of time. And they are so hard to get the baby out of once they doze off. With a sling... you can just ease the whole thing into the crib or bed.... no snaps, zippers or other paraphernalia.
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#9 of 48 Old 11-16-2009, 09:06 PM
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but doesn't a moby basically carry the same way?????
i'm so confused

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#10 of 48 Old 11-16-2009, 09:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tzs View Post
but doesn't a moby basically carry the same way?????
i'm so confused
Not at all. A Moby supports the baby under the buttocks and thighs in the "frog leg" position. Imagine holding a baby upright in your arms with your hand under their bottom or their bottom sitting on your forearm. That is more like the Moby carry.

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#11 of 48 Old 11-16-2009, 09:52 PM
 
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I think they're fine if they're used sparingly. We got one as a gift, and found it pretty useful. I used it mostly for quick errands when my babies were too small for the Ergo, and I didn't feel like dealing with tying a wrap or a mei tai. It was my husband's carrier of choice whenever he wore them. Best I can tell, they're both fine.

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#12 of 48 Old 11-16-2009, 10:01 PM
 
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my DD1's orthopedic surgeon at Children's Hospital in DC also told me to avoid the Bjorn because of spinal and hip stress. she was impressed by my ring sling and mei tai, didn't have any concerns about those.

as others have said, it's the position the carrier puts the baby in, so that the weight of the baby is all falling to the crotch, putting undue stress on the spine and hips. most other carriers are wider at the base, allowing the child to be in a sitting position with the knees above the hips.
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#13 of 48 Old 11-17-2009, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here - thanks for the all the responses. We're going to keep trying with the other carriers (and I'm heading to a baby wearing class next week!). Since he's so small, he's not really hanging by the crotch in the Bjorn at this point. His crotch and upper thighs still fit in the bottom part, so it's sort of like the ergo carry. I think we only have a week or so of that left, so I'm going to work on the other carriers. Thanks again!
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#14 of 48 Old 11-17-2009, 09:44 PM
 
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I'm glad to hear you're going to a babywearing class! I think you could learn to use your other carriers well and both be much happier!

While there are lots of babies who have been Bjorned and seem fine, I don't think that negates the fact that it is bad for a developing spine--whether there are noticable long term repercussions or not!

And, just as importantly, it's not okay for a carrier to cause you pain or discomfort or bad posture. Those all have potential long term effects as well! You deserve better!

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#15 of 48 Old 11-17-2009, 10:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Adasmommy View Post
While there are lots of babies who have been Bjorned and seem fine, I don't think that negates the fact that it is bad for a developing spine--whether there are noticable long term repercussions or not!
AFAIK, it's not a fact but rather a theory that the Bjorn is harmful to the developing spine. I would sincerely love to see any evidence that it is, but really I think the best anyone here can offer on the matter is an opinion.

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#16 of 48 Old 11-18-2009, 11:21 AM
 
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OK, stealing from a previous post by HybridVigor, the entirety of which can be found in this thread here: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...php?p=12008283

Quote:
Here is a link to a very long PDF about natural parenting. Page #107-108 have pictures of natural hip positioning. This dissertation is a really good one. If you have the time, please read it:
http://www.epjournal.net/filestore/ep05102183.pdf

Here are more links about correct ergonomic positioning:
http://www.storchenwiege.com/babycarrierresearch.htm
http://www.continuum-concept.org/rea...nalStress.html (<-- already referenced in a PP)
http://www.thebabywearer.com/article...ositioning.pdf
http://www.frogmama.com/articles.php?article=10
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#17 of 48 Old 11-18-2009, 01:45 PM
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I'd suggest a Manduca. It is similar to the Ergo, but comes with a newborn insert, in which the newborn can sit upright, just like in the Ergo, but with legs froggied inside the carrier instead of sticking out.
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#18 of 48 Old 11-19-2009, 08:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethanyclaire View Post
IMO, yes. I would never carry my baby in a Bjorn. Here are some reasons why:

http://www.continuum-concept.org/rea...nalStress.html

There is another good thread here about this... lemme see if I can find it. I'll check back in.
I've tried several slings since having this baby and she didn't like any of them. IMO the ones that are soft with no support are worse on the baby as far as them just laying all scrunched up. My DD seemed so uncomfortable while in those slings when she was a newborn. In fact, the only sling my baby has liked so far is the baby bjorn and I only use it when at the store or if she fusses while out and I would rather not hold her the whole time, otherwise she is held constantly. My now 8 yr old DD also prefered the bjorn and I wore her for many, many months in it and she is perfectly fine now.

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#19 of 48 Old 11-19-2009, 08:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by philomom View Post
I would not want to hang by my groin for any length of time. And they are so hard to get the baby out of once they doze off. With a sling... you can just ease the whole thing into the crib or bed.... no snaps, zippers or other paraphernalia.
I never have had a problem getting my babies in to their bed after they fall asleep in the bjorn. They have pins that slide out very easily on each side in the front and I make sure I'm holding my baby in a laying position before sliding them out and putting her in her bed.

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#20 of 48 Old 11-20-2009, 10:06 AM
 
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it never ceases to amaze me that people can't differentiate between something being potentially harmful and it causing harm to everyone. "my child escaped unscathed" is an argument i hear all the time for all kinds of things that are less-than-ideal or potentially harmful (formula feeding, starting solids too early, turning your baby's carseat forward facing at a year, whatever). Just because it didn't affect *your* child's spinal or hip development doesn't mean it isn't true that it can have a detrimental effect. Just as it's true that plenty of kids thrive on formula, while some fail to.

For me, I want to do what's ideal for the development of my child. Why use something that has the potential to do harm when there are hundreds of other, similarly-priced options that don't have that potential?!?! i seriously don't get it.
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#21 of 48 Old 11-21-2009, 02:31 AM
 
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it never ceases to amaze me that people can't differentiate between something being potentially harmful and it causing harm to everyone. "my child escaped unscathed" is an argument i hear all the time for all kinds of things that are less-than-ideal or potentially harmful (formula feeding, starting solids too early, turning your baby's carseat forward facing at a year, whatever). Just because it didn't affect *your* child's spinal or hip development doesn't mean it isn't true that it can have a detrimental effect. Just as it's true that plenty of kids thrive on formula, while some fail to.

For me, I want to do what's ideal for the development of my child. Why use something that has the potential to do harm when there are hundreds of other, similarly-priced options that don't have that potential?!?! i seriously don't get it.



I had a knock-off bjorn last time that I plan to replace with a buckle mei tai. It's not necessarily because the news hype swayed me- that only got me thinking that perhaps I should research my options. With my first baby, I thought my only options were whatever was on the shelf at babiesrus. In looking at the mei tais, it just looks like common sense design- the structure looks more comfortable and properly supportive for both me and my baby. As a layman, I could clearly see that a SSC, or wraps as well, would of course be better- just the logisitics of it. No scientific data or expert opinions needed. Now that I know there are better options, I'm changing carriers.

Sure my baby turned out fine and developed walking and running skills by 8 months, and he slept in the bjorn with ease, but that didn't mean he was comfortable. He probably couldn't tell if it hurt because it cut off circulation to his legs.. poor chubby blue stumps. It didn't look natural to have a baby dangling out in front of me, and it killed my shoulders. Reason enough for me to suspect that this was not our best option.

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#22 of 48 Old 11-21-2009, 05:17 AM
 
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This is an interesting thread....

I have a friend who uses an Bjorn....I use an Ergo.

Please tell me the difference because when we are standing side by side I don't see the difference in how her baby sits or how mine sits.....Please tell me what makes these two carriers different. The only reason I didn't like the
Bjorn was because it looks to tight when she wears it. I have never worn a Bjorn.


Can anyone help me with this?

 

 

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#23 of 48 Old 11-23-2009, 11:06 AM
 
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The ergo has a wide seat under the baby's bottom, so that your baby can be seated and supported under the thighs and bottom. This is illustrated by the fact that the baby's knees are raised higher than his bottom--just like when you pick a kid up on your hip and they naturally pull their knees up around your torso.

The bjorn has a more narrow crotch so that instead of being seated, the baby is supported only through the crotch, with legs hanging down. This puts all of the baby's weight on the base of his or her developing spine.

Which sounds more comfortable anyway: seated, or dangling by crotch?!

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#24 of 48 Old 11-23-2009, 11:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by momo7 View Post
This is an interesting thread....

I have a friend who uses an Bjorn....I use an Ergo.

Please tell me the difference because when we are standing side by side I don't see the difference in how her baby sits or how mine sits.....Please tell me what makes these two carriers different. The only reason I didn't like the
Bjorn was because it looks to tight when she wears it. I have never worn a Bjorn.


Can anyone help me with this?
Is it because with the Bjorn, people typically face baby out, thus the "crotch" comments? Because, if the baby is facing towards mom, he isn't being "crotched", imo.

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#25 of 48 Old 11-23-2009, 11:37 AM
 
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Bjorn is what mainstream parents use so it has to be evil, truth is if the baby is facing in there is no dangling by the crotch if baby is facing out they are hanging by the crotch I have seen babies hanging by the crotch in a Moby while facing out.

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#26 of 48 Old 11-23-2009, 12:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KLM99 View Post
I have an Ergo, a ring sling, and a wrap and I can't get any of them to feel comfortable with my newborn. The only thing that is comfortable for both of us has been the Bjorn. Now it's getting uncomfortable now that he's 13 lbs., but he's still not big enough for the regular Ergo carrier (which I adore with an older baby). Is the Bjorn really so bad to use while he's young?
I was in the same situation--had an Ergo for my older son, but couldn't use it for my newborn, couldn't deal with the Moby wrap, etc. I used a Bjorn for the first few months until dd was big enough for the Ergo. I don't know. It worked for us, and I didn't feel like dd was "hanging from her crotch" as is the complaint (she was only facing inward). Why would they allow this product to remain on the market if it were really causing profound harm?

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#27 of 48 Old 11-23-2009, 06:19 PM
 
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We used the bjorn for my daughter until she was about 5 or so months old and I started sewing Mei Tais. She loved it, and even more importantly (to me anyway) was that DH would wear her with it too. Now that we have a 3.5 month old son, DH a stay at home dad wears him all of the time with it. He doesn’t like the “newborn” hold with the ergo and he’s still too little to spread his little legs around my torso, but too big to crunch them up either. I’m sure there are worse things that we could do than to put our baby in an bjorn.

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#28 of 48 Old 11-23-2009, 08:38 PM
 
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Thanks for answering my question about the Bjorn vs. Ergo. I can definitely see the wide seat and upraised legs as being better than the "dangling" posture of the Bjorn. My friend's Bjorn never looked that comfotable for her baby anyway...he always looked so squished in it.

 

 

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#29 of 48 Old 11-23-2009, 09:07 PM
 
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All I can say is that every single friend I had used the Bjorn and our kids are all healthy and active nine years later. Slings just didn't work for any of us. That said, I was very happy to switch my kids to the Tough Traveler backpack at around 7 months when they could sit up. I was able to get so much more done with them on my back.
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#30 of 48 Old 11-25-2009, 03:44 PM
 
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Thank you for the discussion. My baby (4 weeks) screams in the moby, hates the sling, hates the ergo and is only happy in a bjorn. She does not like to feel squished. I only wear her facing me, but if it weren't for the bjorn, I could not wear her. I do put her sleeping self in the moby and do household chores, but I could easily just let her sleep in the cosleeper. As soon as she wakes up she is unhappy and wants out.

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