My daughter is being treated for a clubfoot. She is in a cast now. She spends most of her days being worn, either in a ring sling or the ergo with the infant insert. She is two months old and in another month she will be out of her cast and put into a brace. The brace is basically two shoes with a bar between them holding the feet apart. The bar is the same width as her shoulders. She will need to be in this brace for 23 hours a day until she starts to walk.
I know the ergo won't work, as it spreads her feet too far apart. I think the ring sling will be a challenge too. If anyone has any suggestions on how to wear her otherwise I would so appreciate it. Is there another carrier that might work better? Has anyone been through something similar? I would love any suggestions or advice out there! I don't want to give up wearing her...she's my favorite outfit!
thanks and blessings*
I can relate! My DD has bilateral club foot... she's eleven months now and the casting/tenotomy are a fading memory. I wish I had better ideas about wearing for you. We tried the Gemini, the Ergo, the Maya, and some off-brand wraps and slings... we never did feel like she was comfortable being worn while in the brace. When she was older we faced her forward and had some success in the Gemini. Mostly we just ended up holding her. In the grocery, on walks, all day in the house sometimes. Huge commitment. One thing that made a huge difference was switching to a Dobbs bar- her comfort level and mobility seemed to increase immediately, not just in being worn but all day. What type of boots and bar will you get?
ETA- have you joined the yahoo group nosurgeryforclubfoot?
A wrap can be wrapped to accomodate braces. A Korean Podegai would also offer you an number of positioning options.
Here is a link to a blog on how to make one with a photo for reference.
I ran a clubfoot clinic in Africa and this was always a huge concern of mamas since everyone wears their babies on their backs. In fact this was the biggest reason for babies dropping out of treatment! A few moms still managed to tie their baby on the back the traditional way using a large piece of fabric that they would secure under the baby's hips and around the torso and tie it in around their chest in front. They just weren't able to open the hips as wide.
I imagine that you would be able to figure something out with a wrap but not using the basic method that is described in the instructions. Another possibility might be the baby bjorn since the hips aren't too open. Wait to put the brace on until the baby is in the carrier. You might spend a lot of time putting the brace on and off but it could be worthwhile to try. Good luck!
I just checked my baby bjorn and you will definately be able to use it with the brace. There are buckles at the crotch so you can even attach them with the brace already on your baby's feet. I usually lower my baby into the carrier with that buckle already attached but in your case you will need to pull it between the legs after the brace is on and attach it that way.
i was a foster parent to a child who wore a brace with a bar between. i never wore him but i have worn both of my children and own a pikkolo. i am sure you would be able to do ff, maybe tummy to tummy and back carry if you cinche the crotch. you would not have to put on or remove the brace because the pikkolo has buckles and they would pass threw the crotch witht he braces on.
Thank you to everyone for all your ideas! I put almost all of them to use. Sorry I wasn't so great at checking back with this thread...My daughter is 13months now and she wears the brace only at night! Yay! We got through the tough part! And I wore her all the same!
I never quite stuck with one carrier. When she first got her brace I started using a wrap. Another mama at a attachment parenting group helped me master the "weave and wrap" I was able to thread the tails through her legs with the brace and get her cuddled into me. It was really comfortable. She would nap on me with her head stable and my hands totally free! It helped so much to be able to wear her. I think wearing a special needs baby makes a huge difference in their recovery!
I used the Baby Bjorn for it's ease. Although, it wasn't that comfortable for me. I was able to snap the crotch and thread it through her legs and then clip in the rest. She loved it for chewing on! It was a carrier I could use while traveling but not for long stretches, sometimes her legs turned blue (eek!). I think it was from the weight of the brace and the style of the crotch hold combined.
I also used a Mei Tie for a bit. I cinched the seat down with a bandana. It was nice for awhile. Then it came time to start wearing her on my back. With the help of another person I could wrap her to my back. I LOVE the wrap and all it's options for carries...although, it is impractical at times...when you need an extra hand to get it on.
So next I tried the Pikkolo and the Beco Gemini. Both are great carriers and have similar options for carries. They are both pretty easy for getting on and off. They have a bit more to "thread" between the legs but it is totally do-able! I settled with the Gemini and am very pleased with my choice.
I also use my maya wrap with her in the hip carry position.
Ultimately, the woven wrap, ring sling and the Gemini were the most helpful to me. Every baby is different in what they like. So, hopefully you have a lot of friends with different carriers to try like I did! Otherwise check out PAXbaby.com where you can rent carriers for great prices. I used them for the pikkolo and and the gemini!
I will post pictures soon!
happy baby wearing!
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