Can a baby carrier hurt the baby's hip and spine development? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 08-20-2008, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I heard someone mentioned it in another board but couldn't find anything to support it. Has anyone of you know of or ever asked your peditrician on this subject? I was planning to use a sling/wrap/other carrier with a newborn. Which one has a good head support and doesn't hurt the physical development? I know carriers are good for mental/emotional one. Thanks.
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#2 of 15 Old 08-20-2008, 10:57 AM
 
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the kinds of carriers that have the baby dangling from their crotch have raised concerns about this. Bjorn, Snuggli, etc.

here's a link to a previous discussion on the subject. i posted several links in that thread:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...=spinal+stress
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#3 of 15 Old 08-20-2008, 12:16 PM
 
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Can I ask why the Moby wrap is better than a Baby Bjorn? I feel like my DD is in the exact same position in either one. My DH won't wear slings/wraps, so the only thing he will wear DD in is the Bjorn.

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#4 of 15 Old 08-20-2008, 01:00 PM
 
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With a Moby you can tuck their legs up in a froggy position with doesn't arch their back like a bjorn will. I didn't wear ds forward facing in the Moby without tucking in those legs. If left to dangle in a forward facing it is similar to a Bjorn I think. I borrowed a Bjorn from a friend and wasn't happy with the awkward position ds seemed to be in. I have a Beco now and wear it with ds facing in and he has support along his whole bottom and both thighs so no dangling legs and no arched back.

eta: limabean, there are some soft structured carriers like Ergo that seem more "manly" if dh would use one of those.
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#5 of 15 Old 08-20-2008, 02:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by henny penny View Post
With a Moby you can tuck their legs up in a froggy position with doesn't arch their back like a bjorn will. I didn't wear ds forward facing in the Moby without tucking in those legs. If left to dangle in a forward facing it is similar to a Bjorn I think. I borrowed a Bjorn from a friend and wasn't happy with the awkward position ds seemed to be in. I have a Beco now and wear it with ds facing in and he has support along his whole bottom and both thighs so no dangling legs and no arched back.

eta: limabean, there are some soft structured carriers like Ergo that seem more "manly" if dh would use one of those.
Thanks! I've been leaving DD's legs out in the Moby because she gets frustrated when they're tucked up. I'll try to keep them tucked, but I'm not sure if she'll go for it.

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#6 of 15 Old 08-21-2008, 03:25 AM
 
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is the Kozy and Ergo the same as this? their legs should be tucked in?
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#7 of 15 Old 08-21-2008, 03:37 AM
 
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its that the bjorns have them sitting on their spines basically. the Ergo has them sitting on their bums when they are old enough (and froggy style before that).

here is a good article: http://continuum-concept.org/reading/spinalStress.html
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#8 of 15 Old 08-21-2008, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Below is the response from our peditrician.

Hip dysplasia is present since birth, so the carrier may bring about the problem to parents then doctor attention.
Spondylolisthesis is not a problem until late adolescent or young adult and again at the old age. It is due to chronic stress to the posterior element of the spine. It is more common in athlete or people with heavy set and curved back. This is not a problem of a newborn or an infant.
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#9 of 15 Old 08-21-2008, 11:52 AM
 
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Like the PP says, no carrier can cause Hip dysplasia, but carriers which hang babies by the crotch will exasperate the preexisting condition.

If you look up Hip dysplasia in infants, you will see that their legs are splinted in a wide-spread position with knees bent. The NEWEST research shows that this very wide position isn't the best either, but the a narrower spread is the best for correcting Hip dysplasia, just like when a child is in a hip carry with their knees up.

At the International Babywearing Conference in Chicago, I learned that a hip carry (switching sides for even amounts of time on each hip) is therapeutic because when you walk, your hip acts as a massage while the baby's hips are in the correct position.

Whatever carrier you use, you should be looking to see if the baby's knees are above the level of the bum. If the legs are allowed to hang straight down, then you should try to adjust the baby into the correct seated position; With some carriers, the correct position is not possible.

Why not have the legs straight down? There are certain stages to the spinal development of infants. Newborns, used to the fetal position, need to be allowed to curve their spines into a 'C' position. If their legs hang down, their spines curve the opposite direction.

Some babies who have experienced birth trauma, or have other contributing factors, have what is called High Tone. This causes them to feel "stiff" and arch their backs. This can be treated with CranioSacral Therapy, Chiropractic adjustment, and other gentle hands-on techniques. On the other end of the spectrum, babies with extremely Low Tone are way too floppy and do not have muscular reactions or control. The same treatments can apply in this situation.

Many parents interpret distress, stiffness, and arching to be the preference of the baby not to be held or worn. This in not the case. In fact, there might be Sensory Integration issues which need to be treated so that the baby will no longer be overwhelmed and unable to cope with normal amounts of stimulation.

Another reason not to allow the legs to hang straight down is that the carrier would then put undue pressure on the Pubis and Pubic symphysis, possibly compress the Femoral arteries and nerves, and promote lateral curvature of the spine.

These multiple reasons no doubt impact the development of a child, but by no means are crippling. Bjorn's and Snuggli's aren't the most comfortable things for babies or parents, but they are not as dangerous to health as bag-style slings (http://babyslingsafety.blogspot.com/) which can lead to infant positional asphyxiation.

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

I hope that helps!
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#10 of 15 Old 08-21-2008, 02:00 PM
 
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kusumat wrote:
PHP Code:
Below is the response from our peditrician.

Hip dysplasia is present since birthso the carrier may bring about the problem to parents then doctor attention.
Spondylolisthesis is not a problem until late adolescent or young adult and again at the old ageIt is due to chronic stress to the posterior element of the spineIt is more common in athlete or people with heavy set and curved backThis is not a problem of a newborn or an infant
There are childreen born with a hip dysplasia,e.g. breech babies,but it also can be caused by a carrier like Baby Bjorn or if the feet are inside the carrier.The muscles of the buttom put a negative pressure on the femur bone,so that the bone gets pushed out the actabulum.
A Spondylolisthese is the deterioration of the intervertebral discs and the vertebral joints and this you just feel than you are older.But the basics of the Spondylolisthese you can cause,if you carry your child in a strait position.All the stress is going to baby`s spine,specially to the 5 lumber vertebra.The discs of a newborn child are still supplied with blood tissue,which just turn into cartilage with a core of gelatine,with the development of the spine.The discs of a baby are very sensible and can`t absorb hard knocks on the spine.That`s why a baby has to swing in a carrier,this is just possible,if the carrier makes a pouch and protects the spine like a bandage.

HybridVigor wrote:
PHP Code:
The NEWEST research shows that this very wide position isnt the best eitherbut the a narrower spread is the best for correcting Hip dysplasiajust like when a child is in a hip carry with their knees up 
If the legs are too much spread apart is also not good,they should be spread apart between 60-90 degrees.That`s why I don`t recommand the Ergo,Yamo and so on for young babies.With a wrap or sling you get the legs in the right position in all wearing positions.The knees should be at the level of baby`s belly buttom.

PHP Code:
Some babies who have experienced birth trauma, or have other contributing factorshave what is called High ToneThis causes them to feel "stiff" and arch their backsThis can be treated with CranioSacral TherapyChiropractic adjustment, and other gentle hands-on techniquesOn the other end of the spectrumbabies with extremely Low Tone are way too floppy and do not have muscular reactions or controlThe same treatments can apply in this situation
Berit
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#11 of 15 Old 08-21-2008, 02:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by limabean View Post
Thanks! I've been leaving DD's legs out in the Moby because she gets frustrated when they're tucked up. I'll try to keep them tucked, but I'm not sure if she'll go for it.
the legs don't have to be tucked up into the carry "froggy-style," they just have to be situated so that the legs don't dangle straight down, but rather the carrier is wide enough so that there is a 'seat' for the baby which puts them in more of a squatting position with the knees above the butt. that's why carriers like the Kozy and the Ergo are not a concern where the Bjorn or Snuggli are.

i think i mentioned it in the thread i linked to above, but my DD1 had a club foot and thus was seen regularly by an orthopedist for the first 2 years of her life. the orthopedist told me that if i had to use a Bjorn-style carrier (which i did use occasionally when she was wearing boots and bar) that i should limit it to 1 hour at a time max. and only once per day because of the potenial problems for her hips and spine.
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#12 of 15 Old 08-21-2008, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by HybridVigor View Post
Like the PP says, no carrier can cause Hip dysplasia, but carriers which hang babies by the crotch will exasperate the preexisting condition.

If you look up Hip dysplasia in infants, you will see that their legs are splinted in a wide-spread position with knees bent. The NEWEST research shows that this very wide position isn't the best either, but the a narrower spread is the best for correcting Hip dysplasia, just like when a child is in a hip carry with their knees up.

At the International Babywearing Conference in Chicago, I learned that a hip carry (switching sides for even amounts of time on each hip) is therapeutic because when you walk, your hip acts as a massage while the baby's hips are in the correct position.

Whatever carrier you use, you should be looking to see if the baby's knees are above the level of the bum. If the legs are allowed to hang straight down, then you should try to adjust the baby into the correct seated position; With some carriers, the correct position is not possible.

Why not have the legs straight down? There are certain stages to the spinal development of infants. Newborns, used to the fetal position, need to be allowed to curve their spines into a 'C' position. If their legs hang down, their spines curve the opposite direction.

Some babies who have experienced birth trauma, or have other contributing factors, have what is called High Tone. This causes them to feel "stiff" and arch their backs. This can be treated with CranioSacral Therapy, Chiropractic adjustment, and other gentle hands-on techniques. On the other end of the spectrum, babies with extremely Low Tone are way too floppy and do not have muscular reactions or control. The same treatments can apply in this situation.

Many parents interpret distress, stiffness, and arching to be the preference of the baby not to be held or worn. This in not the case. In fact, there might be Sensory Integration issues which need to be treated so that the baby will no longer be overwhelmed and unable to cope with normal amounts of stimulation.

Another reason not to allow the legs to hang straight down is that the carrier would then put undue pressure on the Pubis and Pubic symphysis, possibly compress the Femoral arteries and nerves, and promote lateral curvature of the spine.

These multiple reasons no doubt impact the development of a child, but by no means are crippling. Bjorn's and Snuggli's aren't the most comfortable things for babies or parents, but they are not as dangerous to health as bag-style slings (http://babyslingsafety.blogspot.com/) which can lead to infant positional asphyxiation.

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

I hope that helps!
So, the slings both pouch and ring are not good for newborn then? Thanks for the comprehensive info you proviced above. The best carrier is the wrap then? If yes, which brand would you recommend? TIA!
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#13 of 15 Old 08-21-2008, 04:26 PM
 
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A Ring Sling you can use from birth on.A Pouch is more for older babies,because they don`t support the baby soo good.The craddle position is not good for the hipdevelopment.Woven wraps like Storchenwiege,Didymos,Lana,Bebina,Girasol,Amazonas (just the new ones,like laguna,lollipop) are good wraps.

Berit
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#14 of 15 Old 08-21-2008, 06:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kusumat View Post
So, the slings both pouch and ring are not good for newborn then? Thanks for the comprehensive info you proviced above. The best carrier is the wrap then? If yes, which brand would you recommend? TIA!
Pouches and ring slings are great for newborns. You just have to make sure the are positioned correctly. Avoid cradle position, avoid legs hanging straight down (which I don't know if you can even do that with RS's or pouches ^_^). Tummy to tummy is a great newborn position you can achieve in a RS or pouch.

If a baby is small enough, their legs go into the correct position with a Bjorn or Snugli. It's not the tool, but how you use the tool! Make sense?

P.S. BeritK, thanks for that link to your article. I fully agree with your assessment and recommendations to see an Osteopath! ^_^ I'm adding your link to my list of resources.
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#15 of 15 Old 08-22-2008, 10:13 AM
 
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i loooove ring slings with newborns. they are my favorite newborn carrier. i'm not personally a pouch fan, but you can definitely use them with a newborn. as HybridVigor mentioned, there is concern with positional asphyxia with the cradle position with newborns, so if you do a cradle hold you need to really be sure their chins aren't pushed into their chests.
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