HELP! Can bow legged be cuased by hip carries??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-21-2005, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay! I am really upset. I have been babywearing for 17 months, I have read so much about it, I even teach classes on this. BUT I am stumped and hopping mad :evil: and worried 8-[
Today at church these three older ladies asked if they could talk to me oputside and that it was very important. I go out side and they say theya re very concerned with katie (my DD) and I need to take her to the doctors right away becuase she is bow legged. AND the reason she is bow legged is becuase I am always carrying her on my hip.
They said her legs were deformed and went on for what seemed like forever about how her legs were ruined becuase I carry her all the time. I stammered and grabbed Katie up, she was walking around and they were pointing at her and saying all these things, I know she did not know what they were saying but it really upset me.
When people say things to me about breastfeeding or spoling my baby I never falter as I know what I am doing is right, but I have NEVER heard any connection between bow leggedness and babywearing! I need to look into this becuase I am worried.. but to tell you the truth I dont know that Katie is bow legged, she wears cloth diapers so they are bulky at times and she waddles, how do you tell if babies are truely bow legged, and I thought it was not perminant before a certain age?
PLEASE HELP ME! I am angry thinking about my church "freinds" treating this like an intervention, I am used to people questioning my parenting, but I do not know the right answer here, so I am worried! Please let me know if anyone has any knowleddge about this! Thank you!
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#2 of 6 Old 03-21-2005, 12:28 AM - Thread Starter
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okay, I found this on askdrsears web page

"I use an Asian baby carrier (called a Mei tai) on my 3-month-old. She spreads her legs out and straddles my body. I have heard that in older days, women would strap their babies to their bodies and work in the fields. Having their legs spread out around their mothers all day caused bow legged ness in children. Is this true?"

Most toddlers will develop some degree of bow-legged ness regardless of which type of carrier is used. The Mei tai I am not familiar with (of course, the Mai Tai is a different story!). Babies typically are born bow-legged, and remain that way for over a year. Usually the legs start to straighten-out and are mostly straight by 18 months. After this, the legs start to get knocked-kneed and progress this way for the next few years. Finally, they become straight again by adolescence. There are some red flags to watch for: Asymmetry, short stature, or if the child is extremely knock-kneed.

Dr Jim, March 05

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#3 of 6 Old 03-21-2005, 12:39 AM
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my first son was soo bowlegged it was pittiful.. for two years he was but he is perfectly fine now..
I am so sorry you were spoken to this way , in my opinion they were out of line and RUDE!
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#4 of 6 Old 03-21-2005, 03:43 PM
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The old biddies! It sounds like to me it went something like this:

Old biddy #1: Kelly carries that baby too much! She should put her in a stroller. She is just spoiling her.

Old biddy #2: You're right! And look at that baby (baby toddles by, adorably in cloth diaper), is she bowlegged?

Old biddy #1: She is! It must be all that carrying. We must tell Kelly she has to stop!

Just for your own peace of mind, run it by your pediatrician, but I am sure it is fine. You would know if there was a problem. Now, what to say to the "helpful church friends"????

Happy mama of four Wild Things
"And now," cried Max "let the wild rumpus begin!"
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#5 of 6 Old 03-21-2005, 06:32 PM
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Goodness, those people need to mind their own business! But you do have to understand that when they were growing up there was a big business in "correcting" the bowleggedness of infants/toddlers, so to them it would be natural to feel that way!

Aside from that, I've also gotten comments about my son's legs and he loves to run around a lot more than be held but his legs were also terribly bowlegged.

I took a look in the wonderful book by Dr. Mendelsohn, How to Raise a Healthy Child Despite your Pediatrician, and he says to not be worried unless the children are still bowlegged after they're teenagers, the legs will sort themselves out. My son's have gotten a lot straighter in just the past month and he's all over the place

So don't worry about the older ladies, just look 'em in the eyes and say "thank you for your concern, but everything will turn out just fine"

Good luck! :LOL
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#6 of 6 Old 03-21-2005, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the support! I feel much better today. Yesterday I was in tears nearly -- or about ready to scream I was so upset, but I was not sure if I was angry or worried... just emotional.
I feel like printing out tons of info and going back and showing them that I know what I am doing. But its church, and it is Easter so I better cool it I think. BUT if they say anything else.... that is IT!
When people make comments about me spoiling Katie by holding her too much, it just rolls off, katie is not spoiled and I KNOW AP does not cause spoling (whats wrong with spoiling anyway?) and likewise when people comment on me breastfeeding, it rolls off my back, in fact I invite comments, becuase I like talking about teh benifits... but yesterday I was really stumped, and angry that they were poking fun at how Katie walked, I really felt like they were attacking Katie-- and me !
Anyway, thanks for understanding my feelings and helping me with Katies perfect possibly bow legs
BTW I took off her cute, but bulky cloth diaper, and had her walk around and cross checked her off the bow leg page in dear dr sears baby book. I really don't think she is bow legged, but I know she walks (cute) with her fuzzi bunz on. (add that to the fact that she has only been walking for 7 months of her life- and yeah we walk funny (cute))
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