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Monday, August 29, 2011

Slings, wraps, carriers and crotch danglers!!

This is how babies backs start out and should stay until they are capable of rolling over and being more mobile:

Notice the curved spine and hips.

These are crotch danglers. They are NOT good for your baby's hips or spine.

Notice how the legs hang straight down on these. It is not good for baby's hips or spine.

The baby Bjorn carrier and the Snugli both have tiny middles for baby to balance on.

The next carriers are fine for you little ones. The feature knee to knee support perfect for baby's hips and spine.

Notice how the support goes from knee to knee so that baby sits on its butt instead of its crotch?

In this one, a newborn is in the carrier with it's legs
in the frog position to further help keep it's legs and hips and spine in the proper alignment.

Yes, there are MANY other styles and positions, but, I wanted you to get a taste of bad carry and carrier versus good carries and carriers.


  1. Wow...I feel retarded. I somehow didn't know that those types of carriers (crotch danglers) were bad for their spine and hips. Now it's got me wondering if putting him in his bouncer has had the same effect...ahhhh!

    Can't wait to get an Ergo. And make a Moby.

  2. Bouncer might not do it like that, but, no telling.
    You and not retarded...look how many people use them. It just isn't common knowledge. Ergo and Moby-esque are awesome. :)

  3. I would just like to say that putting a baby in a bouncer should be ok if their back is still curved while in it. I would hold off on a walker though until their feet can touch the ground while in it may not be a good idea. Putting a baby in a walker before they can touch the floor may give the same dangling effect as a carrier. I had a sling with my daughter and I didn't like the one I had (it has been recalled since then) and I bought a carrier when she was much larger and she didn't like it. I have a Hug A Monkey sling for my son but he is at an awkward length for it right now(he doesn't fit in it laying down and he doesn't have enough body control to be upright) so I bought a Moby and we BOTH love it! he always falls asleep in it within minutes and when he wakes up he is sooo happy and does not cry at all!

  4. Love love LOVE my ERGO carrier! Just wish I had one earlier!

  5. Do you have any research which supports your comments about these kinds of carriers being bad for babies' spines? What would be the consequences?


    "It is difficult to prevent something the cause of which is still quite elusive. However, it is well known that in cultures that practice infant swaddling and using cradle boards to carry their babies, the incidence of hip dysplasia is very high. On the other hand, cultures that carry their babies astride the mother’s backs have a low incidence of hip dysplasia. Hence it appears logical to discourage putting the baby’s legs in the extended position, and encourage keeping the baby’s hips spread apart. This latter position places the head of the femur (the ball) against the acetabulum (the socket), and encourages deepening of the socket."

    Meaning, the hips need spread apart and NOT dangling straight down.

  7. I know this is quite late, but a bouncer does almost the same thing as the "crotch danglers". It puts the baby's spine in a weight bearing position before it is stabilized by all the muscles that stabilize an adult spine.
    This blog is an AMAZING & simple explanation of the primary curves of a spine, but humans also develop secondary curves that strenghten the spine & allow it to absorb all the movement we put into it everyday. The first seconday curve is the cervical (neck) curve from learning to lift our heads & the second is lumbar (low back) from crawling, sitting, standing & crawling.
    That lumbar curve needs a chance to form on its own through normal mechanisms (mentioned earlier) before the baby is put in a weight bearing position.
    The bigger problem with bouncers is not that they put the baby's spine in a position that it is not strong enough to be in, but that in addition to that there are axial (head-to-toe) forces coming through a spine from the bouncing, puting even greater force into that little unstable spine. The consequences of this could be anything from instability or tightness of the low back to digestive problems. The problem is there hasn't been enough research into this to determine if there are even greater consequences than those (but IBS is a HUGE problem in the US as it is). Once you learn the way a body develops though, it makes total sense.
    I think a good rule is to not put your baby into any position they wouldn't be able to get in/sustain on their own.
    Hope this helps!!

  8. Thank you!!! I guess I need to make a post about bouncers and all as well. LOL

    BTW, my son has IBS...who knows if it came though where he sat, the too early feeding of cereal and foods or the doctor that overdosed him on antibiotic enough that another doctor had to prescribe meds to help him get back to normal. :(

  9. I'm not saying that this is or is not correct. I've long believed that swaddling was detrimental to the natural formation of a child's body. However, swaddling and cradle boards do much more than just dangle a child's feet and balance them on their crotch. Both methods tightly bind a child's extremities and inhibit the natural growth of the limbs. There is a big difference between these methods of carrying and bouncers and carriers like the ones shown above. Frankly, I think the greatest value comes from having your child close to you as they are accustomed to being in the womb. None of these were meant to be long term carry options. They are short term solutions to free up hands.