I can see a resemblance to the situation of the car seat. The arguments for this, to convey children as soon as possible, forward facing are exactly the same as the discussions about wraps. Because the children get bored quickly, because they are curious, because it’s more convenient to them… What do I think? Well, so much that I think it’s a complete nonsense.
I was going to write about other aspects of carrying children in a sling but I just heard that a young mother, who has carried her child outward facing for a few weeks, has discovered that it is not necessarily the best way, and asked for some advice. So instead of spending the evening quietly, being totally laid-back, I’m tapping furiously at the keyboard. Indeed, dear parents, it will end very badly. The world is vast and luckily so is the Internet and to get even a minimum amount of knowledge on a topic is easy. All you need is the desire and you can learn absolutely anything. Even just a little can help; it’s a matter of safety of our children.
I also made some errors when carrying my daughter, which I fortunately verified. That’s why I wish that at least this basic knowledge would be the beginning of a new adventure for you. The beginning of the desire to seek and find out more.
I will tell you why you do not want to carry your child in slings and baby carriers outward facing.
Because you want to ensure proper development of the child’s hip joints.
Imagine that someone forcibly seats you on a narrow strip, and when you lift up, the whole weight of your body rests on your crotch. On that strip. Does it hurt? So just feel this child – this is a huge pressure on the pubic symphysis, the boys also will feel it painfully due to the genitals. It’s huge, because the child must carry its entire weight. If we adults would have a problem with that, then what about the little one?
With such baby wearing, the correct position of the legs of the child is not maintained (what I’m going to mention in section below).
Conclusion? A child in a sling should have a squatting position rather than sitting, resting on laps scarves or node.
Because I want to give support to the baby’s head.
Wearing the child facing the world will automatically eliminate the possibility to give support to the baby’s head, which can bring serious consequences. Why is support so important?
Breaks that exist between the child’s neck and chest of the person which is wearing a child facing the world causes the baby’s head to fly forward. This is important for both, infants who can not yet keep the head straight, as well as older children when they happen to fall asleep in a sling or baby carrier. And if there is no head support, every step of the parent causes the child’s head to bounce to the rhythm of their steps. Preventing this is especially important in young children who have reduced neck and back muscle tension.
Conclusion? When you wear your child outward facing, the chest of an adult acts like a shock absorber for the baby’s head. The binding must absorb all the movements of the wearer, without transferring them to the sensitive child’s spine.
Because you do not want the child’s spine to be unnaturally pushed forward.
Imagine that the only thing that your body can do right now is hugging and rolling into a ball. Such a ball that the spine assumes the appearance of the letter “C”. Upright posture is a challenge for you, because your spine is not ready for it yet, and suddenly someone sits you in a way that leads to an almost vertical position. Can you imagine that? How are your back and spine, it’s not comfortable, right?
Unfortunately, by carrying the child facing the world, we automatically force on him this situation and those feelings. Outward facing position is essentially an erect position – the spine straightens out, muscular activity of the child is facing the back. This means that the spine is straight and the head exerts pressure on its upper section. So what is happening is the exact opposite of how it should be: the position should be similar to embryonic (flexural).
So the order of baby wearing should look like this:
Because you want legs to have proper support.
In all this babywearing, besides taking care of baby’s spine, it is very important to ensure the most optimal position for baby’s hips, that is, to bend and spread legs (the M position). If we carry them facing the world, it is simply impossible to do.
The child’s legs do not have the proper support, to make matters worse, they are limply hanging and hitting the legs of the wearer while walking.
Conclusion? Wearing the right way, that is, back to the world in a well wrapped sling. We care about the correct development of the hip joints of the child.
Because you do not want the child to reach the excess stimulus.
How many times walking down the crowded street, when it is too loud, too bright and you feel insecure, you wanted to hide somewhere, cuddle someone, hide under the coat of your husband or boyfriend? Purely theoretical question, but so easy for you to imagine, because the senses that are reaching you are more or less familiar. For a small child everything is new, and what is new, can be frightening or just too much for a walk.
A child worn facing the world is exposed to an excess of stimuli coming from the environment. There is no way to hide, snuggle in the parent when the excitement is too much or when it is unpleasant for a baby. What is so important for the child- warmth, heartbeat of the mother or father, peace is unattainable. He embraces his uncertainty, anxiety which quickly brings fatigue and sleepiness. It’s very hard to calm your baby when she’s over stimulated.
Conclusion? Let’s hug, wear babies facing each other, not to the world. Let’s give comfort and sense of security to the child.
Because you also want to take care of yourself and your spine.
Dear Mums, do you remember those wonderful moments when a pregnancy belly was so big and heavy that it pulled us forward? So we pushed it out to become straight, but soon after our back began to hurt. And we knew very well why this is happening. Because we changed our center of gravity.
The same happens when carrying the child facing the world. The center of gravity of the child is moved forward. And a parent, to maintain balance, bend back, endangering the back muscles and spine. Because the child is in an unstable position, wearer then must support him.
Conclusion? A bit of selfishness does not hurt. Let’s wear our children, while taking care of ourselves and our spines. They won’t do it for you.
Phew… now you know how not to wear a baby in a sling and baby carrier and why, there is a good chance that you will want to learn how to do it properly. And here I hasten to you with help – the Internet is massive, I’m sure you’ll find websites and blogs of professional baby wearing advisors, which share their knowledge and experience with readers. Or it’s best to meet with a certified advisor who will spend time with you and will show that this sling tying is not such black magic.
Polish version of this post is available HERE