Finding a great, safe and functional baby carrier can be a confusing task for a new parent. To help you decide, we would like to share a few guidelines and tips from a chiropractic perspective.
Many parents feel that a car seat is a “convenient” choice while running to and from the car with the newborn for errands and appointments. However, car seats can actually cause postural distortions to both parent and baby. To alleviate these concerns, baby slings, sacks, pouches and upright carriers such as the ERGObaby carrier are recommended.
Adults have four curves to our spine, although we are not born with them. Infants have only two, creating a C shape. The curve in the cervical spine (neck) develops as the child begins to lift their head and the neck muscles are strengthened. The lumbar (low back) spine develops later, as the child starts to crawl. These new curves are important, as this is how the body handles the stress of gravity. If these curves do not yet exist and the child is in a gravity bearing position, the spine is not yet capable of handling the pressure.
Jolly jumpers, baby walkers and some baby carriers can all have negative effects on an infant’s growing spine. This is due to the fact that they support the infant’s weight from the base of the spine (groin) and put undue stress on the spine when it has not yet developed all four curves.
The best way to protect and nurture the growth of your baby’s spine is to find a carrier that holds the infant as if you were carrying them in your own arms. The ideal position would be facing towards the parent with the legs in a frog-like position and the baby’s weight supported across the buttocks and thighs. Some upright carriers, such as ERGO baby, have taken both the parents and baby’s spine into consideration. An infant insert may also be used to provide optimal support and fit. In addition, regular chiropractic during this period can help maintain a healthy spine and nervous system.
For more information on how choose the carrier best for yourself and the new addition to your family, please consult with a heath care practitioner at evolve Nurturing Vitality.