So, you've done your research, you've read reviews shopped around, asked other parents and you've bought a brand new baby carrier. You can't wait to wear your baby out and about and post some cute baby wearing selfies on social media.
But when you do, you are bombarded with lots of well meaning 'advice' comments and opinions which contradict one another.
Who do you believe? How do you know what to listen to?
Read on to de bunk some common myths you may have come across in your carrying journey:
1) You're going to hurt your back
Nobody worried about your back before you started carrying your baby, now everybody you meet wants to tell you how bad it is for your back.
This is completely untrue, a well fitted, ergonomic baby carrier should not hurt your back. If you're unsure if your carrier is ergonomic, or if you are experiencing additional back pain when using your carrier, get in touch with your nearest carrying consultant or sling library, there is always a solution. Alternatively you can book an online or in person fit check here
2) It's bad for babies hips
This is again very untrue. A well fitted ergonomic carrier that supports baby from knee to knee, with the knees higher than the bum, holds babies hips in the optimal position for deepening and strengthening the hip socket with no additional pressure on any developing joints, even in babies with diagnosed hip conditions.
Even a carrier that is not ergonomic or comfortable will not cause any damage to a babies healthy hips. If a baby already has an underlying hip conditions, a poorly fitted carrier will not do them any favours, but it will not directly cause any further damage.
This photo shows how a baby should be held in a sling or carrier. You may have heard it being called 'The M Shape'.
This is ergonomic positioning and similar to how babies with hip dysplasia are supported in a Pavlik Harness
If your baby has any hip conditions, please see your nearest carrying consultant for advice on optimal positioning using a carrier. You can find your nearest consultant here
3) Your child will become clingy
Newsflash, babies are born clingy!
They are the most underdeveloped infant mammal at the time of birth in the entire animal kingdom and are completely reliant on their caregiver. It is therefore biologically normal for them to want to be in close contact with primarily the birthing parent, this is how they know they are safe, this is how they know they are able to get food.
We call the first few months of a babies life 'The 4th Trimester', as far as babies are concerned during this period, they are still one being with their birthing parent. Keeping them close smooths this transition for both of you and ensures healthy and happy brain development, meaning when they are ready, they will become more independent and emotionally secure beings.
4) They will never learn to walk
Quite the opposite in fact! The ergonomic position we covered earlier supports optimal and healthy hip and knee socket deepening and strengthening. Being carried in this way also counts as tummy time, which builds up the core and trunk muscles. All of this combined creates the perfect muscle tone and composition for walking. In fact, my son who was carried daily from birth took his first steps at 10 month, compared to my daughter who was not carried who took her first steps at 14 months.
5) Baby will get too hot
When you are in skin to skin contact with your baby, your microbiomes combine and read each other. Your babies skin is able to read your body temperature and adjust accordingly. In hot or warm weather, a baby is more able to thermoregulate themselves when they are in skin to skin contact with a caregiver.
To read more about keeping warm and layering safely whilst baby wearing you can read our blog post about carrying in the cold here.
So there we have a small selection of common baby wearing myths de bunked! Please remember if you are unsure of anything, no matter how little or big you think it may be, please reach out to a professional Carrying Consultant or Peer Supporter who's training is up to date.
Thanks for reading!
Stella | MotherRucker xo