Saturday, 8 March 2014

Front Pack Carriers the Truth

OK here it is. I am sick of seeing this photo being plastered around trying to make parents feel bad for wearing their baby close.

This is MY photo, and my intentions were education, not judgement. My intention was to show there is a better option. It has been two years since this photo was taken. The better options are more widely known now, I really don't think this photo is needed anymore.

If I had my chance to do this photo over again I would. I am ashamed of what this photo ended up becoming. I am not proud. I have stayed silent in the hope that one day it would stop. One day the judgement on others parenting choices would stop. I am truly sorry for anyone who has been hurt through this image.

Would I make this comparison photo again. Yes I would, but my slogan would be different. Maybe I would say love your baby anyway you can. Hold them close, kiss their head, smell in their beautiful scent. Maybe I would say: Has your child out grown their carrier? Want to still carry them? There are other options.

What are my thoughts on front pack carriers:

  • Personally I would not use one. I have not found one that is comfortable for me.
  • There is a history of hip dysplasia in my family. So I would not want to take the risk with my babies hips. The issue can be so mild it might not be diagnosed as a newborn, it is better for me to hold my baby in a position that creates a better environment for their hips to develop properly.
  • There is a history of spinal problems in my family, so I will do everything in my power to help support the developing spine of my baby.
  • And really up till about 3 months of age there is not a great deal of leg dangling going on in these front pack carriers. And even once there is, it really is not that big a deal.

This is my Newborn (4.2kg at birth) in the Britax carrier. Her legs are not fully supported, but they are supported well enough. If I had no other choice I would use this carrier with my newborn. My biggest worry was her floppyness in the carrier, I just didn't find the head support as good as it is in other carriers.

Here is better head support

Next is how the Britax looks at 3 months. This is where I start thinking the carrier is no longer as supportive as I would like. Would I scream from the rooftops for everyone to burn their frontpack carriers? NO. They are still useful, and if there are no underlying medical issues that are known or not known they are perfectly safe to use.

PLEASE keep carrying your babies close. It is a marvelous thing for you to both share together. It is fantastic for bonding, for their brain and nervous system development. It gives you two hands to get stuff done. Holding/wearing your baby close is a special time, don't give it up just because you cannot afford a different carrier. Love your babies, squeeze them, hold them, kiss them, smell them and most of all enjoy them.

If you want to see other options, have a look at my series on carriers here.

And just for fun here is that same little boy still being worn.