The risk of forward facing baby carriers
There is nothing cuter than seeing a happy, smiling baby strapped to their parents chest clearly loving looking out at the world (okay maybe a sleeping baby could top that). However an Australian chiropractor has issued a warning to parents about the dangers of forward facing baby carriers.
Dr Vanessa Harrington, a pregnancy and paediatrics chiropractor based in Sydney’s North Shore, told The Daily Telegraph, "The outward facing of a baby less than six months of age does not offer adequate support for developing hips, as it may cause the legs to dangle inappropriately, stretching the hip joints and leading to an enhanced risk of hip dysplasia or dislocation," she said.
"Young babies have one big backwards C-shaped curve in their spine, and poor head and neck control. Placing a baby in an outward facing position puts pressure on the spine by not supporting the head and neck adequately, and discouraging the development of normal healthy spinal curves."
The president of the Chiropractors Association of Australia, Dr Kerein Earney, was keen to point out the emotional benefits of parents wearing their babies in slings or carrier devices but emphasizes they should be done so in the correct way.
According to Dr Harrington, babies should be "facing inwards" with knees slightly higher than hips in the "squatting straddle M position". She added that the baby carrier material should support the baby's bottom as well as the thighs and that by being chest-to-chest with their parents babies "can seek reassurance from their parents and switch off from the surrounding world"
Have you used a forward facing carrier?