When you’re looking for a baby carrier for your newborn, you want one that’s comfortable for you and your baby; one that evenly distributes your baby’s weight and doesn’t put unnecessary pressure on your back and shoulders. But even more importantly, you want an ergonomic baby carrier because it properly and safely supports your little one.
What is an ergonomic baby carrier?
An ergonomic baby carrier supports the natural posture of babies, while encouraging healthy hip development. It should support your baby’s legs up to the backs of his knees, so his entire legs don’t dangle, but he can still freely move his lower legs as he gets a little older.
An ergonomic carrier comes with a wide, comfortable base that supports your baby’s weight so more of it is on her bottom rather than her crotch and holds your baby’s hips and legs in a frog leg or M shape. In this ergonomic position, your baby’s bottom is lower than her knees, while her knees and hips are level with one another and her hips are spread open.
[Source: International Hip Dysplasia Institute]
This wide-leg, spread-squat position benefits his comfort and proper hip development, as well as your comfort because it helps uniformly allocate his weight across your hips, back and shoulders, which you can also thank to wide, padded shoulder straps and a waist belt.
Why is an ergonomic baby carrier good for you and your baby?
With an ergonomic newborn baby carrier, you never have to worry how your baby is being held or if her developing neck, spine, pelvis, hips and legs are being supported correctly. Ergonomic carriers are made to provide the best support for babies and babywearers.
Holds your baby like you would hold him.
The best baby carrier for newborns holds and supports your baby just like if you were holding her. An ergonomic carrier should do what your arms and hands do—hold your baby tight and high up against you so you can kiss her cute head, while safely supporting your baby’s head, back, bottom and knees as you instinctively cradle her. Newborns also naturally assume the M or frog leg position, so you want a carrier that holds your baby’s lower half in that same natural position.
Reduces strain on still-developing spine, joints, ligaments and hip sockets.
Your baby’s body is still developing. Too much strain placed on her spine, joints, ligaments and hip sockets from improper positioning will not only be painful for him, but can cause future growth and health problems.
Promotes healthy hip development.
Newborns are vulnerable to hip joint and spine damage if they’re not sitting right in a carrier, especially if they’ve been diagnosed with hips problems, like hip dysplasia. As your baby sits in her natural, M shape position, it supports better hip joint positioning and a deeper development of her hip sockets. There isn’t any strain on her shallow hip sockets or loose ligaments.
To help your baby achieve that hip-healthy M shape, slightly tilt her pelvis inward and push her feet (that are below her bent knees) upward to encourage the flexed, spread-squat position of the legs as you put her into the carrier.
Allows you to babywear longer.
Because an ergonomic carrier evenly distributes your baby’s weight, you can comfortably carry your baby for longer sessions, as well as from the newborn stage up to his toddler years.
Babywearing is convenient for you and good for your baby—but it’s only considered good when you follow the basic babywearing safety tips, like using an ergonomic baby carrier.
All of Ergobaby’s baby carriers have been deemed “hip-healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.