Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why the Bjorn and Snugli are Bad for Baby


Before my babywearing education...After my babywearing education....

I see these types of carriers ALL THE TIME...I actually started wearing Kaelin in a Snugli because I didn't know there were any other options! I did have some qualms about how she was carried in the Snugli, though. It just didn't look like it was a comfortable ride with her legs dangling underneath each other. But, I put it out of my mind because she was only 6-7 pounds for the longest time.

When I learned about other kinds of babywearing, I got an Ergo Baby Carrier. I saw what a difference it made in her positioning...she no longer had all the weight distributed to her crotch area in an Ergo. She was sitting on her bum with her legs spread around me...which is actually a very NATURAL position to carry a baby in! It made so much sense to me. As adults we sit on our bums!

Snuglis and Bjorns also really aren't very supportive for the babywearer. They do not have supportive straps or distribute much of the weight to the wearer's waist like a Soft Structured Carrier or Mei Tai does.

If you want to read some more information about what kinds of spinal problems a Bjorn or Snugli type carrier can cause for a baby, read this article.

18 comments:

Pam said...

wow! I never knew those things!

Andrea said...

Well, I always assumed they were bad, but I never KNEW they were...but they sure weren't comfy for me or Tate!!! I'm SO happy I've gotten better baby carriers since! :)

mah-meeee said...

wow... i didn't know about bjorns. i did noticde neither one of my kids likes it.

does this ergo baby carrier carries the babies in the front? if not, do you have any suggestions to one?

Heather said...

I am so glad I did my research before Ladybug was born! I'm getting a mei tai soon! I'm so excited to try a new carrier!

Dana said...

i can't wait til i have kids- i'll be so educated!!

Missy said...

I can't wait for Baby #3 so that I can try one of these. (ok, I am not even trying to be pregnant yet, but someday...)

Amber said...

A soft structured carrier (like an ergo) can carry a baby in the front facing in and on your back. A SSC can usually carry up to 35-40lbs of weight. The weight is distributed between your shoulders and your hips, so you're not feeling pressure in one place.

Mommy Mechanics said...

I never knew other carriers caused any kinds of problems, I just started out wearing a hip hamock with my oldest because he was always pretty heavy and liked to be held still when he was border line too heavy to be held and it worked great for us. Now I have an original ring sling for my little one who probably wouldn't let me get anything done without one. Great info!

Wendy said...

Amber, I'm so glad you posted about this. I have a friend who uses her Snugli all the time instead of the sling I made her. I wonder why but never have had the guts to ask her. I wish she would read this...I might have to post it on my blog or link to your post on it.
She did buy an Ergo, though, so maybe she's coming around :)

Great info, thanks again!

Amber said...

Link me, Wendy!

vahnee said...

Thanks for posting the link to that article - it was exactly what I was looking for!

just B you said...

So glad I read this post! I had purchased an Infantino carrier at Target. Just yesterday I saw that they have an ergo carrier now...I'm going to go exchange it!
~Kim

Anonymous said...

I feel bad that I used the baby bjorn with my son. Thank goodness it was only a short time and only to walk to the mailbox or around the house. Thanks for the information. Many first time moms don't know this.

Anonymous said...

The hip problems attributed to the baby bjorn are a myth. The article you posted was written in the 90s and many changes to carriers have been made since then. Please find accurate scientific information before writing articles that make mothers feel guilty or like bad parents for selecting a bjorn for a carrier. I have used one with my daughter because it allows her to face out which many of the other carriers do not (she screams if she is facing on) she loves it. I am only frustrated with it now she is getting larger and it puts pressure on my shoulders.

Anonymous said...

^^^ As above. Do some more decent research before pointing to links like this. My wife (who uses the Bjorn extensively) has got herself very upset for a week or so reading the non-scientific bile coming from various soft sling mums. I've had to pour all over the material. Fine, you prefer the ergo, ok, many prefer the lovely wraps, but don't go badmouthing other choices without looking into it. Parenthood is stressful enough without unnecessary guilt.

Anonymous said...

Go to any babywearers group and they will agree with this blog. The snugli and bjorn do not put the baby in a natural position. Newborn babies stay in the froggy position which snugli and bjorn both do not allow that. If u want to keep using your bad carriers, that's your own choice but I don't know why some ppl are being all angry about this informative blog!!! She's not trying to sell an ergo!!! There's other options available. It's your baby's health at risk.

lilmomma said...

If a mom is truly looking for a forward facing carry position there are ways to do that with certain wraps, but have you tried to do a high back carry where baby is looking over your shoulder? it isn't so much about there being only one way to do things, it is about what is natural to humans - and babies are carried facing mom or dad when all there are to hold them is arms...as such, the curve of the spine & all of that is best supported by baby facing inward. You *can* carry a baby facing outward, but it's much harder & you do not do it for long. The concern is if baby is carried facing forward on a regular basis & for long periods. But if you want to forward face & be goo dot baby's spine - there are ways to do that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=fVWFUj-GNUA&feature=endscreen

Cara said...

http://www.hipdysplasia.org/developmental-dysplasia-of-the-hip/prevention/baby-carriers-seats-and-other-equipment/ http://theecofriendlyfamily.com/2012/02/babywearing-why-forward-facing-isnt-for-you/ For those whining about how the research is not up to date and how current research may differ... no, it doesn't. Hip dysplasia experts continue to warn against carriers like the baby bjorn. The second link talks about how forward facing is NOT recommended for mom's back either.

My daughter's bone doctor has talked about how many babies he sees with hip problems that are connected to baby carriers like the Bjorn and Snugli. We're always seeing some poor baby coming in with hip problems each time we've gone in for a cast fitting. This research is not out of date, and they HAVE NOT fixed the problems with the Bjorns.

If your baby prefers forward facing, then consider the Ergo which also allows a hip hold which basically faces them outwards in a natural position. I will say that my kids just turn/twist in the carrier to face out so it's never been an issue.