Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Babywearing With a Bad Back

"Oh, my aching back!" This mantra can be heard from many mamas around the world with their very own little "velcro babies" otherwise referred to as babies that want to be held and carried all the time.

I have my own set of little babies like that and until I discovered babywearing, I was complaining of a stiff back, aching neck and pain in my shoulders as well!

Babywearing will help alleviate pain in your back, neck and shoulders because instead of carrying your baby on one side of your body and only using one set of muscles, you'll be better distributing the weight of the baby throughout your back, neck and shoulders.

A classic pouch sling or ring sling (ex. Slinglings, TaylorMade Ring Slings) does this by spreading a piece of fabric across your back and distributing the baby's weight throughout this piece of fabric. A pouch sling can be great for quick carries for older babies or wearing newborns in the cradle carry position. However, for longer periods of babywearing it may not be super comfy because it's only using one shoulder.

For longer periods of babywearing, or for someone with a history of back problems, a two shouldered carry will be much better! Two shouldered carries include: wraps, mei tais (asian style baby carriers) and soft structured carriers (buckle carriers). Two shouldered carriers do a fabulous job of equally distributing the weight of the child to both shoulders and throughout your back. Soft Structured Carriers (ex. ERGO Baby Carrier, Action Baby Carrier) do an even better job of making your child feel weightless because they have structured waists. Structured waists transfer the weight of the baby to your most powerful muscle...your quadriceps.


Wendy said...

Amber, I completely agree. I've been babywearing for six years now and I've had some lower back issues the entire time. I've used ring slings the most up until our latest baby was born last fall. My back has been more of a problem since her birth so she mostly gets to ride in the Ergo--which she loves and it causes me ZERO pain. Don't discount babywearing on account of back issues, there is probably a carrier that will work if you are willing to find it.

Annie said...

What a great post! I am going to send anyone that has questions about babywearing hurting your back to this post. I have a Beco Butterfly 2 and wear it almost constantly with very little pain (if I wear it for a long time like an hour I start to feel it...just like working out LOL)

Mormishmom said...

Ok, I'm totally moving toward buying an SSC. I see that your store carries the Ergo and the Active. Have you used both? Which one do you like better? Is the price jump from the Active to the Ergo worth it? I tried my friend's Ergo and loved it! However, I already own a Moby and 2 pouch slings, so I can see DH having a heart attack if I drop over $100 on another carrier :) I'd love your input.