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.