Why I’d Never Put My Baby In A Baby Bjorn Carrier

Posted on Nov 1 2013 - 6:56pm by megganmamma
According to the chiropractor, this is the best position for healthy hips - your baby's thighs are supported to the knee, with the main weight of their body on their bum, not their crotch, unlike in the Baby Bjorn.

According to the chiropractor, this is the best position for healthy hips – your baby’s thighs are supported to the knee, with the main weight of their body on their bum, not their crotch, unlike in the Baby Bjorn.

I came so close to buying a Baby Bjorn baby carrier. Another mum had shown me hers and told me how easy it was to clip on and off.  It looked great … and seemed easy to use.  What mum isn’t drawn to something practical that could make her life easier?  But then, a few days later, a friend of mine sent me an article about all the baby related things which a chiropractor was recommending you don’t put your baby in.  It included things like jolly jumpers, baby walkers … and the Baby Bjorn carrier.

A week later I heard Family Chiropractor, Dr Vanessa Harrington give a public talk about baby carriers.  Part of her presentation included the  diagrams below showing which style of baby carriers could lead to hip dislocation in your baby (left) and which style of carrier is safe for your baby’s developing hips (right).  Arg!  What mum wouldn’t want to avoid that!  Of course they’re not allowed to mention brand names at those events, but the style they were warning against were identical to the Baby Bjorn and Stokke carriers.  I was relieved that we’d only worn Joshi in the hugabub wrap and then the ergo baby carrier, because they were both aligned with what she was suggesting were healthy for your baby’s hips.

 

hip dysplasia

I must just add here, that I’ve just loved, loved, loved wearing Joshi over the last 16 months, so much so that we’ve literally only used the stroller less than 10 times since his birth.  (Yes, the expensive ‘must have’ stroller that’s currently gathering dust in our storeroom).  I’ve loved it so much I’d go so far as to say that the ergo baby carrier has been the best and most useful baby thing we’ve ever bought.  Anyway, here are a few things I learned from Dr Harrington about baby carrying which I thought would be worth sharing with you:

If Your Baby’s Under 6 Months Old, Don’t Wear Him/Her Facing Outwards:

This is a message that’s made it into the news recently  –  Forward carriers put baby in danger.  Here’s why ….

  • The dangling legs of a baby who’s facing outwards may stretch their developing hip joints and increase their risk of hip dysplasia.
  • When you wear your baby outwards it shifts their weight distribution from their bottom onto their crotch/testicles/pubic symphysis. Imagine how you’d feel if you were sitting with all that pressure on your privates. “The sitting bones are strong with lots of padding – designed perfectly for weight-bearing, whereas the pubic symphysis and testicles aren’t,” says Dr Harrington.
  • Outward facing has the potential to interfere with normal spinal curve development by flattening out the backward kyphotic curve.  “An absence of normal spinal curves reduces the strength and flexibility development of the spine for life; and can delay normal milestone development,” says Harrington.

One Of The Advantages Of Facing Your Baby Inwards:

Of course a really great advantage of wearing your baby facing inwards is that they can snuggle into you to seek reassurance from you and switch off from the surrounding world if they want to – something they can’t do when facing outwards.  As an adult when we’ve had enough of all the stimulation on a busy street we can just go somewhere else. Imagine how much more intense the stimulation of a busy street is for a baby and how full on it must feel for them if they’re strapped into this outward facing position they can’t get out of.  When I see babies facing outwards in a busy environment (like a busy shopping mall or street) I often wonder whether there’ll be an extra big stress-release-cry for mum and dad to deal with later.

Always Make Sure Your Baby’s Knees Are Higher Than Their Hips:

Irrespective of your child’s age, avoid carriers that let their legs dangle downwards.  (I can’t help but imagine how uncomfortable I’d be being carried around like that rather than in a comfy, more natural piggy-back position).   Your baby’s support has to extend all the way from their bum, along their thighs to the back of their knees.

Get A Carrier that Gives You Good Back Support:

The carriers that don’t support the back of the person carrying the baby are those where the straps are quite high on the back and where there’s not much support around the hips.  One of the reasons I’ve loved the ergo carrier is because I’ve felt that my back has been supported by its wide, think hip band.  If your carrier doesn’t support your back properly you’re likely to end up with back pain, so you really need to get a carrier that checks all the ticks for you as well as for your baby.

Why Risk It?  

If you don’t wear your baby in a carrier where their knees are higher than their hips it can lead to hip problems in babies who are susceptible, ie. in babies who already have some form of instability or “clicky” hips.  Also, any hip problems caused by a baby carrier may only become noticeable once your child is walking.   Correcting hip displacement could mean years of pain and struggle, so why take the chance – get a carrier that supports your child’s hips.

Some Brands of Carriers/Wraps That Meet The Healthy Hip Guidelines (affiliate links):

 

         

What’s the carrier in the photo at the top of the article?

That’s my Ergo – much loved and much used.  If you want to buy one, you can put it straight into your Amazon.com basket below.  If you’d like to read more reviews you can see them here



 

Want More Info On How to Avoid Hip Displacement? 

If you want to read more about how to place your baby in a baby carrier or baby sling to avoid them getting hip displacement, click here for some info from The International Hip Dysplasia Institute.

How Did Baby Bjorn Respond To This Article?  

On 29th August I received a response to this article from Baby Bjorn (copied in full at the end of this post).   On hearing about the improvements to the new carrier they’re launching this year – the Baby Carrier One, I decided to review it with the assistance of Dr Vanessa Harrington, Chiropractor and Baby Wearing Consultant.

Is the new Baby Bjorn ‘Baby Carrier One’ Yet Another Crotch Dangler? 

To learn whether brand new design from Baby Bjorn, the Baby Carrier One, is yet another crotch danger, read my review here.

 Baby Bjorn Respond To This Article…

“Hello Meggan, We got some questions from parents who have read your blog post. The way I see it, the most important thing is that parents do carry their children. As there are plenty of brands and alternatives out there it doesn’t have to be in a carrier from Baby Bjorn, if you’re not happy with it. However, the medical concerns you’re referring to are not called for. Safety comes first. We would never make a baby carrier, or indeed any other baby product that would be harmful to babies. You’re referring to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute which have plenty of material online and are experts in the field. We’ve met with them during the development of our latest Baby Carrier and we’re proud to now have this statement on our web page: “This product has been developed reflecting the advice of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. Baby Carrier One is following the recommendation of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute in order to secure an appropriate position of the baby.” It’s a great thing that so many parents these days are carrying their babies. It’s practical, it’s a nice thing to do but we firmly believe it has many positive effects and strengthens the bond between the baby and the parent so we’re very happy that this is gaining popularity in so many countries around the world. Parents should pick a carrier they’re happy with but there’s no need to worry about Baby Bjorn. 30 million babies have been carried in them until now and we hope many more will in the future. Happy baby wearing!

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70 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. katesurfs August 24, 2013 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    Not to mention Bjorns look soooo uncomfy for the wearer! In reality though, I do tend to pass a smile when I see anyone wearing a baby… even if it is in a Bjorn. As long as they’re not being worn for too long in those things (and they’re generally so uncomfy that it doesn’t happen), then it’s not too bad. I just wish the Bjorns were more comfy because then people would be more inclined to wear an older baby. Once they get bigger, those things get really uncomfy.

    • megganmamma September 7, 2013 at 11:21 pm - Reply

      I also think Bjorns look really uncomfy for the wearer Kate, but maybe it’s not so uncomfy, so long as you have a newborn or a small baby in there. I’ve often wondered how mums don’t get back pain when wearing their babies in the Bjorn or in any soft structured carrier which doesn’t have a good, thick band around the mum’s hips to support her back, but I guess if you’re only carrying your baby for their first few months you’re less likely to get back problems. A friend of mine’s 2 sisters wore their babies in the Baby Bjorn without getting back problems, but they only wore their kids until they were 3 months old. Joshi’s now 17 months old and weighs 12.65kg’s and I’m still carrying him a lot – we’re not yet ready to say goodbye to baby carrying. I’m hoping we’ve got a few more years of it ahead of us and so we’ve just invested in a toddler carrier – The Tula: Free to Grow – Converts Standard into a toddler carrier – Brown. It’s got a whole lot more space and comes up much higher on him, which is great. Love baby carrying!

      • katesurfs September 7, 2013 at 11:34 pm - Reply

        I agree 100%! Babywearing is such a great parenting tool! Margo is 3 1/2 and we wear her all the time still! A tula is a good investment, you can even get a preschool size 🙂

      • Melissa February 27, 2014 at 2:16 am - Reply

        I tried several different carriers (given to me for free from others who had used them) that killed my back, or curled my son into a position that he couldn’t breath in. I finally went to the store and paid the big bucks for the nicest babybjorn, figuring I could return it if I wanted. It felt fantastic (to me at least). It DID have a support band that went round my back.

  2. Catz Ina August 28, 2013 at 11:28 am - Reply

    I have bought so many baby carrier. …and my last is ergo…Im really happy with ergo coz…my back is less pressure. .and baby is so relax in ergo…I really recommend to all ergo baby carrier. …it really a good and proper carrier u should have….
    I have a back problem. ..with ergo I don’t have back problem any more…

    • megganmamma September 7, 2013 at 10:44 pm - Reply

      Catz, great to read that you’ve been able to enjoy baby carrying despite your back problem. My back used to be quite weak, especially after giving birth, but I actually found that it got stronger with baby carrying. I feel that overall my body is stronger than it’s ever been and I attribute that to baby carrying.

  3. Danni August 29, 2013 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on I am Danni and commented:
    I love my Ergo 🙂

  4. Celestine August 30, 2013 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    I shared this on my page: https://www.facebook.com/iamtrulyblessed2 my girl is 20months and it supports her legs and its not left dangling..she’s really comfortable in it. I can breastfeed in it while I walk around esp when im on holiday. she hates the stroller though. thanks for researching!

  5. June September 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    I used the babybjorn for both my kids and both turned out fine. They’re 4 and 5 now. The elder one was assessed by a chiropractor before and didn’t have any hip problems. Maybe I was lucky I don’t know. We were carrying them for days during our holidays and we found baby bjorn to be really good for parents when it comes to ease of use and back support. Can’t compare with other brands cos I haven’t used them before.

    • megganmamma September 7, 2013 at 10:41 pm - Reply

      Hi June. Thanks for your response. And glad to hear that neither of your kids had hip problems. May I ask how old your kids were when you stopped carrying them in the carrier?

  6. Anne-Marie September 17, 2013 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    I love my ergos, still tandem wearing my 20 month old twins 🙂

    • megganmamma September 20, 2013 at 9:37 am - Reply

      Wow! That’s admirable Anne-Marie! Great stuff!

  7. dini October 16, 2013 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    hi megan, I’m from Indonesia and found that your post is really helpful. last year I saw my friend carry her 7 months baby inward using babybjorn I thought it was very comfort because her back is supported well. Should forward this post to her because she might still use old babybjorn. anyway I still keep my Boba carrier for my upcoming second baby. I hope it wouldn’t cause a problem for my hip.

    • megganmamma October 16, 2013 at 9:07 pm - Reply

      Hi Dini, I’m glad you’ve found it useful. The Boba is inline with the International Hip Dysplasia guideslines, so it should be fine for your baby’s hips. All the best and happy baby-wearing!

  8. Julie October 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Hi mummy, I am a first-time mother-to-be; I am wondering how long and how frequently a baby will have to be put in a normal carrier before he/she starts to develop hip problems. I am thinking as long as it is not so frequent or too long, say 15-20 mins for 2-3 times a week, it should be ok. So far, all the literature I read did not say anything about the frequency and time limit. I will be glad if you can shed some light on this. Thank you!

    • megganmamma October 18, 2013 at 6:02 pm - Reply

      Hi Julie, if you are you asking how long a baby can be in a normal carrier before hip problems develop, the answer is that hip problems shouldn’t develop using a “normal carrier”.

      I asked Dr Harrington if she could respond to your comment and she said that if you are asking about how long a baby can be worn in a carrier with inadequate hip support (ie. a baby who is worn in the Baby Bjorn), then it depends on the condition of the baby’s hips to start with, particularly the alignment and stability of the baby’s hips. She says that while it’s possible that hip problems won’t develop, it’s also possible that they could, so with so many alternative options why take the risk?

      Hope that helps. And happy baby-wearing!

      • atrain February 25, 2014 at 3:21 am - Reply

        I think you should also state that even with using one of your recommended carriers, it is still possible for a baby to develop DDH. Just because you are using the correct carrier and swaddling correctly does not mean your child will not get DDH. Just thought you should mention that as well.

  9. Jill Marr November 20, 2013 at 3:32 am - Reply

    Are there any controlled studies backing up the claims if harm? If it is a significant harm to the baby, it should be pretty easy to demonstrate that in a published paper.

    • megganmamma November 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm - Reply

      Hi Jill, thanks for your comment. Here is a response to it from Dr Harrington: “It would be pretty difficult to get ethics approval for a study that set out to prove harm to a baby. Instead we have to look at the existing hip dysplasia and hip development research. For example there are retrospective studies looking at where hip dysplasia has developed, what patterns of hip positioning were common… I recommend checking out http://www.hipdysplasia.org

  10. MPS November 22, 2013 at 8:21 am - Reply

    I had a bjorn but I always supported my girl by holding her bottom. I don’t trust anything to hold my baby securely except for me and her car seat.

    • Julie Newsome February 24, 2014 at 8:07 am - Reply

      I did the same thing! My son had 2 styles of carrier and he loved them both depending on his mood but I always had my arm right under his bum just in case. I never had either of them give out but I want going to risk it either.

  11. Margo January 7, 2014 at 4:56 am - Reply

    “Imagine how much more intense the stimulation of a busy street is for a baby and how full on it must feel for them if they’re strapped into this outward facing position they can’t get out of.”

    My very cuddly daughter, who has always been sensitive to too much stimulation, was never happy facing inward on any carrier. It meant she had to crane her head around to see what was going on. Facing out, she felt held, secure and happy.

    Beware of anyone who says there is just one right carrier. A carrier must be a fit for both parent and baby and one size does not fit all.

    • megganmamma January 7, 2014 at 6:51 pm - Reply

      Hi Margo, I would definitely agree that there is not just ‘one right carrier’ – I recommended 9 other brands in the article.

      Of course babies are all individuals and some will show the affects of over-stimulation quicker than others, just as some will be more curious than others. But most babies will tend to alternate between taking in their surroundings and cuddling back into mum. When a baby is facing into mum, he/she can still take in the world with a side view, but can also choose to disengage from it by cuddling back into mum. The ‘time out’ when they switch back to mum provides their developing brain time to process all the information they’ve observed. The limitation with forward facing carriers is that there is no option for them to take any ‘time out’ from the stimulation if they want/need to.

      Having said all that, over-stimulation is not the biggest issue when discussing forward facing carriers, it’s the increased risk of hip dysplasia and inadequate spinal support and positioning.

      http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/forward-carriers-put-baby-in-danger/story-e6freuy9-1226448684569

      • Brittany February 19, 2014 at 11:41 am - Reply

        How do you feel about Chicco ultra soft carriers?

        • megganmamma February 24, 2014 at 11:57 pm - Reply

          Hi Brittany,

          It looks similar to the ‘Bjorn’ style discussed.

    • Crystal March 1, 2014 at 12:31 am - Reply

      Amen, Margo! I started with an Ergo and had to switch to the baby bjorn because my daughter screamed non-stop unless facing outward. I wish our chiropractor friend would invent an outward facing carrier that meets the guidelines she feels makes the ERGO carrier better for babies.

      I also don’t like it when posts are written like this. You can educate people without sounding preachy and superior.

  12. Tine Monsen February 15, 2014 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    The Baby Bjørn in the ‘bad example’ picture is adjusted for the forward facing position whilst the infant is facing inward. If the person using this product had bothered to read the instructions, the infant would not have been seated in such an obviously uncomfortable position.

    • megganmamma February 18, 2014 at 1:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Tine,

      The image is from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute – it’s not mine but if I’m not mistaken, the carrier used for the shot is either an old version of the Baby Bjorn ‘original’ or their Baby Bjorn ‘Miracle’ carrier. Having referred to the owners manuals on the BB website, neither carrier allows any adjustment to position the legs for better support, they only adjust for the increasing hight of the child.

      Their new ‘Baby Carrier One’ has zips to adjust the leg position depending on the carry position. That specific model was the one subsequently reviewed on this site after Baby Bjorn contacted me in response to this article.

      • Tracey March 5, 2014 at 3:24 pm - Reply

        The pictures of the boy in the carrier are mine. The one on the left is not a Bjorn at all but a Britax carrier. And Yes we did use it as per instructions.

        The cartoon images below the photos are from the hip dysplasia institute. Someone along the lines has doctored the two together.

        And for info if anyone cares. I think the britax carrier offers reasonable support, not fantastic, but decent enough for a newborn till maybe depending on bubs size 3 months old. I still used other carriers, but if I had no other choice I would use the britax for that age. My biggest issue though is even at that young age it is not comfy to wear.

        • megganmamma March 18, 2014 at 10:16 pm - Reply

          Hi Tracey,

          Always nice to put a name to a carrier 🙂

          Thanks for clarifying.

  13. Tara February 18, 2014 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    I just wanted to comment and say that I never found the bjorn to be uncomfortable. I was given one as a hand-me-down when I had my daughter 2 years ago & I used it often & happily. I never considered purchasing one for upwards of $100 because I like to keep the baby related purchases to a minimum. I liked the stability that it had compared to a sling that I was given. As my daughter grew, I switched her to a very old model hiking back carrier with a hard frame and she loved that one as well. I think that for the average person who wears their baby it isn’t a big problem. It might pose more of a problem if you are big into being a baby wearer who wears her or his baby all day long. But that might be bad for development in & of itself really if your child gets no tummy time or space to explore independent movement.

  14. Kelly February 18, 2014 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    Have you heard of the lillebaby carrier? The 6 in 1 baby carrier. Is that one any good and safe? I’m looking for one that would be good to use in the hot Arizona heat!

    • megganmamma March 18, 2014 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      Hi Kelly,

      I’m not familiar with that one, but at a glance on YouTube, some of the configurations (such as the outward facing position) wouldn’t meet the guidelines I discussed.
      I’ve heard that linen wraps are good in the heat.

  15. Bernadette February 20, 2014 at 6:16 am - Reply

    My response to Baby Bjorn, regardless of what you say about the safety of your carrier for baby, I still don’t believe it. I used a bjorn for my son, not a lot but when I did use it I was always in pain. I would have worn him more had I known about these carriers and bought a better and more comfortable one for mom and baby. So Baby Bjorn, I’m sorry but your carrier is not good and I hope that fewer parents will buy it and find better carriers like the Boba. I used this carrier when my son was 15 months when I spent a month in Greece with my husbands family and I wore him everywhere (even while hiking up the Acropolis) and was never tired or in pain.

  16. Hayley February 21, 2014 at 12:40 am - Reply

    I have carried my son in a BabyBjorn since days after his birth, I also carry him in it for hours on end.
    My husband is a chiropractor and I can assure you we did extensive research before finally choosing something that would be right for our baby as well as ourselves.
    I am 5’6″ my husband is 6’4″, we both find the harnessing system incredibly comfortable to wear and when adjusted correctly extremely supportive of our son.
    I think the important thing to stress is parents wearing their baby and using whatever piece of equipment they have purchased properly.
    Take your time, find what works best for you.

    • megganmamma February 24, 2014 at 11:40 pm - Reply

      Hi Shaylynn,

      The style looks very similar to the Baby Bjorn.

  17. nikki smith February 23, 2014 at 4:28 am - Reply

    Boba carriers are great as well.

  18. Arlene February 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    How about the Maya Wrap?

    • megganmamma February 24, 2014 at 5:14 pm - Reply

      I never found them comfortable, but I have a friend who loves them.

  19. DROdio February 24, 2014 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Yes agreed. We moved away from the Bjorn. The Ergo won for us.

  20. Lynn February 25, 2014 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    I’m sorry while i can see your point about the baby bjorn carrier i dont think its fair you lump the stokke carrier into the same category, i’ve looked at it on their website and they seem to have the correct seating position for both baby facing parent and baby on the parents back and seem well supported.??

    • megganmamma March 18, 2014 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      Hi Lynn,

      Some of the positions look fine (like in the images showing a small baby being worn). However, outward facing is not aligned and in the images showing older kids the support doesn’t extend to the knee.

  21. Dara February 26, 2014 at 3:58 am - Reply

    So, are there any carriers on this list less than $50? We have the Moby but I find it cumbersome. As much as I like the Ergo, we just don’t have the budget for it. Maybe I’ll just carry him in his car seat. My first one hated being worn in the Miby or held for long periods of time so he went around in his car seat and stroller. I hope to baby wear this second one but I need a good and inexpensive carrier. We just don’t have the funds for it.

  22. Channon February 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    The polyurethane foam in Baby Bjorn’s “100% cotton” carrier is another reason to skip their products.

  23. Aileen February 28, 2014 at 1:10 am - Reply

    As a mommy with a baby who has a hip difference and who loves baby wearing I appreciate you sharing this info. I use a moby or a Mei tai style carrier and am always super aware of hip positioning. Since we didn’t find out about the hip issue until my son was over 1 I’m glad I had already read this info before he came along!

  24. Steph February 28, 2014 at 1:21 am - Reply

    I’m a chiropractor and I found baby Bjorn the most comfortable carrier for me. I have used it for both my babies and felt that their position was good and well supported. The baby needs to fit the carrier and if the baby gets too big for the style of carrier then it should be stopped. I found that the baby Bjorn was great for up to around 9months for my babies.

    • Kylie June 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm - Reply

      Hi steph, can you tell me which baby bjorn you used… Original, miracle, one?
      I put my 7 week old in a miracle the other day and she went straight to sleep, but I was worried her legs were dangling to much, especially considering all I have read lately. But when I put her in the ergo with the infant insert her legs seemed all bunched up and she wasn’t happy at all.
      I really don’t want to buy the wrong one… So any help would be greatly appreciated.
      Thanks.

  25. Margarita February 28, 2014 at 7:28 am - Reply

    I used a Baby Bjorn with my first (and that was 8 years ago) and she turned out fine.

    With my second we are currently using the Stokke, and despite its’ “look”, it actually supports children in a SITTING position. Inside the holder there is an actual SEAT (it’s an extra piece inside, not visible from outside, making it more complicated than the simple Bjorn) so the child’s weight is on it’s bum and thighs, NOT on its’ crotch.

    http://www.stokke.com/en-ca/baby-carrier/stokke-mycarrier/product-information.aspx

  26. Mike Back February 28, 2014 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    All that is needed is a soft rectangular cloth or blanket:-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWItHnkfLl8

    • megganmamma February 28, 2014 at 2:08 pm - Reply

      Awesome! I love it. Thanks Mike.

  27. Bri February 28, 2014 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    Any thoughts on the Lille Bebe? https://lillebaby.com

    • megganmamma February 28, 2014 at 2:55 pm - Reply

      My first impression is that the Lillebaby is a great carrier except for the outward facing position. In the picture they use at the top of the page – the one with the mum in the blue shirt who’s wearing her baby in the green carrier, (http://lillebaby.com/carrying-positions/front-carry-face-out/) the baby’s legs are not supported all the way to the back of their knees. However, it’s confusing because in the video they show to demonstrate the outward-facing position, the baby seems to have the necessary full bottom-to-knee support.

      Additionally, in the write up for outward facing carriers they say that in the outward facing position your baby, “also has the ability to turn away and “tune out.” I don’t see how that’s possible. How can they turn away and tune out unless they actually get out of the carrier?

  28. lin March 5, 2014 at 3:09 am - Reply

    Hi megan.. how about the carrier by the brand of i-angel? Is it safe or good?

    • megganmamma March 18, 2014 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Lin,

      I’m not familiar with that brand, but at a glance at least some of the configurations I can see on google don’t meet the guidelines discussed

  29. Eric March 5, 2014 at 4:07 am - Reply

    As a chiropractor myself I find this article to be nothing more than a short sighted opinion. I have a baby bjorn, so maybe I’m biased from the start 🙂 My baby looks nothing like the pictures of the “crotch danglers”. He is smaller, under a year and his thighs are supported just fine. They aren’t “crotch dangling” by any means. and the largest danger is full extension with prolonged adduction. His legs are no more extended or adducted than a baby in someone’s arms.

    Just go to any place where moms and dads are holding babies and you’ll see less support on their thighs from holding them in their arms. There is no danger for a small infant in a baby bjorn. I just have to look at it and see my baby does not fit anything like the diagrams try to scare me into believing.

    It seems they like to use bigger babies to get the “crotch dangler” image burned into your head. I wonder, did Dr. Harrington forget what sitting does to a lumbar spine? The lumbar curve is developed and strengthened around 1 year of age as the child learns to walk.

    If she gave any advice it should have been to get your kid out of carrier and into the bipedal portion of his or her life. That should be the advice. Get down and get dirty with your kids at that age. They should be exploring the world on their hands and knees and on their own two feet. Getting their hands on everything and mom and dad there to help them find stimulation in this world. They don’t belong sitting on your chest putting the damaging forces of sitting into a developing spine. At this age, if your child is spending that much time in a carrier of any kind, it’s too much.

    anyway, someone must own stock in some other carrier besides the bjorn 🙂

    • megganmamma March 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm - Reply

      Hi Eric, firstly, just to clarify: this article is in no way promoting that babies should be worn all day every day and not be allowed to play on the floor.

      I’ve asked Dr Harrington to respond to your comment. This is her response:

      “Movement and play are absolutely essential for a baby’s development! In no way, by promoting optimal positioning when baby wearing, are we suggesting that babies should be denied movement and play. In fact, some of the fabulous benefits of baby wearing are that it allows parents to get about their day, keeping their babies safe and close by, while their baby is receiving appropriate stimulation and support to their nervous system and spines, (if worn in an optimal position).

      Babies are active participants in babywearing, (when positioned optimally, as we are advocating). Pick up any new baby, and you will see that they automatically flex and abduct their hips into the optimal positioning we are advocating. They do this by actively engaging their muscles, which is very different to the passive mode of sitting. While mum or dad is moving about their day, the baby’s spine and nervous system get stimulated by this movement, touch, changing sights and sounds, this stimulation does not occur while passively sitting.

      The optimal positioning that we are advocating is not in any way limited to a particular brand of carrier, in fact it isn’t even limited to carriers. This advice applies equally to all different types of babywearing products, for example wraps, ring slings, mei tai’s…”

  30. laura April 5, 2014 at 4:38 am - Reply

    I have the Ergobaby but recently bought the Baby Bjorn Miracle. The reason for that purchase is because the strap on the Ergo is so thick I wasn’t able to carry any bags on my shoulder so I wanted to see how the Bjorn was. I have to say it was very comfortable to wear but one day into it I wondered why my 4 month old was squirmy and crying. It is because he sits directly on top of the hard plastic buckle. Very odd that for all of the designing they didn’t think that this would be uncomfortable for the baby-especially a boy. I called to see if there was something I was doing wrong with putting it on and was told no. I asked if they sold a padding to go over the buckle and the woman on the phone thought that was a strange question. Needless to say, I’m returning the Baby Bjorn and will deal with my padded shoulder straps for the sake of my baby’s comfort. I’m glad to have read this article about the hip and spine issues, I hadn’t been aware of any of this, so thank you.

  31. Kristi April 11, 2014 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Hi Meggan,
    Thank you so much for the info and for all the research that you have done! Thankfully, I have only put my baby in the Boba and Ergo! I was curious about the other things you mention that are unsafe for babies such as walkers etc…. Does it include the fisher price jumperoo? My baby is now 3mo and I am just exploring what good activity stimulation station to get. Thanks so much. Looking forward to hearing back from you.

    • megganmamma April 14, 2014 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      Hi Kristi, I’m planning on doing a post on Jumperoos, so watch this space! In the meantime, what I’ve heard is that it’s best for babies to be either in arms or on the floor as much as possible – the two best places for development at your baby’s age.

  32. Courtney October 31, 2014 at 6:05 am - Reply

    What are moms like me supposed to do with these crap carriers now? Spent $80 on a carrier thinking it was pricey because it was safe. Then, only after it was paid for and the box was in the trash, did everyone decide to tell me how I was mutilating my child. Can I return it? How? Why isn’t more being done to prevent the purchase of these things if they are in fact so horrible? Can we all file a lawsuit for false advertising? No doubt this and other companies have made millions while parents are just trying to be close to their child.

    • megganmamma October 31, 2014 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Courtney, I hear you. And yes, it’s tough. I don’t have answers to all your questions, but I do feel that it’s important for us to keep sharing with each other whatever we learn, as and when we learn it, so that we can all make the best decisions for our children. All the best. x

  33. tim November 28, 2014 at 9:38 am - Reply

    Hi Meggan, i have read some positive reviews of the beco baby gemini and wondered if you and the Dr consider this to meet chiropractic recomendations? Thanks

    • megganmamma December 2, 2014 at 5:51 pm - Reply

      Hi Tim, Yes, the Beco carriers meet chiropractic recommendations. All the best, Meggan

  34. Otis August 30, 2015 at 2:42 am - Reply

    On August 22 2015. I had my 7 month old baby girl in the baby bjorn carrier facing me, I was in a store purchasing some items.,I was At the cash register about to pay for my purchase and I dropped my bank card. I bent down to pick up my card and I heard a pop sound coming from my baby’s left leg and she screamed so loud. I could not imagine it was a broken bone, so I checked to see if it was the right side snap that I had come undone and maybe poked her, but the carrier was in place. I took her out of the carrier to comfort her and she stopped crying. And I actually proceeded to pay for my purchase. I felt something was very wrong and proceeded to take her to the car and put her in her car seat and then call my husband. As I tried to put her in the car seat, she started to scream and cry again, I have never heard her cry like that before, so i knew she had to be in a lot of pain. I called 911, told the paramedics what happened, they noticed she was not moving her left leg much and she was taken to emergency. An X-Ray was done and we found out her left femur bone was fractured. She was put in cast and given medicine for pain.
    And then the second nightmare began. A lady came in and introduced herself as a social worker with the hospital and wanted me to tell her again how I my daughters injury happened and the doctor came in and informed us they had involved social services because my story of what happened did not match the Injury. He said the femur bone is the strongest bone in the body and the only way he could see such a fracture happening in a baby is if someone intentionally twisted her leg with an intention to harm her. My husband and I were dumb founded that a dr would say such words with such conviction to a mother, not just any mother, to me! We were told my daughter and I were not going home that night and we would have to be admited so they could run other test to make sure there were no signs of previous abuse. I have an older daughter who is 2 years and 4 months, she was with us at the emergency. When my husband wanted to leave with her for the night, they told us they would not let them leave unless we contacted a friend or family member to come to the hospital and follow them home to supervise them because they were not comfortable letting him be alone with my older daughter. At this point it felt like I was in a movie. This cannot he my life.
    I called my sister and they let my husband and daughter go home with her and they spent that night at my sisters house. The next day Sunday August 23rd every inch of my daughters body was Xrayed to check for other broken bones, an ultrasound was done on her brain to see if there were was pool of blood in her brain. The results came back clear, there were no signs of other injuries but we had to remain in the hospital till the next day for a blood test and eye test to check if she had ever been shaken. At this point the social worker called us and told us based on the test results so far, my husband could go home alone with my older daughter and did not need third party supervision anymore. On Monday August 24th the blood test was done to check her hormone levels, calcium and Vitamin d to see it she had brittle bones that can easily break. We stayed over in the hospital on monday again because the eye exam was scheduled to be done on Tuesday. After the eye exam on Tuesday August 24th which came back showing she has not been shaken and her eyes were very good, we were finally allowed to go home. The Dr said all the results were clear other than the blood test which will take a couple of days to come back. He said they were no longer concerned about her safety and it was most likely a freak accident but since it is such a rare accident they had to go through the procedures.

    I have contacted the manufactures of the carrier and I am trying to reach as many parents as I can to warn about the risk of the carrier and to find out if there has been similar cases. As comforting and convenient as the carrier is, It is not worth the harm it might cause to your precious one. I have had the carrier for more than 2 years. I used it for my older daughter from when she was about 3 weeks till about 10 months. I have been using it for this baby from about 3 weeks as well till the unfortunate day. I can’t tell how the injury happened, if her leg was not positioned properly or if I bent down too fast to go after my bank card. I feel terrible and guilty even though I know it was an accident. I wish I could have been more careful, I wish I left her in the stroller when she was fussing, I wish I did not go out shopping…
    My daughter is doing well. As soon as the cast was put on. She stopped the heart wrenching cry that I knew was from pain. The three days we spent in the hospital, she was very fussy, I believe from the heaviness of the cast, and from all the poking and prodding from the hospital staff. The minute we came home, she has been her usual happy herself, watching her sister run around and trying to sit up and move and I have to keep restraining her. Must be very frustrating for her as she only started crawling 2 weeks before the incident.

    Please share my story with mums you know and if unfortunately this has happened to you please share yours.

    • Elizabeth October 24, 2015 at 6:00 am - Reply

      I’m so sorry that happened…but doesn’t it say in the manual not to bend down with baby in the carrier?

  35. Anonymous August 30, 2015 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Horrible experience, that – hearing the bone snap, and then being accused of deliberately harming the baby. I couldn’t wear my baby at all though- – she was born with neurological problems and was tactilely defensive. As a result, the only contact she could tolerate was me breastfeeding her, which I did for 2 1/2 years. Would have gone longer, but she self-weaned. I do so envy mums who babywear!

  36. Alex October 17, 2015 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Yay, thumbs up for your post!
    I moved to the US almost 3 years ago (then a few weeks pregnant with my 2nd child) and I was shocked, when I found out, how popular the Baby Björn is over here. I saw parents wearing their poor babies in it all the time.
    In Germany (where I’m from) the Baby Björn is so outdated – pediatricians warn you, not to use it!
    I really wanted to tell people: “Don’t do this to your baby!”, but since I didn’t want to be rude or to offend anybody, I kept my mouth shut.
    But looks like the word gets around! Great!
    Oh, and by the way: The same applies to those strollers, where you can put the car seat on. My pediatricians in Germany told me, that babies should stay in the car seats as little as possible, because otherwise it could be harmful to their soil. That’s why most Germans use strollers, where the babies can lie flat on the back (although the strollers are super convinient).

  37. Alex October 17, 2015 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    Oops, the word I was searching for was “spine”, not “soil”. False freind 😀

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