I look at many baby products differently to other parents since Erin was diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of her hip. I don’t notice the pretty fabrics and colour schemes but look at the design features. I have done lots of reading about hip health since my little girl was cast from belly to ankles for six months and put into an artificial sleep to be open, cut and pulled about seven times. It changes how you view things. It forces you to question how your child is carried, transported and placed to sleep which is why I always ask baby carriers/slings – do you do it safely?
This week I saw a popular high street store highlighting on Facebook their new baby carrier. The carrier is applauded by the brand for its design. Yet inside I died a little. The baby carrier would not be looking after your babies hips, the imagery used shows a baby facing out and being dangled by their hips. Their delicate little hips left to swing and be pulled down with the weight of gravity.
The ‘morph’ claims to be the best baby carrier on the market yet to me it looks just like many of the other crotch danglers, a carrier that can aggravate hip dysplasia. The mother in the picture cannot kiss to top of the baby’s head. The hips are hanging. It is all so so wrong. If your baby’s hip is not sitting snugly in it’s socket this type of carrier will increase the likelihood of DDH. Joints carrying on developing throughout the first few months of a baby’s life and they need to be in the optimum position to develop correctly.
There are good carriers out there. Babywearing has many advantages and for those that follow attachment parenting principles, babywearing is central and I know many that love babywearing. Yet if you are to use a sling or carrier I beg you to know the correct way to carry your most precious cargo.
I never used a baby carrier – I know that didn’t cause my Erin’s ddh but the IHDI strongly recommends you research and choose a carrier that promotes hip health. All I can add as a mother of a child who couldn’t walk until 2, then underwent closed and open surgery followed up with an osteotomy and bone grafts is why take the risk. The logic speaks for itself. I was pleased to see that under the Facebook post from that well known/respected store were many points that questioned the hip health of the baby.
If you want/do babywear follow this checklist because British Association of Babywearing Instructors offers guidelines about safe babywearing. It recommends the ‘TICKS’ checklist:
- Tight for adequate support
- In view at all times (this refers to your baby’s face)
- Close enough to kiss (your baby’s forehead or head)
- Keep baby’s chin off their chest to ensure breathing isn’t restricted
- Supported back so the baby can’t slump and restrict their airway.
As for which carriers / slings are hip healthy look no further than this list!
I am glad that the message is getting out and that mums like me and you are telling high street stores that we want hip friendly carriers and I can tell you – that nobody would choose the path we have had to take thanks to ddh.