Baby Carriers and Ergonomics
Images courtesy of The International Hip Dysplasia Institute
What is ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the science of understanding human interactions and optimizing products and processes for human well-being and overall performance. This means taking a close look at how the mind and body behave in order to design products that best complement these processes.
How does this apply to baby carriers?
When it comes to baby carriers, ergonomics are very important! An ergonomically-designed baby carrier aims to minimize stress on your body so that you can hold your baby close for longer. This means that your baby carrier should distribute your baby’s weight evenly across your body to prevent muscle strain. Carriers with convertible hip-seats also support ergonomic design by allowing you to shift your baby’s weight from your shoulders to your waist, and vice versa. While ergonomics are important for the caregiver’s health, they are just as important for your baby’s as well! Your baby carrier should support proper growth and development of your baby’s hips, pelvis, and spine. This means that your baby should be seated in an “M-position” while in the carrier, with the hips spread apart and the knees higher than the baby’s bottom. Baby carriers that support this position include soft-structured carriers, as well as some Mei Tais and wraps.
What if I choose a baby carrier that is not ergonomic?
The risks of using a baby carrier that does not support ergonomic positioning may not be evident right away, but can show up after continued use. Baby carriers that were not ergonomically-designed may stress or strain your lower and/or upper back and waist. Additionally, baby carriers that let your baby’s legs hang straight down put your baby at risk for developing hip dysplasia (abnormal development) or spine injuries. This is because letting the legs hang straight down puts pressure on the hip joints instead of offering support, like when they are bent in the M-position.
We hope this has helped you understand a little bit more about the importance of choosing a baby carrier that is ergonomically-designed for both you and your baby! Please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.