It’s hip to babywear. Celebrities are even doing it. TV shows are using baby carriers, they’re on billboards and film studios are promoting it on the big screen. Notice a trend with all of these? All of these babies are forward facing.
Now while we’d all love to see that adorable little baby’s face, and simply because we see examples of forward facing babies on tv and in the media, it really isn’t what’s best for baby. In a world inundated with celebrity magazines and websites it’s hard to not copy what our pop culture is showing us. It’s not that these celebrities or any other parent who wears their child forward facing is horrendous or cruel; what they are most likely, is uninformed, and unaware that there’s a much more safe and comfortable way to wear their baby.
Boba founder, Elizabeth Antunovic, has written several articles that go into detail on the reasons NOT to wear your child forward facing. This one in particular is great, Nine Reasons Not to Carry Your Baby Facing Out.
Below we’ve elaborated on some of the reasons not to choose forward facing.
1. Crotch dangling is uncomfortable, don’t you think? Aside from the medical consequences
associated with frequent forward facing carrying parents, take a look at this guy, Bert, from the Travel Channel. Not only does he look scared out of his mind but the harness he’s wearing does look rather uncomfortable. It’s not safe for him to wear this human slingshot contraption for more than an hour at the most, however some of us wear our children for hours at a time.
Without any leg or hip support, all your child’s weight is resting right on their genital area. It should be easy to imagine just how uncomfortable this would begin to feel in a rather short amount of time.
2. The world is a very busy place, especially when you’ve spent the last nine months in a warm and dark womb. Think about it: Pretend you’re at a Monster Truck rally, the engines are roaring, the trucks are jumping over lines of cars, the crowd is cheering, whistling and there’s heavy bass pumping music filling the stadium.
You’re there trying to enjoy everything only there’s one problem; you don’t have the same ear covers that the rest of the Monster Truck patrons have. Your ears hurt from the noise and your brain can’t process all of the stimuli that are flying at you. I imagine that’s akin to how a young baby, especially one who cannot even communicate, might feel when placed in a forward facing position, facing away from the loving and protective body of Mom or Dad. Babies are prone to being over-stimulated and when that happens major melt downs can occur. Plus, it’s just hard on their little brains. This article explains it well so if you’re curious check it out.
3. You can’t see your little cutie so what do you do if you’re at the store and he’s getting upset about something? Enough said, if he was facing toward you, you could see his face, comfort him, maybe offer a pacifier, breastfeed him if necessary and it could all be done without the use of a mirror.
4. Ouch! The weight of your baby facing away from you is putting undue stress on your lower back and theirs. When the baby is facing you, whether in the front or on your back, the position is such that it kind of melds both of you together in a supportive fashion, both of you in positions you find naturally comfortable.
More on Infant Spine Development.
Yes, there are lots of pop culture pictures and references of parents wearing their baby forward facing and some carrier brands even promote it in their marketing attempts. Rather than being “cool” like those parents be awesome like Jennifer Connelly, Sienna Miller and Channing Tatum!
Most importantly, take a look at both sets of pictures. Which babies and parents look most comfortable? ;)
Elizabeth AKA “Bert” Anderson is a married stay-at-home mom of two residing in the Twin Cities. She started using cloth diapers in 2009 as a first time mom. Don’t be too impressed by her ambition, her husband told her they were doing it to save money. After a few weeks of using cloth diapers she fell in love and wants to tell anyone she meets that if she can do it ANYONE can do it! Bert loves to write about cloth diapers, being a mom, and her recently acquired healthy lifestyle on her blog First Time Mom.