Many new moms and dads find themselves wondering which baby-carrying products are the best for the back - their backs and their baby's! To protect an infant's spine, ergo backpack makers have created many different wraps, slings, front packs, and other designs, but knowing which one to choose is difficult. Many people have a strong opinion that might or might not be based on factual information, and ultimately, you want to find the baby-wearing solution that works best for both of you.
A newborn's spine is very flexible, and a baby's spine can suffer in carriers where their legs dangle, unsupported, for long periods of time. And even a young baby becomes heavy when carried in a ergo baby backpack that doesn't spread that weight across a parent's body very well... an aching back for mom or dad can often be the sore result.
Protecting your baby's spine
During baby's first year, their spine will grow 50%. That first year is also a critical period of development for the secondary curves of the spine (in the lower back and neck). It would seem that keeping the spine stiff and straight would be best, but the opposite is true; it's better if the baby can move. While the curled-up fetal position is preferred by many young babies, almost any position that supports the whole body and allows natural movement will ensure good spinal health. As your baby grows older and can hold her head up, she will probably prefer more upright positions; once she can sit up, she might like being carried on your hip or on your back.
Protecting your back
The best way to avoid back strain when carrying your baby for long periods of time is to make sure that your baby's body weight is supported by as much of your body as possible. Carriers that put all the weight on one shoulder will likely give you an aching back and sore shoulder if used for more than an hour or two. Ergo Baby Carrier galaxy grey that spread the baby's weight over both shoulders are better, and the best carriers spread the load on both shoulders and across your hips using a hip belt.
These carriers include:
Slings, including padded and unpadded fabric
Tube or pouch slings
To lessen the chance of back pain, look for slings with wide fabric to distribute baby's weight across as much of your shoulder as possible.
Carriers that distribute the weight on both of your shoulders include:
Wrap-around carriers and slings
Most front packs
Carriers that spread the load best
These carriers distribute the load on your shoulders and hips:
ERGObaby baby carrier
Some front packs
Some hip packs (most use only one shoulder though)
Asian-style carriers (Mei Tai)
Special features of the ERGO Baby Carrier
The ERGO baby carrier was developed to address the spinal health of both the infant and parent through proper positioning and scientific weight distribution. It's soft and comfortable for both of you and can be used to carry a baby or toddler in many different positions, including on your front, on your back, and on your hip. A wide lower back support for parents helps prevent fatigue and encourages good carrying posture. The design of the carrier encourages baby to use your body as part of their support system... no more dangling legs!