There is no doubt that a baby carrier is one of the most secure and comfortable ways of carrying your baby around. However when it comes to purchasing a front-facing baby carrier then there are a number of questions we hear from the parents. Here we will describe certain aspects of your baby’s development in its first year that is impacted by baby carrying positions. We hope that this guide will help parents in making well-informed choices while purchasing a front baby carrier.
Impact of the Front Facing Inward Baby Carrier Position
In the first months of a baby’s growing period, they are more content with being carried by their parents or other caregivers in the front position while also facing inward towards their caregiver. If we look at this from the developmental point of view, the primary tasks of the baby in the first few months are to adapt to life outside the mother’s womb where it did not require excessive stimulation. Quite the opposite at the age of 2 to 3 months old, your baby will be more interested in the human face and hence the front-facing inward position of the baby carrier will continue to be an ideal position for many babies as they can get a clear view of their caregiver’s face. The baby with position will also get a chance to observe their caregiver’s face as they communicate with others, hence, providing the baby with learning experience as well.
At times during your baby’s first year, he/she while being placed in the front-facing inward baby carrier position will start turning their heads in order to get a better view of the stuff that is taking place behind them. This flexibility will provide your baby with the chance of a wide zone of vision through which your baby will be able to take in his/her surrounding environment. Especially if the caregiver that is carrying the child is vigilant towards the baby’s signals and aids in the baby’s efforts to take in the view of the world. If this position works for you and baby then we strongly recommend that you keep your baby in the front-facing inward position.
Impact of the Front Facing Outward Baby Carrier Position
While some babies will depict through their protests that they no longer are comfortable in the front-facing inward position as that position cannot provide them with adequate visual stimulation. The suitable age at which you can switch your baby from front inward facing position to front-outward facing position is when they are six months old as at this age they will have proper neck and head control.
Other Benefits of a Front Baby Carrier
One of the obvious benefits of wearing a baby carrier is convenience. You can easily accomplish all your chores if your baby is happy and safe. But the benefits of the front baby carrier go beyond this:
Supports Breastfeeding – when the baby is held closely to the caregiver, he/she can then realize the early signs of hunger easily and can start to nurse the baby without there being the need for the baby to cry. This is another reason due to which the bond between the parents and the baby grows.
Lesser Crying Babies – babies that receive supplemental crying tend to cry and fuss less.
Prevention of Spinal and Cranial Deformities – babies that spend more time in car seats or in baby swings are more vulnerable to spinal and cranial deformities. Front carrying of your baby leads to the proper development of your babies’ spine, cranium and other postural muscles.
How Much Weight Do Front Baby Carriers Hold?
There are various baby carriers for babies with different weights. On average a baby weighs around 7 to 8 pounds at birth and gradually gains weight over the period of next 12 months. Most of the front baby carriers are built in a way so that they can support baby weighing from 7 to 40 pounds, this is the average weight of a baby at the age of 4 years.
Therefore, caregivers can easily carry their babies in front baby carriers until the age of 3 to 4 years old. However most of the caregivers stop carrying their babies when they reach they are 2 years old because babies can learn to walk easily by that age.
Learn How to Practice Safe Front Baby Carrying
Nothing is more important for parents than to make sure their baby is safe and well-protected. Below mentioned are some do’s and don’ts that every parent should know of if they plan to use the front baby carrier:
- Make sure that your baby is sitting upright having legs in a spread squatted position with knees positioned higher than the bum and his/her neck should be completely supported. Make sure that you are able to bend down and you can kiss your baby’s head easily.
- Make sure that your baby carrier is secured and all the buckles and wraps are locked. Also, check the fabric of the baby carrier for wear and tear.
- When you wear your baby front-facing, your chances of falling increases so be more aware of your surroundings.
- Try not to overdress as it being this close to you it can easily overheat inside the baby carrier
- Avoid using a baby carrier while biking, running or doing any sort of intense physical activity.
It is very important to practice using a frit baby carrier before putting your baby in it. You will first have to get used to wearing a baby carrier, by taking it on and off, testing and adjusting it to different positions according to your comfort. You can use a teddy bear or a dummy doll to practice using a baby carrier. Even after you have practiced many times and you are comfortable using the baby carrier you should still have a spotter in close proximity providing you with the helping hand the very first time when you plan using the front baby carrier with your baby in it. Try to keep your one hand supporting your baby. Front baby carriers are not as tricky as they look like, especially if the user has read through the manual thoroughly and have watched all the instructional videos that may have come with the carrier. But as we like to tell our parents the more you practice the more comfortable you will feel in it.