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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Babywearing Safely - Why Cradle Carry is Discouraged

*This is Part 2 of a series.

For newborns, the best way to carry them is tummy to tummy (upright).  Cradle carry is discouraged because of the risks of hip dysplasia which is the general instability or looseness of the hip joint.  Click here to see an animated video of how hip dysplasia happens and here for the different stages of hip dysplasia.  Here's a photo of the proper position of a baby inside a sling to prevent hip dysplasia.

from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute
Note that hip dyplasia is a concern not only in slings but more so in baby harnesses and swaddling.  Check out this photo of the proper way to wear your baby in a harness and compare it with the "moby" carrier from a leading baby store chain.

In our conversation with Hosanna Camacho, PT, she emphasized that to prevent hip dysplasia what is important is for the carrier to support the baby's buttock and thighs such that the fabric is from one hollow of the knee to the other.  Thus, make sure that you avoid carriers with narrow seats.  Watch this BBC video on dysplasia.  In about 2:14 of the video, an orthopedic surgery consultant shares how to prevent hip dysplasia when babywearing.

Another reason why cradle carry is discouraged for newborns is because of the risks of positional asphyxiation.  The BabyWearing Institute defines positional asphyxiation as follows:
[Positional asphyxiation] is essentially a kink in the airway. Baby's chin hits his chest and kinks the airway.  Baby cannot breath and dies within 3-5 minutes without making a sound.  Baby's head is too heavy for him to lift out of a compromised position like the cradle carry.
This is a concern in the cradle carry position because of the high incidence of the baby's chin getting tucked into the chest.  Some manufacturers recommend adding a pillow, etc. which results in an additional suffocation hazard and actually defeats the purpose of babywearing since you will constantly have to watch your child so that he doesn't get suffocated or regularly adjust the position.

If your baby prefers being in the cradle carry position in your arms without a carrier, it doesn't mean that you should put the baby in a cradle carry position in the carrier.  As this post explains, without a carrier, a baby carried in his/her parent's arms will get shifted about A LOT. Baby will not be in the cradle position for a long time.

Babywearing Safely: Introduction
Why Cradle Carry is discouraged
Front Facing, Front Carry?
Legs Out Position


Karizma Vergeldedios said...

I got confused when I heard the name 'moby' used on facebook, too.  So that's where it's being sold.

mitchyweech said...

cradle carrying should be learned before the parents apply to her baby.. kinda scary. kawawa ang baby.

next9 (Jen CC Tan) said...

this "moby" is different from the moby wrap (

gerilen_elinessete said...

thanks for this article! very informative... uso baby slings sa Benguet especially the first not recommended photo, d pala maganda sa baby. Now I know! :)

Jenny said...

actually, i would say na cradle carry should be avoided. better yun tummy to tummy carry

Jenny said...

thanks for dropping by!

kristine gavilano said...

Hi Ms. Jenny, I've just read this post today. I used to cradle carry my son during his first few months, he's over a year old now. I feel guilty now and wished I have known before. I can't turn back time, at least now I already know about it. So for my next babies, no cradle carry na...thanks!

Jenny said...

don't be guilty kristine!!  I did also with E during his early days before I found out about this new research.  I think what's important is that our babies are safe and are growing up well :D

Dulce said...

Hi Jenny! How about if you're nursing the baby? It's alright if the baby is in a cradle position?

Jenny said...

yep!! then just bring back up to the tummy to tummy when done. have you mastered it? post videos!! :D

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