Are baby carriers safe for babies' hips?

Are baby carriers safe for babies' hips?

You’ve had a baby.
You’d like your hands back.
You start researching baby carriers, and there it is - The Hip Thing.

Are you wondering whether your newborn baby carrier is safe for your tiny one's hips? How can you find the best baby carriers for hip development? Can using a carrier or sling potentially harm your baby's hips?

If you're in the midst of your online quest for the perfect baby carrier (hi! Just get an Izmi 😉), you've probably stumbled across the concept that some brands and carriers are labelled as either 'good' or 'bad' for your baby's hips. But what exactly does that mean?

In any type of baby carrier or wrap, the best position for your baby's hips involves full support across their seated width, along their thighs, from one 'knee pit' to the other, and with their knees slightly higher than their bum – forming a comfortable 'M' shape. This position is designed to promote healthy hip joint development.

If you have a family history of hip dysplasia or if healthcare experts have expressed concerns about your baby's hip development, then maintaining that perfect 'M-shaped,' 'spread-squat' position becomes crucial.

If your baby is wearing a Pavlik Harness to hold their legs and hips in precisely this position, you can still babywear! We can help you – get in touch if you need advice on this.

However, if there are no specific medical concerns, there's no need to stress too much about what we affectionately call "The Hip Thing."

Even if your carrier lacks a broad base for optimal support – either because it's not well-designed or because you're still figuring out the adjustments – rest assured that it's very unlikely you're causing any long-term harm to your baby.

But letting those little legs dangle is far from ideal, both for your baby and for you. It might make your baby feel heavier than necessary, and we know that you don’t need any extra weight on your shoulders!

An ergonomic, adjustable baby or toddler carrier like an Izmi take more of your baby’s weight, holding them snugly into your chest, with no undue pressure on their body. With your centres of gravity matching, they’ll feel lighter. So you don’t get an aching back or shoulders and you’ll be able to carry them for longer.

Worth noting: you never need to force your baby’s hips apart to achieve this ‘M’ position. Check how far apart your baby’s knees naturally are when you cuddle them against your chest: that’s exactly how wide your sling, wrap or carrier should be.

All Izmi wraps and carriers are optimised for healthy hip development. So if you’re going round in circles about how to choose a baby carrier - just get an Izmi!