Why Crotch / Narrow Base Carrier is bad for your baby?
Looking now to the child in each set of photos, you can notice how each is cradled in the inward facing position; their weight is supported properly and their bodies are in a comfortable position. In the forward facing positions, their posture and positioning looks awkward, uncomfortable and not well supported.
The support of the child is the most important issue here, as it can directly impact development. The image below from hipdysplasia.org is a wonderful illustration as to why a proper carrier with a wider bottom and proper support is so important. Notice how the carrier to the left offers no support to the child’s legs or hips, leaving full pressure on the developing sacrum and spine. On the right, you can see that the wider base of the carrier cradles the child and gives fuller support, relieving the hip and spine from strain. Think also of how this better weight distribution would increase the comfort lever for the adult as well. The bottom set of this illustration demonstrates the impact a narrow carrier can have on the hip from improperly supporting the legs. Generally speaking, forward facing carriers only come in a narrow harness design, as they cannot provide the wider base allowed by an inward facing positions.
In addition to the support and physical comfort aspects of forward and inward facing carries, the emotional support of the child is an aspect to consider as well. Infants and toddlers need the feeling of protection and security. Facing inward, the child can retreat from the stress easily if overstimulated. While some children may love the chance to look around, this can be achieved by using a back carry when the child is old enough, while offering all of the support needed, as it is facing toward the wearers body.
Why Risk It?
If you don’t wear your baby in a carrier where their knees are higher than their hips it can lead to hip problems in babies who are susceptible, ie. in babies who already have some form of instability or “clicky” hips. Also, any hip problems caused by a baby carrier may only become noticeable once your child is walking.Correcting hip displacement could mean years of pain and struggle, so why take the chance – get a carrier that supports your child’s hips.