Carrying babies in sling and back pain

Sometimes, especially during information meetings, I happen to confront parents who are afraid that over time Babywearing can cause back pain. Choose the best baby carrier for a petite mom.

Can babywearing be really harmful?

First of all, it is good to clarify that in some cases Babywearing may not be a recommended method of mothering for everyone. In others, it may instead need a personalized intervention, far from the DIY improvisation of those who try their hand at instruction booklets and videos on youtube.

In the case of previous pathologies, for example, it is important to be supported by an expert consultant and to work as a team with professionals who already follow the mother or father for that problem. Working in synergy makes it possible to find together the most suitable binding or support to respond to the specific needs and characteristics of the individual.

Carrying must be a convenient and comfortable practice for the wearer and wearer.

And I underline MUST because for me it is really a must!

The possibility of being able to keep your baby close to the body, wrapped in a sling or in another baby carrier, must in fact be a pleasure and not torture, nor must it become a source of damage to one’s health.

… so why does back pain come?

The answer is: it depends … and, above all,  the good news is that it doesn’t necessarily happen!

If the chosen support is suitable for the carried + wearer dyad, if the binding is well done and is suitable for your child (in terms of weight, size, and psycho-physical development), Babywearing does not cause tension or pain, because the weight of the child unloads optimally on the shoulders, back and hips of the adult.

Another good news is that the wearer’s body strengthens as the baby grows and as the months go by he gets used to the weight (a bit like when you gradually increase loads by going to the gym). It would be different to start from scratch with an older child… and then, probably, a bit of effort has to be taken into account.

Of course, in the long run, ever more important weights make themselves felt. For this, it is essential to change position, binding, or … support.

If you believe that babywearing is the cause of your back pain, here you can find some ideas for reflection and some strategies.

These are some of the questions I ask parents who come to me complaining about this problem:

  • How long is your baby, how much does he weigh, how much is he?
  • Where do you usually take it (belly to belly/back) and for how long?
  • How is your baby? Is its tonic? Curious? Does it move a lot? How does it behave when you wear it?
  • What ligature or support are we talking about?
  • Do you have any previous back problems or has the discomfort appeared recently with carrying?
  • Do you feel bad immediately or after a while what do you wear?

Generally, after having made a careful medical history, I propose the solution that I think maybe more suitable for the situation and I evaluate it together with the parent.