WHAT’S THE MOST SUPPORTIVE BABY CARRIER FOR A BAD BACK?
The most supportive carrier for YOUR back – whether you’ve got a ‘bad’ back or a regular one – is one that
- Is suitable for your baby’s age and developmental stage
2. Suits your body shape and – now this is the MOST important bit
3. Is fitted and adjusted properly around you and your baby.
Even the most well-designed, expensive, feature-packed baby carrier will NOT be fun to use if it’s not adjusted properly for you and your baby. Your baby will feel heavy. They might not settle well. It can exacerbate your existing back problems. A badly fitted baby carrier can even cause back pain.
MAKE SURE YOU GET EXPERT ADVICE
Our video and in-person consultations enable my expert team and I to discuss your family’s needs, assess which carriers will suit your body shapes, and demonstrate baby carriers that we’d recommend for you. If you’ve already got a sling or carrier, we can help you with that as well.
Plus, we offer FREE VIDEO FITTING SERVICE WITH EVERY PURCHASE from WearMyBaby.co.uk. We also offer a sling hire service, so you can try before you buy. We have heaps of video tutorials on our Instagram and YouTube channels so please do follow us there.
Baby Carriers with Buckles
CARRYING SHOULD NOT HURT: YOU DON’T NEED TO PUT UP WITH BACK PAIN
Lugging around car seats, feeding, leaning into cots and holding a small human in your arms for hours each day: new parents postures take an absolute beating. If your sling isn’t comfy, it’s easy to assume ‘Baby Carriers Don’t Work For Us’ or My Back Isn’t Up To It’. I’ve worked with many, many thousands of families: parents with broken backs, slipped discs, scoliosis, arthritis, sports injuries: 99.9% of the time I’ve found a carrying solution.
A well-fitted carrier can be part of the solution. A tightly fitted, well adjusted sling will hold your baby’s weight up and into your body; making you stand up straight (maybe for the first time in a while), with your spine in a neutral position. It will distribute your baby’ weight evenly around your body. It will make you engage and strengthen your core, which in turn will protect your back.
That said, I also spend a lot of time signposting parents to GPs, physiotherapists, osteopaths, pilates teachers etc. Mums and Dads can all too easily assume a bad back ‘just happens’ when you have children. That you have to put up with it. News flash: It doesn’t, and you shouldn’t. Strengthen your core, seek medical advice and get therapeutic attention for those aches and pains. You only get one back: look after it.
Cococho Baby Carrier
Cococho’s baby-to-toddler carrier makes back carrying easy and comfortable.
A brilliant, lightweight alternative to more cumbersome framed back carriers, you can also use this to carry your baby or toddler on your front.
If your baby carrier suits you and is fitted correctly, it should NEVER:
- Hang your baby’s weight from your shoulders
- Cause you to lean forwards, backwards, to the side or anywhere else. (Ask someone else to check this: we often think we’re standing up straight when we’re actually not)
- Put all the weight through your hips
- Make you want to rip it off after 20 minutes.
If you’re experiencing any of these things, you might need to change or upgrade your carrier. Your baby may have outgrown it (the maximum age listed on the box is usually nonsense – more about that in another blog) or it may not be well suited to your body shape. We can advise which carriers will suit you better, so please get in touch or book a video consultation.
But quite often I can drastically improve the comfort of someone carrier with a few quick tweaks. Tightening it (usually) or loosening it (sometimes) just a few centimetres here and there can make a vast difference. As can positioning the waistband higher up on your body. (The clue is in the name: it’s a WAISTband, not a hip belt.
Why tightening? If your carrier or wrap is too loose or sitting too low on your body, your baby’s weight will pull away from you. Your centres of gravity will no longer match and it’ll put extra strain on your back. If in doubt, carry your baby HIGHER and TIGHTER on your chest. A sling should always mimic how you carry your baby in your arms: snug and high up on your chest so they’re close enough to kiss.
WHICH BABY CARRIER SHOULD I BUY IF I SUFFER FROM BACK PAIN?
Hopefully, you’ve now got the idea that HOW you adjust your baby carrier is JUST AS IMPORTANT as which one you buy, and different carriers suit different people. But, based on the many thousands of families I’ve worked with, these are some of my top recommendations:
You might want to opt for a carrier that features a lumbar support pad, like the Ergobaby Omni 360. I find that some parents with chronic lower back concerns find the additional snug ‘push’ of this pad into the spine gives quite a nice release and makes carrying comfier. We have additional Tula lumbar support pads – designed for Tula baby carriers, but they’re pretty universal and slide neatly onto the waistband of most other carrier brands.
However, some parents with mid/lower back issues find that slings with zero padding on the waist, like an Integra Baby Carrier or a stretchy wrap, are preferable. These slings spread your baby’s weight more across your upper torso, so the lower back can move freely and easily.
Our collection of one-size-fits-all stretchy wraps are perfect for your newborn, from their very first days. Featuring Boba, Izmi, Coracor, Ergobaby, Hana Baby and Lifft
Fabric wraps and soft, tie-on carriers are often THE comfiest options for those with back pain. Even if you’ve got an older baby or toddler. When you’ve got a sling that is infinitely adjustable and moulds perfectly around your and your babies body, their weight is 100% supported. So no pressure points for you. And no need for heavily structured carriers with lots of padding. The trade-off is that it can take longer to learn how to use them and some people find them a bit fiddly. But if it means hours, weeks, years of comfortable carrying, it might be worth it.
Avoid one -shoulder carriers, like ring slings, where possible. Avoid carrying your baby world-facing/ facing out for long periods, or at all, if you have a bad back. In this position, you’re always slightly working against gravity, with their weight pulling forwards and away from you.
Try back carrying once your baby is 6 months old (or sooner, if you’re using a woven wrap and have good advice from a babywearing educator). Not all carriers that are suitable for back carrying are BRILLIANT for back carrying. Our top choices to try are the Cococho, Manduca XT, DidyKlick, Tula Toddler Carrier and Lenny Lamb Upgrade and Preschool Carrier, but there are many more that might work for you.
Tula Toddler Carrier
Tula Toddler Carriers are snug and supportive for big kids who still love and need your cuddles.
If your 2, 3 or 4 years old has outgrown all other carriers, then this is one for you.
More information on Buckled Baby Carriers.
Lenny Lamb LennyUpGrade Carrier
The LennyUpGrade is a super versatile, ergonomic and luxurious baby carrier. Suitable for both front and back carrying, it is easily adjusted to provide great ergonomic support to your little one at every stage of development.
LennyUpGrade carriers come in a huge range of fabric designs woven specifically for Lenny Lamb.
If you need help, PLEASE get in touch. Personal consultations start from just £15. Remember, we offer a free video fitting service with every baby carrier purchase, plus you can try before you buy with our sling hire service. If you want to carry, we will get you carrying. Comfortably.
Here’s more advice on babywearing safety.