Why the ERGO Baby Carrier is the best for your bub and you. This will be an eye-opener July 30, 2014 22:43
As the name makes it clear - the ERGO Baby Carrier is the most ergonomic baby carrier available on the market! This article adapted from Jackie Fewtrell explains why - and after reading this (the only article on baby carriers you'll need to read), you'll want an Ergo carrier.
If you want to purchase a baby carrier in Singapore, let it be an ERGO baby carrier. Bestbaby carries most models and even the popular and brand new Four Positions 360 ERGO baby carrier - Ergo Baby Carrier.
(Written by Jackie Fewtrell)
Why is Babywearing so important?The warmth and closeness of parents carrying their baby close to them makes the baby feel safe and calm, even if it suffers from tummyaches or sleep disorder. Through the constant body contact, important senses are stimulated, like the sense of touch and sense of balance. It also promotes the development of speech. Parents love being able to move freely and still always have their little boy or girl close, and because of this closeness, they develop a better feeling for the natural needs of their child. So, carry your child and let it take part in your everyday life. In this way, it can discover the world without being subjected to its surroundings unprotected.
Cradle position for Infants
To enjoy complete freedom of movement for your arms and to look your little treasure into the eyes – this is possible thanks to the cradle position, which is suitable for infants up to four months, depending on the comfort of carrying person and baby.
Your baby sits in the ERGObaby Carrier, wrapped in the Infant Insert, legs to one side and head to the other on the upper end of the Infant Insert. Thus, he or she does not sit straight, as we would do on, for instance, an office chair, but rather with its back slightly rounded and inflected towards the back, and the legs pointed slightly upwards – just as if you would carry your baby in your arms.
Please note, the above cradle carry is still possible with the ERGO, but the new Heart2Heart Infant Insert seats your child in a different position - belly to belly, with room for legs either side of the removable cushion in the Insert.
How Can Baby Carrying Help the Baby’s Physical Development?
A baby’s body develops in direct response to multiple sensory stimuli through touch, smell, hearing, taste and sight. Carrying babies actively promotes their general body development in response to various stimuli such as: skin-to-skin contact (the baby’s body swaddled against the parent’s), continuously felt movement, smell of the skin, sound of a heartbeat or a voice, taste of the skin and recognition of the face that is only a few centimetres away. These stimuli are particularly helpful for premature babies whose development is at an earlier stage than full-term babies. "Newborns can be carried while they sleep, so baby carrying presents a natural form of prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome." (Dr Susan Markel).
So, what positive effects can baby carrying have on your baby's physical development?
The skin is the largest organ of the human body. When babies are carried tight against their parent’s body, their own body adapts to the adult’s shape and senses their movement. In fact, the skin is a human being’s most developed organ at birth and therefore, the one that the baby can communicate with the best. Baby carrying therefore contributes to mobility development and to acquiring balance and walking rhythm.
The baby’s back can develop correctly due to the ergonomic design of the baby carrier. The baby carrier supports the sitting position that a child instinctively adopts at birth. This position allows the child to maintain a curved spine, which is naturally present at birth and is also present during the first few months. The baby’s hips, still not fully developed at birth, develop ideally in the anatomically correct natural sitting position which can also prevent hip dysplasia.
A newborn’s skull is still soft, during the first year it will grow by 12 cm. Still in a phase of growth, it can easily become deformed if the infant's head is rested on the same side for prolonged periods. Vertical baby carrying can avoid this flat head syndrome (positional plagiocephaly).
Children - Psychological and Emotional Development
Baby carrying has many positive effects on a baby's psychological development. The body closeness from baby carrying provides warmth as well as reassuring and familiar sounds and movement. Children feel relieved when their need for contact is met. As a result they do not have to devote their energy to their protection and survival (secretion of stress hormones). They can focus their energy on their development and discover their environment while being cradled in a protective cocoon. This close physical contact provides children with the body contact and affection that they need. Body-to-body contact is particularly important during the first few moments after birth.
Firstly, children need physical contact in order to bond with the mother, this helps them to separate better later on. Being assured of limitless love will help the child to become a more self-assured and confident individual, who will later become that much more independent. Children are reassured by this close contact and as a result they cry less and fall asleep more easily. Furthermore, having been cradled in the mother’s womb for nine months, the baby naturally wants to regain this soft floating feeling. The tiny human is a parent-clinger and this is proved by the gripping and finger-curling reflexes present from birth. Thus physical contact brings the child feelings of well-being.
Secondly, dialogue with the parent and resulting social skills are key elements in the baby’s psychological development and future well being. Parents are more likely to talk to children carried at adult height than to children in strollers, for example. This increased dialogue encourages language development, which can especially benefit children with speech difficulties. This closeness also helps to stimulate the baby’s relational and emotional life. Babies learn from their parents that they are worthy of love, and that in life there are always people close by ready to give comfort and help when it is needed.
Baby carrying health advantages for parents
Then from a psychological point of view, the production of oxytocin is stimulated by touch during baby carrying. Oxytocin is a hormone that promotes bonding between parents and children, it causes relaxation and trust within parents. Those who experience this bonding are less likely to suffer from postnatal depression and other postnatal conditions. As there is no fabric separating the baby from the wearer, the mother can easily breastfeed her child while the child remains in the carrier. This body-to-body contact has a positive effect on the quality of the parent-child relationship and, consequently, for the well-being of all around them.
Anatomically Correct Natural Sitting Position
According to Prof. Dr J. Büschelberger, the spine and the pelvis are connected to the hip joint by the sacro iliac joint. The movements of the spine directly influence the movements of the pelvis, as well as the other way around. When the child can round his / her back, the pelvis tilts forward slightly, which makes a healthy development of the hip joints possible. Here parents should note that a baby’s back is rounder than that of an older child. If the child’s back is kept straight or even pressed into a hollow back, then the pelvis tilts backwards, which can have a negative influence on the development of the hip joints. In order to guarantee an ideal hip development, it should be strained as little as possible during the development period. This is possible by the child bending and spreading her / his legs as often as possible.
When doing this, each thigh bone, or femoral, should be bent at 120° (90° minimum) in the hip joint, and the spreading angle should average at 45°. If the knees are at the same level as the bellybutton, and the legs are spread just as in the illustration above, then the child is in the natural sitting position, which positions the femur heads correctly in the socket of the hip joint, or acetabulum. (The socket of the hip joint is the ilium’s articular surface.) Thanks to this natural sitting position, all areas of the acetabulum are strained equally, which is necessary for the development of the ossification centre, meaning the core of the bone.
You can carry your child in this position starting at birth; if there are indications of hip dysplasia, this is even recommended. Carrying a child in this position can actually replace unpleasant orthoses that enforce the naturally sitting position. “Now, it is not the case that this bending position is necessary for all babies. Still, when parents position their babies they should try to approach this optimal state and especially avoid everything that counteracts it. In many cases it is not apprehended that, through unfavourable influences on the child’s body, well-developed hip joints can turn into damaged ones.”
The natural sitting position is intended by nature for a reason, and, when carrying, should be used. After all, children pull their legs automatically in that position as soon as they are lifted up. Do, however, take care that the seat of the carrier, whichever you happen to be using, is large enough to go to the hollow of the knee of the child. The back has to be well supported, which is rounded according to age and spine development of the child. The younger the child the rounder will be the back. Also, please take care, especially with the very youngest, to support the head. If the back is well supported – contrary to public opinion – it is not overstrained by carrying, but the opposite: this is good for the development of the spine and for the strengthening of the muscles.
The naturally sitting position is not just a doctors’ recommendation, be it Dr. Ewald Fettweis: “For the hip joints to mature, it needs only slight spreading, [...] a flexion of 90°, and a restraint of the active and passive stretching and abduction“, which corresponds to the anatomic conditions; or be it Dr Detlef Bonnemann: “The more frequent the infant can be in this position the better roof and rim of the acetabulum develop” – the acetabulum, of course, consisting only of cartilage in the beginning; or be it Dr. Thomas Oberst who thinks that it is “ideal when the baby [can slumber] with spread legs and bent knees in its carrier bag.” It mostly is the instinctive behaviour of the child, mirroring his / her needs best of all.
The following illustrations show a normally to heavily damaged hip joint:
Illustration A: normal hip joint
Illustration B: hip joint affected by dysplasia
Illustration C: hip joint affected by subluxation
Illustration D: hip joint affected by subluxation
The greater the impairment the wider (a) and higher (b) the femoral head is situated out of the joint socket or acetabulum, the more askew is the roof of the acetabulum (c) and the more blunted is its rim (d).
In most cases, this matter is about a single dysplasia, affecting considerably more girls than boys (80 %) and appears 90 % on the left side. The frequent appearance in one and the same family leaves us to conclude that hip dysplasia is inheritable.
Ever since the introduction of sonographic screening in infants, it has been possible to considerably improve a prognoses of hip dysplasia.
Early detection means, first of all, that a clinical examination is undertaken for various reasons, for example because of family precedence (a hereditary risk exists); because of the geographical point of origin (in France, for instance, the Bretagne is the region where hip dysplasia most frequently occurs); because of some birth complications (breech delivery, malformation or false position of legs or feet); in cases of asymmetrical thigh skin folds; in cases of an askew pelvis or a protruding hip or a hip with restricted mobility.
The ultrasound examination of the hip helps the diagnosis. During the first four and a half months, it is very reliable and evaluates the stability of the joints in real time. From four and a half months onwards, frontal X-ray pictures confirm a potentially serious or risky diagnosis. If, even if hip dysplasia is suspected, the X-ray turns out normal, then the diagnosis can also be determined by means of other radiation examinations like MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), scintigraphy or possibly CT (computer tomography).
The measures available for treatment are of orthopaedic as well as of surgical character. An orthopaedic treatment is mostly the first step; changing the newborn in a position as to keep the legs apart, or using orthopaedic aids as abduction pants that spread the baby’s thighs (von Rosen splint, Pavlik harness, and so on). If the diagnosis is made later, then the child is treated by means of an abduction plaster, i.e., putting the child in a cast on the affected side from foot to hip. The intention is to achieve the final ossification of the hip joint that occurs between the third and the sixth month in a position that is healthy for the hip joint. Thanks to all these aids and early detection measures, an operation (osteotomy of the pelvis and / or the femur) seldom becomes necessary.
If severe cases of CDH cannot be treated then the result is permanent damage of the hip joint. Effects include pain or walking dysfunctions like limping; during the final stage CDH can even lead to arthrosis of the hip joint. Less severe forms are not painful.
CARRYING IN THE ANATOMICALLY CORRECT NATURAL SITTING POSITION AS A PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE
Hip dysplasia occurs very often in the Mediterranean and in Scandinavia. In Germany for instance, hip dysplasia is with 4 % the most frequent congenital maldevelopment of the skeleton. In other parts of the world, however, particularly in China or Africa, it is largely unknown. This is, among other reasons, due to the carrying culture that exists in those countries, where peoples carry their children close to their body, in a position such that their legs are kept bent and spread, almost all day.
Since the sitting position that the baby assumes when carried in this way corresponds exactly with the spreading and bending that is achieved by the recommended orthopaedic aids here, we can safely assume that carrying a baby in this position, called the anatomically correct natural sitting position, is a good measure to prevent hip joint dysplasia.
What is the spread-squat-position, and is it important for my child to be in it? This question is discussed widely and this article aims clarify this matter.
When a child is born he / she is in a state of so-called total kyphosis (the back is rounded so much as to resemble the letter C). The child’s spine is still bent as it was in the womb. Even though the child’s hip joint already receives its final shape in the womb, it only matures after birth, since the cartilaginous matter of which the hip joint consists turns into bone over time.
HEALTH & NURTURE
The ERGObaby Carrier ensures carriage in the ergonomically correct spread-squat-position. This position avoids bruising the genitalia or straining the baby's spine, which can arise with baby carriers that do not guarantee a spread-squat-position. The ERGObaby Carrier is NOT designed for the front position with the baby facing outwards since, in this position, the spread-squat-position is not possible. The ERGObaby Carrier uses flexible, strong material to support your baby's body next to his parent ensuring close and direct body contact between the parent and child. This physical closeness is very important and the key to your child growing up to become a confident, open, and happy person.
WAYS OF CARRIAGE
The ERGObaby Carrier enables you to carry your child on your front, on your back, or on your hip. You and your child will enjoy freedom of movement as well as the closeness you both need and enjoy.
More than anything babies love body and eye contact with their mother. They want to be near the mother's warmth and smell - this makes them feel reassured and protected - which is very important for the baby's mental and social development.
As soon as the neck of your child is strong enough to support his head, your child can be carried on your back. When going for a walk, shopping, or hoovering at home - your child is near to you, soothed by your closeness, enjoying your company and safe. It gives you more freedom in your everyday life, and simultaneously strengthens your vital parent-child relationship.
This position is perfect for temporary carriage since your child can see everything and still enjoy close body contact.
The ERGObaby Carrier has been designed to support you and your child for a comfortable, secure, and healthy way of carriage. These are some important design features:
- The Ergo has no rigid frame, packs down to a small size and is lightweight
- Your child is supported in a comfortable sitting position, with padded support for his bum and legs all the way to his knees
- The ergonomically formed shoulder straps are comfortable and mould to the shape of your body
- The extra wide waist belt balances the weight of the child from the on the waist/hip and away from the shoulders
-The unique chest strap keeps your shoulder straps securely on your shoulders
- A zippered storage pouch on the carrier means you can store your keys and phone and really enjoy Hands-Free carrying
-The indispensible sleeping hood supports your child's head when sleeping in the ERGObaby Carrier
With products for babies and children, using harmless materials is vital. For this reason, all materials used in the ERGObaby Carrier and the accessories are tested regularly by independent testing centers. These tests always produce a very good result regarding the absence of contaminates and carcinogenic substances. Moreover, the ERGObaby Carrier has undergone a series of standardised tests.