Avoid lower back discomfort when using your Snuggle Bug.

More insights from Steph (Baby Carriers Downunder), “everybody’s ability to bear weight is different. Babywearing in a great carrier distributes the weight well, but always consider your own needs while baby wearing. If your body is telling you enough is enough: listen. Especially after pregnancy when your body is still readjusting, there’s nothing wrong with putting the sling down for awhile and enjoying your baby on the couch. There’s also nothing wrong with exploring the world together with the pram if that’s what your body is telling you.

However, pain in the lower back is often a fixable issue. In my experience it can come from two or three particular problems.

The first problem is unevenness in the distribution of weight. If you’ve been using a lot of hip/one sided carries, this may cause you some pain if you’ve been at it too long. Either change sides or change to something with a better distribution: or snuggle sitting down if you can. It’s OK to take a break.

Lower back pain can also be caused by a front carry that is too low on the wearer’s body. If you’ve ever been pregnant, you’ll remember that 9 months’ pregnant belly everyone told you was so beautiful. It was! But having all that weight out the front of your body and down low commonly causes back pain. It’s the same in baby wearing. Try retieing your carrier higher or a back carry. Remember the baby should be held to you firmly, not loosely or slumped down. A nice smooth curve to the child’s back is what you’re aiming for”.

Are you carrying correctly?

Steph from Baby Carriers Downunder says, “Pain in the neck and shoulders may mean your baby is too low: is your baby in the “zone”? In a front carry, if you can kiss your baby merely by tilting your head slightly, the baby is high enough. Ideally a baby should be sitting just above or in line with your navel, although smaller babies need to be higher and larger children often need to be lower. In a back carry, very small babies need to be very high up, right at the nape of your neck. As a very rough rule-of-thumb with older babies (4 months+)/toddlers, start high and move downwards until you find a comfortable spot for you.  In the picture, the sleeping baby is only a few centimetres from the wearers’ chin. Aim for high and comfortable!

– Pain in the neck and shoulders can also be caused by the baby being too loosely held by the carrier allowing them to “lean” away from you. You should be able to fit a hand between you and your baby, but not much more than that. If this is the problem, your top straps in a buckle carrier or mei tai may be too loose or the top rail in your wrap may be too loose. Retightening will reduce a lot of the pain”.

Wraps are healthy, versatile and used all over the world

The Baby Wearing Institute are.. “parents and babywearing fanatics who have decades of experience”

They say, “Wraps seem to be the most versatile carriers on the market. They are individually adjustable and, with hands on instructions, learned quite quickly and correctly. If used properly, a wrap will always support your child in the correct healthy spread squatting position, regardless of being worn in front, back, or on your hip. Wraps are probably the most classic carrier that are used in many cultures around the world and come under many different names depending on the culture using them. Wraps are best used with upright carrying only!”

Go to: Baby Carriers 101 for more.