7 tips to prevent back pain from baby wearing
So you’re sold on all the benefits of wearing your baby, but how can you avoid straining your back when you’re carrying around a human bowling ball all day? Try these tips…
Baby wearing has a long list of benefits: it reduces crying, improves sleep, promotes learning and frees up mama’s hands to get other stuff done. (For more, read The Benefits of Babywearing).
But if you suffered from lower back pain during pregnancy, it may still feel tender and you could be wary of carrying around a 10-pound weight strapped to your chest for hours at a time. The last thing you need is to blow out your back when you have a newborn!
While there aren’t any official guidelines regarding the maximum number of hours per day that you should wear your baby, you should scale it back as soon as you start to experience any discomfort. The following tips can also help to keep back pain at bay:
- When wearing your baby on your front, wear them as high as possible (so that you can kiss the top of their head) to reduce the strain on your back.
- Tighten the carrier so that your baby is as close to your body as possible. A carrier that’s too loose will increase pressure on your lower back.
- If you’re using a soft structured carrier (SSC) like the Ergobaby, make sure to use the waistband and tighten it adequately over your hips to ensure that you’re carrying your baby’s weight on your hips rather than on your back.
- Make sure the shoulder straps of your SSC are tightened sufficiently and evenly.
- When your child reaches approximately six months or 20 pounds, it’s time to switch to back wearing. Wearing a baby that’s too heavy on your front can cause lower back pain.
- Wearing your baby in a forward-facing position on your front can cause stress on your lower back and pelvic floor, leading to back pain, urinary incontinence and other issues. This is another reason to consider back wearing when your baby is old enough and can hold their head up on their own.
- If you have a history of back pain, you can still wear your baby. You’ll need to choose a carrier that distributes your baby’s weight evenly across your hips and shoulders. It’s also a good idea to see a physiotherapist to get the green light to wear your baby and ensure that you’re doing it correctly.