First, let us go over exactly what a “crotch dangler” is. It is a baby carrier that has a short piece of material in between the leg holes that the baby sits in. When the piece is short, almost mimicking a set of underwear, your baby’s legs hang straight through. Apparently this is a huge point of contention in the baby wearing community because some experts claim that this position is not healthy for the baby. A more natural position is the “v” or “frog” position (basically the way your baby sits when you are carrying him/her on your hip).
So we should go over the evidence first. According to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (yea, I didn’t know that existed either) healthy spine and hip development stems from a natural frog-like leg positioning. Having closed legs and sitting in a carrier, car seat or wrap does not promote healthy development. Now, there really isn’t much in the way of definitive medical proof that shows where a baby carrier has CAUSED hip dysplasia. However, an independent study done by a professional and father uncovered that improper baby wearing can exacerbate and even accelerate problems caused in children who already have it. Essentially, about two in every 1000 kids has hip dysplasia and even in its mildest form improper baby wearing is not a good idea. The article also mentions that even though a lot of pediatricians will check for hip problems, many children go undiagnosed with hip dyspasia.
While it may not cause long term damage, “crotch danglers” do NOT promote healthy hip and spine development.
What about the Mo+m Carrier?
Another reason why I absolutely love this carrier is because it has an ergonomic design. It supports your baby’s thighs and presses him/her against your body as if he/she were naturally being held. Natural frog position and all. The design of the Mo+m Carrier creates a seat for your baby’s bottom which keeps a good and healthy curve in the spine.
Well, now that we got all that technical, sciency stuff out of the way, why else is it good?
I like the way this type of baby carrier holds the baby against your body. It feels more natural, providing a real physical connection between you and your baby. Rather than having some contraption or apparatus that makes it convenient for you to lug your little one around, this allows you to actually….well…..wear your baby. Think about primitive man. Cave women had no carriers, no buggies, no play pens. On top of all that, baby couldn’t launch into a crying fit or else the whole family could be eaten by a sabertooth tiger. So, momma Ugh-Ook (my cavewoman name I guess) had to keep baby close to her at all times, holding her and just figuring out how to do all the cooking and cleaning with one hand (haven’t we all been there?). In the demanding new era, where technology rules yet we still manage to create great divides between us and real human interaction, we’ve become a bit more detached from our children than our ancestors. In my humble and honest opinion, carriers like the Mo+m Carrier let us get a little bit of that primitive parenting closeness back.
So where is all this contention coming from?
It is simple really. Proper baby wearing doesn’t allow for facing out. I know, it is tragic. We have this idea in our heads that our babies would love to be able to see the world (and many of them do). Somehow by not allowing for facing out carrying we are depriving them of stimulation that they would otherwise enjoy. This is unfortunate, I do agree. But rarely are things perfect and I feel like if it was truly an important issue someone would have designed some strange carseat shaped contraption that you could strap to your chest and carry your baby around in. I say relish the opportunity to walk around and still have your precious baby close, constantly hugging onto you like a little koala in a Eucalyptus tree. Cuz one day, it won’t be like that anymore.
One Parent Consensus?
The Mo+m Carrier is the best thing since sliced bread. Cheers.