When looking up positions for a newborn in a sling, we often see the cradle carry as an example.
Today I would like to talk about why babywearing consultants usually don‘t recommend the cradle carry and favor the upright position which is also possible in a ringsling.
One of the babywearing basics is to always secure a free breath of the baby. We don’t want the chin sacking onto the breast and we don‘t want any CO2 nests around the baby‘s face.
In a well done cradle carry, the baby is usually in a ok-ish position. The back is rounded, it lies securely between the fabric and the way to breath is free.
However, as soon as the cradle carry isn‘t done well, it becomes very dangerous.
Above all, in 2010 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warned about two pouches which were made to carry the babies in the cradle position after three babies died in them.
However, there are even more points why we try not to use the cradle position:
- Firstly, the fabric at the side is pressing against the hip of the baby. This is reducing the positive effect on the hip-ripening which is happening in the spread-squat position.
- When in an upright position, the intervertebral disc can absorb impacts on the spine (when the person who carries the baby is walking). Therefore, when in the cradle position, impacts get through unhindered.
- If a ring sling is used which is tightened at one side, this is usually the position where the head of the baby lies. So, here is a risk that there is a pull on the cervical spine which can damage the back or the spine.
In short, if you wear your baby in the cradle carry, always make sure that it can breathe freely.
Cradle carry was once very common and probably didn’t hurt most of the babies. It probably won’t hurt yours too!
If you have the possibility, don’t wear your baby in the cradle position for a long time. If you own a ring sling, you can change positions from time to time.