Carrying baby forward facing is "cruel"

[deleted account] ( 29 moms have responded )

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This professor says that carrying your baby forward facing in a carrier or stroller is "cruel." She says it's scary for baby to be over stimulated like that (think about walking into a crowded mall).

I always thought that forward facing carriers were bad for baby's spine/hip developement so I never used them. I do love my Ergo carrier and Moby wrap, both I use with baby facing me. We have a stroller as well that we use with my oldest (and have for a while). Sometimes it's way too hot to wear baby.

Do you have a forward facing carrier? Thoughts on this?

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[deleted account]

A predisposition to spinal issues is somewhat easy to assess, because it's often genetic. If you haven't got a family history of spinal issues, the likelihood of your baby having any would be slim. That being said, I know of a child who does have curvature of the spine that is NOT genetic. It is actually twisted in two directions, but her mother knew that this could happen because she was told after giving birth. There were complications (and an idiot OB attending) during the delivery and after the baby was born the doctor told the mother that there may be issues in the future.

Also, with ultrasounds as advanced as they are these days, one of the things they check during the 18 wk scan is spinal health.

[deleted account]

I saw this "study" a while back and it made laugh! My second reaction is that she mustn't have kids.

Both my babies were carried from the day they were born. I used a Bjorn with my first and Ergo with my second. They were carried until they were about 2. My eldest cuddled facing me until about 6 months, when he realised there was more to see than my ugly mug. He would fuss facing me, turn him around and voila, happy chappy! I never used a stroller or pram, because he hated staring at people's knees and wanted to actually see things. He's a sensitive soul and very attached to me, but as long as he was secure in the carrier, he'd happily chat with anyone!

My second child was pretty much the same, except the ergo doesn't forward face. He was constantly craning his neck around too see, so I ended up going back to the Bjorn for times he wanted to look around.

I disagree that it's difficult to turn a baby around quickly in a carrier, when they get overstimulated. I would put money that I could take a FF baby out, turn around and settle before a person could get their baby out of a pram. It would take me three quick hand movements (click, flip, click) and cuddle.

As for spine development, you aren't supposed to forward face in a carrier before a baby has good head control, so far from being a newborn. My boys are both spine healthy and were carried for years in a FF carrier! Sure, it could happen to a child that was FF too early, being carried by a really large person the wrong way (I have actually seen an obese man wearing his baby down on his stomach! Poor baby was doing a backbend!) or if the child has a predisposition to spinal issues.

[deleted account]

Keli, that's a whole new thread lol. You should want to keep your child rear facing in a car seat for as long as you possibly can because that's the safest way. Him being able to see more things shouldn't be a priority over safety. By carrier in the OP, she's talking about baby wearing where the carrier is strapped to your body.

Janice - posted on 09/06/2011

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Well she could see out to the side if her head was completely turned but majority of her view was obstructed by me. She wasn't tall enough to see over my shoulder. And I don't know about you but holding my head all the way to the side for long periods is uncomfortable.

Janice - posted on 09/03/2011

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Well of course newborns should be facing in to best support their bodies but after a few months many infants prefer to look around. One of the reasons my hubby and I didn't like our ergo is the fact that we bought it for hiking and our 6-8 month old could only face in and she wanted to see the world. If an infant is scared or over stimulated they will cry. We had other issues with our Ergo and by the end of the summer our dd was 10 mo. and we had bought a cheap forward facing carrier which we all loved. Carrying a baby (except newborns) facing forward isn't cruel making them stare at nothing when they could be seeing the world is cruel.

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♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/15/2011

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Donna, thanks. I was worried about my 7 year old when she was a baby and still am because her paternal grandmother has scoliosis and needed rods put in her back and her father also has a slight curving in his spine. I'm adopted so I don't know much about my genetic history. So far my 7 year old is doing fine.

My 7 month old has a different father and his family is relatively healthy (my FIL smokes too much and drinks too much, but he also has a job so yay) and there are no spinal issues. Although my DH's maternal grandma does have Alzheimers, but there aren't enough studies to show if that's genetic or not.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/14/2011

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I want to laugh at that professor. Seriously I think I'll read that study to my husband when he wakes up from his extended nap so he can have a laugh as well.

My 7 month old hasn't had the carrier in her stroller since she was 3 months because she wants to keep looking around at her environment. I use the Baby Katan for her as well and ever since she figured out how to sit up last month Lilli just wants to be able to see so we have to do the explore position. We even have bottle time AND boob time because there are certain times of the day when she's hungry, but she wants to see what's going on as well and she can't do that in the same position that she breastfeeds. Plus all the twisting hurts mommy's nipple.

The only time I've noticed Lilli to be scared is when I set her in her excersaucer in the front room and go down the hall to the laundry room to change the wash around. She can't see me and she gets upset.

[deleted account]

How old is this woman talking?



Before 6 months, my son lied flat in a pram that faced us, or I wore him in a pocket sling facing me.



After 6 months, our "travel system" converted into a pushchair facing outwards, and now I usually wear him on my hip.



He loves looking around! If our pushchair faced in, he would be staring at my crotch?

Tanya - posted on 10/13/2011

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But how would you know if your child had a predisposition to spinal issues? I just wouldn't want to take the risk. I'm quite sure that FFing for short periods isn't going to do any harm, but since my son has never complained about the way I carry him (he's 17 months now), there's no reason for me to even bother with it.

Tinker1987 - posted on 10/10/2011

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Oh well i didnt look at the actual link,and i never said it was priority to me to put my son in danger. he is still Rear Facing,as for carrier strapped to your body i still dont see why its cruel. my baby was always curious and liked facing forward in strollers.

Tinker1987 - posted on 10/10/2011

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i dont see it being cruel at all. i think it would be more ineresting then staring at the back of a seat the whole time. i cant wait until i can turn my sons seat forward.

[deleted account]

I don't think that it is cruel. My son was a very curious and loved being able to "see" the world. We had a baby carrier but he didn't like it because he was confined and would fuss until we took him out (he never liked swaddling either) He was more then content to lay or sit in a front facing carriage. He had a little more freedom to move around that way and could still peep out at his surroundings (strapped in of course!!)

Tanya - posted on 09/06/2011

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Hm...Janice, not sure why your baby couldn't see out in the Ergo. My little guy has been in wraps, a ring sling, Ergo, Boba, Infantino Balance, and Babyhawk, and he has always been able to see things!

Julianne - posted on 09/06/2011

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it depends on the child. my oldest HATED not being able to see out. She hated breastfeeding for the same reason. she wanted to see, to look, to be free. she would scream and toss and cry if she had to be held facing in.

Christina - posted on 09/02/2011

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If it's "cruel" it would make the baby cry. That usually would cut the trip short, if nothing else. If baby is happy why worry?

Mary Renee - posted on 09/01/2011

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Hehe, I beg to differ that you can't turn them around in a carrier in a second... it's not like they're locked in there for a half an hour! You can easily take them out and turn them around in less than thirty seconds if you need to, at least in the carrier I had... not that much different than turning them around in your lap, only this way you can move around and your hands are free.



I guess the main issue I have with this is the word "cruel." Leaving a baby in their crib, playpen, or high chair for long periods of time so you can get chores done is "cruel." Carrying your baby, whether it be in a carrier, wrap, or by hand, whether they are forward facing or not... is a loving act. With all the things parents have to worry about, facing forward carriers and strollers is the LAST thing they need to add to that list.

[deleted account]

When my baby was six months i had her in a regular stroller didnt seem to overwhelm her she seemed to enjoy it. I dont know im sure you can tell by your baby's reaction whether or not they are ready. . . But yea ive never heard anyone say that before.

Tanya - posted on 09/01/2011

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For short periods, yes they do Mary. Holding them on your arm facing down is usually for tummy pain, though. If you have been cuddling them and they are overwhelmed, then a change of scenery by facing them out could work. Also, newborns can't see very far, so facing them out could actually be LESS stimulation at some times.

But, if you are holding your baby on your lap, you can turn them around in a split second if they want to be. When they're in a carrier, they are on their own.

I don't think it's totally damaging (stimulation-wise) to have them facing out in a carrier for short periods. I'm way more concerned about their spine and hip development, as well as comfort for both mom and baby! I don't know how anybody can carry a baby over 10 lbs. in those types of carriers!

Mary Renee - posted on 08/31/2011

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I don't know, I took a prepared-parenting class when I was pregnant and they specifically told us that babies enjoy facing out in order to get stimulation and talked about sometimes the best way to calm a fussy baby is to hold them on your lap facing out, or on your arm, tummy down, looking out or facing the floor.

Tanya - posted on 08/31/2011

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In ancient times, they carried babies the natural way, facing in to them or on their backs...

Mary Renee - posted on 08/31/2011

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I personally think your professor is ridiculous as my daughter LOVED to be forward facing. She actually much much preferred it. For the first 6 months, she faced me in both the stroller and the carrier. The stroller was a travel system so I just put her carseat in the stroller facing me.



When she was 6 months and we tried out the carrier forward facing (it was made for both an 6 month/good head control were the guidelines) she LOVED it! She loved looking at everything. I think the idea of "kangaroo care" and the benefit of holding your child is just that... you're holding them. They can feel your skin, they know you're close. I think being forward facing in a carrier is better than being bored at home because someone is afraid of stimulating a baby (am I mistaken, because I thought we were SUPPOSED to stimulate the babies as under-stimulated babies were shown to grow more slowly and sometimes stagnate)



I understand not wanting your child to be over stimulated by television or flashing lights or whatever... but by a walk outside in the fresh air with plenty of birds and trees and leaves and other babies in strollers to look at? That's ridiculous. The over-stimulation argument doesn't even make any sense... what do you think they did in the ancient times with man was nomadic or spent a great deal of time outside? Cover the babies eyes in a blindfold? No way. I'm sorry, the idea that forward facing strollers and carriers are cruel is just laughable to me. Maybe if the child has a sensory integration disorder or is on the autism spectrum, but for regular kids I don't see forward facing as an issue at all.

Kelina - posted on 08/31/2011

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Do you know what I think? I think all this crap about psychology is just that-CRAP! I think we have so many people who calim mental problems and stuff like that because we tell them it's wrong to spank, it's wrong to let your kids cry it out, and now it's wrong to not let your hild see you! baloney! My daughter loves her forward facing carrier and screams more when she's facing me cause she can't see anything. Are we scarring our children putting them in rearfacing seats because they can't see us? No! People today overthink things. OMG we're scarring our kids cause of the way they face in their stroller *gasp*. I'm a terrible parent! *roll eyes* i can't stand things like this!

Tanya - posted on 08/31/2011

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Brittany, when they are on your hip, or on your back, they can easily hide their face against you. Facing out doesn't allow them to do that.

My little guy is either on my front facing in, on my back, or on my hip, wherever we go. He gets to see everything he wants to, but he can also cuddle when he needs to.

[deleted account]

My carrier works both ways. Most of the time she was facing me or my husband (depending on who she was strapped to). But there would be times that we'd face her outward (like at the zoo). I don't see it as being cruel at all. It gives them a chance to see their enviroment. More over how is forward facing any different than resting on mom's hip?

We used the infant seat in our stroller up until my daughter was about 7-8 months old. That made it so that she was facing us that entire time.

Rebecca - posted on 08/23/2011

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all I can say is... what the hell, most baby carriers dont have the otion to turn around until they are old enough to hold their head and can handle the stimulation anyway. How is having them facing outwards any different from a pram facing away from you as well and they can see everything coming towards them??

Tanya - posted on 08/23/2011

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When I was pregnant with my second, I was looking for a reversible stroller. I did manage to find one secondhand for $40 in great condition, but that was a rarity! Most are hundreds of dollars, new OR secondhand! I didn't get it, because my partner at the time decided to surprise me with one (which I never used, because I couldn't stand to put him in the stroller lol).

I just got a jogging stroller that flips. I got it secondhand for $50, after a few months of looking!

[deleted account]

Yes, I agree. I guess the part that struck me the most was the stroller thing. Most strollers face outward. We just got a new stroller that's pretty neat though. We can move the seats to all kind of different positions, including turning them around (it's a double stroller). I live in Texas and it's too stinking hot to carry my 5 week old if we're doing something outside.

Tanya - posted on 08/23/2011

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I could never wear my baby like that. I think it would be uncomfortable for both of us, and having them facing ONLY the world like that seems very odd to me.


I wouldn't say it's "cruel", but I think it's much better to have them facing you, on your back, or on your hip. I just think it looks to strange for this baby to be suspended by their crotch, looking like the mermaid on the front of a ship!

The spinal/hip development is a huge thing for me, too. Especially since I have scoliosis, I want my kids to have healthy spines!

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