One of the really nice things about being sponsored by BabyBjorn is that I don’t lose much sleep over recommending their products. The design and manufacturing are such that I just don’t have to worry about some nightmare Sigg bottle story cropping up and crashing what little good name we have.
I really only had one lingering worry about BabyBjorn, and it’s one I think is probably shared by many parents. It seems like I had heard vague rumblings and rumors that carrying infants in front carriers might be bad for their hips and legs. I’m not sure I ever saw a study or heard a specific claim, but it’s the kind of thing you might hear from somebody who is a real sling fanatic (I’m not anti-sling, we used one on occasion). I just had a nagging worry that front carriers might have some negative effect.
To address this issue BabyBjorn invited Dr, Amanda Weiss-Kelly, a pediatric sports medicine specialist (among other things) at the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland to come to the ABC Kids Expo in Vegas to deliver a talk.
Her first topic, after giving some background on what the amazing Rainbow Babies, was typical hip and spine concerns among newborns and infants. The more prevalent is developmental dysplasia. Yes, dysplasia is not just for German Shepherds any more. I know this first hand because my eldest, Bubba, was a preemie and had a bit of dysplasia. For preemies, sometimes the hip joint has not completely closed at birth and this can become an issue. Bubba’s hip had closed by the time of his follow up visit, so he did not require therapy or treatment.
Dr. Weiss-Kelly did a good job of describing what that treatment would have been: a harness that held the baby in a position that kept both legs flexed and abducted — that is slightly bent and open. She put a slide of the harness up on the screen — and to my highly untrained and unmedical eye — it looked a lot like a BabyBjorn baby carrier. The position was very similar.