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How to carry and position your baby

How to carry baby

Postural habits can influence the health of our spines as adults, so it is worth giving some thought to the day to day posture routines of your baby.

Day to Day Carrying

When carrying your baby in your arms, attempt to swap the side of your body that you carry your baby on regularly throughout the day. When swapping to the opposite side of your body, also attempt to position your infant in their mirror opposite position.  Swapping sides can take some getting used to (for both parent and baby) but may help minimise any one-sided repetitive stress on your baby’s spine and pelvis (and yours!).

Bottle Feeding

When bottle feeding your baby, attempt to vary the hold of your baby part way through each feed.  Feeding can make up a significant portion of a baby’s day so changing their position or swapping sides is a good way to vary your babies’ posture and may minimise one-sided head pressure (to reduce risk of flat head formation / Plagiocephaly).

Prams / Strollers and Rockers

When placing your baby in a sitting or semi-reclined position attempt to position their bottom in the centre of the seat (not shifted off to one side).  Try to ensure that your baby’s body is also centrally positioned (not leaning or shifting off to one side). If you baby’s body consistently leans to one side, you may wish to prop / straighten them up with a small folded towel or cushion. Similarly, if your infant’s head tends to lean over to the same side each time despite trying to re-position them you may gently bring their head into a more level position with a small folded towel or cushion. NB: Do not use padded supports like towels or cushions when your baby is sleeping due to risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). I also cannot endorse the use of additional padding or support when your baby is in their car seat whilst driving due to the unknown potential risk during a motor vehicle accident.

I hope you found this information helpful. Please feel free to share it with anyone you feel may benefit.  If you have any questions on this topic please do not hesitate to contact us at Sure Start Health Unley, Adelaide.

Disclaimer:   The information in this article is general in nature and is not intended as a substitute for professional help or advice.  Neither Sure Start Chiropractic nor any of its practitioners assume any responsibility for harm or injury to anyone who uses the information, or damage to any equipment. If you or your child appears to be in pain or discomfort stop the activity and consider discussing this with a spine health professional.