Baby carriers are fantastic, until they are not...and your back, neck and shoulders are KILLING you.
Here are some common mistakes:
The most common issue I see with baby carriers is that they are worn too loosely. A loose hip strap sits on the lower back and dips down toward the pubic bone instead of sitting on the hips, pinching into the lower back. Then, the shoulder straps being too loose keeps the baby's weight too far off your center of gravity.
This causes the hips to jut forward, low back to arch, shoulders to pitch backwards (creating even more low back arch) and chin to jut forward which you can see here:
OR, we lean too far forward to get out of the sway back and the shoulders roll forward and chin juts forward too, as in this photo:
Check that your hip strap (Ergo) and belly band (Moby) is tight enough and in the right location. It should rest on your front hip bones and at the base of your spine (not cutting into your lower back). With the moby, make sure you're wrapping the hips as well as your belly so you're not creating a juice-box situation with your pelvic floor. 😊
Check that your shoulders straps are tight enough. The baby should sit high on your chest, in the same position where you would (ideally) hold them if you didn't have them in a carrier. You should be able to kiss the top of their head without having to crane. Obviously Aidan is a lot bigger in these photos, but you can see how high he sits when the carrier is correct. (And I still use this carrier on hikes!)
Lean forward just slightly to keep the hips and pelvis aligned, and stay slightly engaged in your core if you're standing for long periods of time. If you get tired or your back / neck / shoulders start to hurt, take a rest! I know you can't always take the baby off when you get tired (especially if they are sleeping!), so recline back in a chair propped with pillows, sit down with your knees apart at the edge of a chair, or scoot all the way back on a chair with a back and knees wide to relax.
When you're done carrying the baby, take a child's pose, a forward bend to release your hips and a chest stretch to release your shoulders.
Try these modifications out, and let us know what you think in the comments below! Ready to learn all about how your lifestyle could be helping (or hurting) your pelvic floor and core strength? Join the next 8-week Postpartum Repair & Restore Live Training!