Holding your baby is one of the true joys in life. And when they’re tiny and new, you feel like you’ll be able to hold them forever. Even as they grow, you take these opportunities when they come because you know that time is fleeting and there’s nothing better than soaking in those sweet baby snuggles. But over time, carrying your little one gets more and more difficult. Your body may start to protest against your parent-baby bonding time. Back pain is a common occurrence among caregivers who spend hours a day lifting and carrying their little ones. But a 30-pound toddler doesn’t care about all that, they just want to be with you. Can it be prevented?
We know you want to be able to carry your baby without feeling the discomfort of back pain. Here we have tips to help you, as well as an ingenious product from TushBaby that will allow you to keep holding your little one while staying pain-free.
Why You Can’t Keep Carrying Your Baby When it Hurts
So many parents continue to hold and carry their babies even when feeling their own discomfort. That’s because it’s normal to want to give your baby what you know is best for them—lots of love and closeness. But staying healthy as a parent is just as important. The truth is that minor pain can turn into something major if you don’t take care of it.
Ignoring pain to put your baby first isn’t a smart move.
Now is the time to figure out what you can do to eliminate your pain so you can comfortably care for your child for years to come. If reading this is giving way to fear that you won’t be able to hold your baby anymore as they get bigger, that’s not the case!
Read on, because the fixes are a lot simpler than you’d think.
Solutions to Carrying Your Baby Without Back Pain
Carrying your baby and back pain DO NOT have to be synonymous. It’s not just a “par for the course” type of deal. If your back is hurting from carrying your baby, something needs to change.
Here are 4 preventative tips to help you keep your baby close while also keeping a healthy body.
1. Get a Carrier for Your Baby
With all the gear you register for before the baby comes, a carrier should be one of the top items on your list. After feeding, clothing, and diapering essentials are covered, you’ll need to figure out a way to carry your baby while also saving your back. Tiny babies may be easy to carry, but news flash, they grow. Even the littlest babies sometimes refuse to be anywhere but on you, and having a carrier to wear them in can be a lot more comfortable and soothing for both of you. Check out our article, “Best Baby Carriers: Our 5 Favorites of 2020,” to see our top recommendations. It includes our favorite from TushBaby and below we’ll go in depth about why it’s the best carrier to save your back.
We know you won’t put a baby in a carrier every time you want to hold them, but when it’s going to last longer than a few minutes, it’s our best suggestion for saving your back.
2. Follow Safe Lifting Practices
Once your baby is past the newborn stage, picking them up qualifies as “heavy lifting.” Meaning, you have to be careful! Some of the nagging discomfort you feel in your back originates from how you lift your baby. When you’re in a hurry, or your toddler won’t stop pulling on your shirt crying out for “Mama!!,” it’s common to pick your baby in the quickest way possible. This often leads to straining your muscles and irritating your joints through improper lifting. It won’t be long before that repetitive motion can cause discomfort. Be sure you’re using these safe practices when lifting up your baby to carry them:
- Bend your knees, then lift with your legs
- Keep your back straight
- Feet should be about hip width apart
- Keep your baby close to your chest
Even when you use a baby carrier, you’ll have to lift your baby to put them in it. Use these steps to make the whole process safe and comfortable.
3. Strengthen Your Core and Back
Your abdominal muscles and back muscles work in tandem to keep your core strong. (And no, this isn’t about getting a rock hard beach body.) Continuing to strengthen these large muscles will help you to keep carrying and lifting your baby without pain. There are many classes or at-home videos you can do to keep your body strong. Yoga and pilates, for example, are great forms of exercise to strengthen your core and back. The other benefit to this is the energy you’ll gain...which is necessary for keeping up with a busy toddler.
4. Keep Proper Posture
Slouching or hunching over while you carry your baby is only going to make your back pain worse. This puts a lot of stress on the spine and can contribute to neck pain and headaches, as well. Make sure that when you’re holding your baby, or anytime rather, you are working to keep your body in a straight line. Spine-health.com explains it as, “it should be possible to draw a straight line from the earlobe, through the shoulder, hip, knee, and into the middle of the ankle.” You always wanted to be taller, anyway, right?!
How Using a TushBaby Hip Carrier Will Help You Save Your Back
If we could hold our babies across our arms forever, we probably would. But try doing that with a 2-year-old and see if you can last longer than a few minutes before your arms turn to jelly.
But this age group still loves to be held and cuddled. Which leaves us with the method of carrying them on one hip. Look around...if a baby is being carried without a carrier, that’s how it’s done. This article from Muir Orthopaedic Specialists actually recommends that caregivers avoid carrying children on their hips. But we all do it because it’s the simplest way. Is there a way to carry our babies on our hips without complete back overload?
The TushBaby Hip Carrier is the perfect solution.
There are a wide variety of carriers to choose from and most of them will help alleviate back pain. Unfortunately, most carriers require you to pull out all the stops to adjust your baby “just so” to get them strapped in tightly, safely, and comfortably. Which means good luck to your little one if they want to get out.
With TushBaby, this is not the case. This hip carrier doesn’t require you to strap your baby in at all (you’ll simply wrap an arm around them for safety and love). We’ve seen enough babies to know that once they’ve figured out how to be on the move, rarely do they want to have that freedom taken away. But then they decide they want to be right back with you. That’s the nature of our favorite little humans. TushBaby lets you pick up your kids and put them back down without any of the strain.
So, how does TushBaby work and how will it prevent back pain?
Think of TushBaby as a fanny pack, but better. The plush pad velcros tightly high around your waist and has a specially designed seat that perfectly fits your baby’s little tush. Because of the lumbar support it provides, you don’t feel any of the strain you normally would from hip carrying your baby. The addition of tons of nooks and crannies to store all your essentials means you don’t have to carry any extra heavy bags, either.
It’s been given the seal of approval by chiropractor, Dr. Cruz, as he states:
“TushBaby is the perfect product for reducing the muscular strain on the spine while holding young children. Its ergonomic design eliminates the detrimental position parents resort to while carrying their kids—where they push their hips out and curve their spines.”
And you might be wondering, is it safe for babies? 100% yes. TushBaby is approved by pediatricians as a completely safe way to carry your little ones.
Up, down, up, down a million times over is the name of the game with a toddler. Exploration is their lifeline, but so are you. Being able to have a way to safely carry your little one and put them down at a moment’s notice is the convenience you need. Up until now you may have been putting your back in harm’s way to give your child(ren) this opportunity, but hip carrying with a TushBaby means you won’t have to anymore.