We get asked this a lot, in fact, daily – if our Japhethchiara baby carriers can be used for front-facing.
Truthfully? Yes, there is a way to do that. But do we recommend it? No.
And here is a blog post on why we do not recommend it.
The list goes on and on, but we will name the top FOUR reasons to keep this short, simple, and easy to digest!
#1 It does not provide support for your babies’ legs.
The upper legs of your baby should be pulled up to hip level, if not higher. And this is possible only when the fabric of a baby carrier covers the whole back of the thigh to the backside of the baby’s knee. Have you noticed that when your baby is facing forward with legs unsupported, his legs are just dangling, and his spine and hips are also unsupported? They are not really “sitting” in the carrier anymore but are held in a pulled-up/ or rather “suspended” position?
image1&2 – akin to being held in a suspended position.
#2 It is tough for you, the wearer, to carry your baby – and importantly, it’s not comfortable for your back.
When we carry the baby facing us, it embraces our body. When we carry the baby facing away (forward-facing), it’s akin to carrying a load that curves away from our body. If you could imagine, the wearer with a front-facing baby has an awkward load and often ends up arching her back. Babies’ bodies are naturally adapted to being carried facing you.
#3 It does not provide head or neck support.
A baby’s neck and head must be supported when they fall asleep. When a baby embraces his mother and faces inward, he instinctively leans on her chest. The US Consumer Products Safety Commission recently passed a law that the warning labels of forward-facing carriers must state that babies should not face out until adequate head/neck control is achieved. However, the law neglects to mention that sleeping infants don’t have control of their necks or heads while sleeping.
#4 It places undue pressure on the babies’ groin area.
Front-facing can be similar to being held in a suspended position. And being suspended by their most sensitive parts is not ideal for babies, especially little boys.
Here is a clearer idea of what a recommended position looks like, as seen below:
All in all?
Front-facing out carry position is one of the most common controversies in babywearing. Opinions are very divided among manufacturers, babywearing consultants, and parents. We are not here to say it is not recommended to all carriers (some carriers support front-facing, and if you’d like to know more about them – we will input the link here for you to read more on.)
But if you ask us if we do recommend it for our Japhethchiara baby carrier? We’d say no, we don’t.