If you are searching for information about outward facing carry position, you are in the right place. In this article you can find all you need to know about outwards facing babywearing
- What is facing outward position?
- Is facing outward position good or wrong?
- Is front facing world carry position ergonomic?
- Is it safe to carry baby facing out?
- Is facing out babywearing comfortable to the wearer?
- What are the best facing outward baby carriers?
- What are the alternatives to the facing the world carry?
Those and other frequently asked questions concerning the outward facing carry position are answer for you by your babywearing consultants.
What is the Facing Out Position?
The facing out position, also called facing outward is a front carry position where a baby is held with their backs to the person who is carrying them, facing the world, rather than facing the wearer.
What's all the fuss about? Is facing outward position good or wrong?
Front facing out carry position is one of the most common controversies in the babywearing world. Opinions are very divided among manufacturers, babywearing consultants and parents.
Facing the world carry: Our babywearing experts opinion.
We have a long experience in babywearing world (over 10 years) and two babywearing consultants in our team. When we started in 2010, we were totally opposed to front outward facing babywearing. Why? Because most of the baby carriers at that time ware not ergonomic in this particular position. Let's take a look at an example. Please take a close look at the photo below.
Why this baby carrier with facing out position is not recommend?
The baby is not seating in an ergonomic hip-healthy position:
- legs are not properly supported, but dangling
- baby is supported by the crotch
- pelvis is not tilted
- child can not bent his hips and knees to maintain more ergonomic position, healthier for developing hip joints.
- baby’s back is straight (the pelvis forces baby to straighten his spine unnaturally)
The baby carriers evolved in the last decade, as so our opinion about front facing the world carry. The new generation carriers emerged, offering an ergonomic front facing out position. This is why we’ve changed our mind over the time. Today, in 2020, we consider the front facing out position is a designed for this purpose ergonomic carrier is completely fine as long as you follow certain rules.
Who is saying the facing out position is wrong?
It is worth to take a closer look at who is still against the front facing out babywearing. From our experience these are :
- the manufacturers and sellers who do not offer this particulate carry position. For example Boba with it’s famous: Nine Reasons Not to Carry Your Baby Facing Out. This article was published, republished and rewritten many times all over the web. But how reliable can they be?
- The bloggers that have taken up old arguments often based on photos of old baby carriers like the one above.
- Extremists of babywearing world that are consider baby wraps as the best, one and only ergonomic carrier to practice ergonomic babywearing. These have often hard time to accept the alternatives: SSC for newborns and those baby carriers with facing out option.
Who is saying the facing our position is just fine?
- The International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI) acknowledges baby carrier in order to recognise products that encourage healthy hip development. Here is the list of baby carrier that may approved hip healthy. As you can see, you can find on this list all baby carriers mentioned in this article.
- Many babywearing experts among them us.
When facing out position is ergonomic?
It is slightly more difficult to seat a baby in an ergonomic way in facing the world position, but with a right carrier it is completely doable.
Let’s take a look at the picture which presents an ergonomic baby carrier with facing out position.
Check list for ergonomic outward facing babywearing:
- legs are properly supported from knee to knee, no dangling
- baby is supported by the thighs
- knees tucked up higher than their hips
- pelvis is tilted
- back is slightly round
How to make sure baby is setting in an ergonomic position?
Check that the carrier supports your baby’s bottom and thighs fully across their seated width, from the back of one knee to the back of the other. Then make sure that your baby is seating with the pelvis tilted and the knees tucked up higher than the hips. If it is not the case perform the pelvic tuck or scoop.
If you want to learn more about ergonomic carriers we invite you to read the following article: What Is An Ergonomic Baby Carrier ?
Is front facing outwards position safe?
To our knowledge, there are no researches available that confirm that carrying your baby facing outwards in a dedicated for it baby carrier can cause any harm. There are simply couple of safety rules that need to be followed.
Safety rules for facing out babywearing
- Make sure that your little one is ready for this particular position. Newborn babies under 3 months old should not be carried in this position as they do not have sufficient neck control to support their own head.
- If there is any concern that your baby may have hip dyspepsia or other hip development issues, then you may wish to be more cautious as it’s harder to get optimum hip support when outwards facing.
- It is recommended to carry in a world facing position only for shorter periods of time. A baby should not be held in carrier facing the world for longer than twenty minutes to half an hour or so. Long periods in a facing out position can be overwhelming and/or overstimulating for some babies. As soon as you feel that you little one is tired, stressed or uncomfortable change to a facing in position.
Expert tip: Follow your baby’s lead. Respond to baby cues. Watch for signs of over-stimulation.
- Front facing our position is not suitable for sleeping. Always turn your baby back to face in position if your little one is napping.
Why I can not let me baby sleep in facing out positions?
The world-facing position is not safe sleeping positions as there is no head support. A heavy head that is unsupported by a parent’s chest may droop forwards, putting baby’s chest under slight compression and pressing the chin downwards, potentially compromising the airway. If your baby is getting sleepy switch to a front facing inward position.
You can read more about Babywearing Safety Ruls here.
When it is safe to carry a baby in the front facing out position?
Many babies aged approximately 4-6 months start to get curious and enjoy looking around them. Their eyesight is improving and their neck and upper back muscles are strengthening so that they can finally turn their head. One way of helping them to look around is to carry them in facing the world position. However, before you offer outward facing carry to you baby you need to make your little one is ready for it.
When a baby is ready for the front outward facing carry?
Some manufacturers say facing out from 3 months up, some say from 5-6 months up, but it really depends on the child’s personal developmental stage. We recommend you to start considering the face outward carry when:
- Your baby’s neck is strong enough
Your little one should have full head control to be able to stabilise the head against the movements of your body. For most babies, neck muscles are strong enough to steadily support the head around 4-6 months, but of course it varies from baby to baby.
- Your baby’s is tall enough
Your baby chin should sit above top of the baby carrier panel.
Till what age can I carry facing world ?
The facing the world babywearing should only be a phase that is directly contacted to the stage of your baby’s development. It is the time when your baby is already curious and want to see around but his/her physical capabilities are still limited. For most babies this phase starts around 4-6 months and lasts until approximately 9-10 months. the American brand Ergobaby recommend this position till max. 12 months. After this time, a baby is able to turn around themselves to look at things so facing inward position is not a problem for them. Also, most babies around 10 moths are ready for a back carry which is more comfortable for a wearer when child is getting heavier.
Is outwards facing babywearing comfortable?
Yes, outwards facing babywearing can be comfortable, provided you have a suitable for this particular position ergonomic carrier. It is however a bit less comfortable than facing in potion (especially with a heavier babies). There is more weight pulling forwards, as a result you are more likely to feel the weight on your back or shoulders.
What are the best facing out baby carriers?
Below we listed the top 3 outward facing baby carriers that offer the greatest level of ergonomic support that we recommend if you wish to carry your baby facing the world.
Top 3 Facing Out Baby Carriers:
- Ergobaby Omni 360 available in 2 fabric option: Ergobaby Omni 360 All-In-One and Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh All-In-One
- Ergobaby 360 also available in 2 fabric option: Ergobaby 360 All Positions Baby Carrier and Ergobaby 360 All Positions Cool Air Mesh
- Tula Explore : Tula Explore Versatile Baby Carrier and it’s mesh version: Tula Explore Coast Versatile Baby Carrier
These carrier have a deep bucket-shaped seat, that support your baby in an ergonomic co celled M-position with the knees higher than the bottom and the pelvis tilted upwards.
Apart for those carriers mention above the following carriers offer an outwards facing position:
- Ergobaby Embrace Newborn Carrier (we do not recommend this position with a newborn and very small baby)
- Infantino Go Forward Ergonomic Carrier
What are the alternatives for facing the world position?
If you are not convinced if the front facing out position is for you, but you little one is starting to be curious and wants to look around, we recommend you the following solutions:
Front inward facing position with hands out
You can let your baby have the arms out over the top of their carrier. It is easier then to look around in the facing in position. You can do this however only when your baby’s back is strong enough (your baby must be able to roll over). If you do this make sure that the carrier is snugly supporting your little one at least up to the armpits for safety reasons.
Small babies love hip carry. Many soft structure carrier offer the hip position. If yours don’t, we recommend you to get a ring sling for this purpose.
Back carry position
If you baby is ready, you could also try a back carrying. This position is toddlers favourite as they can see the world for all new perspective.
Front facing out position can be safe and comfortable with a right ergonomic carrier designed for this purpose. If your baby is physically ready and like to be carry in these position you can go ahead and practice the world facing babywearing following the above mentions safety rules.
If you have any questions about outwards facing babywearing please do not hesitate to write it in a comment, send us an e-mail all simply call us. Our experienced consultants are at your disposal.