Did you use a Crotch Dangler?

If you did ,and you know what I mean, that title may have just put your back up! For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about let me explain.

I am a babywearer. This does not mean that I wear my baby like a piece of clothing to be changed as fashion or the weather changes, it means I carry my child in a soft sling. A soft sling which places my child in a physiologically optimum position. Some of the main points to keep in mind are reflected in the TICKS guidelines for safe babywearing:

 

 

Tight

In view at all times

Close enough to kiss

Keep chin off chest

Supported back

 

 

 

In addition, I would also advocate that the child’s hips are in a well supported position, which is generally illustrated by having the knees higher than the bum.
And then we finally get to the issue. The vast majority of readily available carriers in the high street do not support a child in that position. Instead they often have a narrow seat. Narrow seats lead to the legs hanging down or, in other words, the baby dangling from their crotch.

It is, then, not hard to see why these carriers can be referred to as ‘Crotch Danglers’.

I am going to hold up my hand now and answer my own question, “Yes I did. Furthermore, I am not afraid to admit it.”  Yup, you read that right! I – who was last week referred to as one of the foremost experts on babywearing in the UK ( thank you but I will leave my view on the word expert for another post …) – used a ‘Crotch Dangler’.

And you know what? I have an intense dislike for the term. I feel that using strong negative words to describe an element of someone else’s parenting sets you apart from them. So where moments before you were two mothers with at least one child each, now you are a babywearer who knows and a simple silly mum who uses such a vile thing that dangles their child by it’s crotch.

Instead of focusing on the negative of something that may well have been bought with hard earned money or given as a gift from a doting grand parent, why not focus on the positive and see another mum carrying her baby. Then, if you are feeling really brave, you can plant a seed and tell her there are so many different options out there for when she is ready to move on.

Because one day you may be that mum who has a whole new world opened for them. I am certainly grateful that the person I turned to for help when I could not get my carrier comfortable offered me just that, instead of condemning me as a parent.

Comments

  1. Helen Rye says:

    I didn’t use a ‘crotch dangler’, but I definitely would have done if I could have afforded it at the time. It was only the price of the reassuringly popular and impressive-looking Baby Bjorn in John Lewis that led me to look into alternatives and find a preloved Close Carrier on Ebay. From there it was a short step to a Moby wrap and then to the wonderful world of wovens, of which we now have quite a collection.

    I fell into wrapping purely by luck, and probably if we hadn’t spent so much on baby gear already that first month would be sporting a high street ‘crotch dangler’ (and probably a bad back) to this day.

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