When I was babywearing for the first time in 2011, there was little information on baby safety and especially on baby’s hips development and the role that carriers play. When it comes to babywearing, the right infant hip posture is particularly crucial since the duration of time spent wearing a baby is usually long.
Maintaining your baby in a proper hip position has substantial benefits to the natural development of your baby’s hips. This bring us to the ‘M’ position which is a more advanced hip position where the legs are more bent. This is supposed to be more ergonomic than the traditional ‘frog leg’ style position of many carriers on the market according to some sources.
Facing outwards, towards mama’s back, your baby can see your face and you can see her. Front carry facing outwards allows babies to interact with their surroundings and engage in daily life while staying safe. This position brings them closer to the wearer, allowing babies to feel the warmth of their mother’s body and smell her scent which is comforting for them.
M-Position is important for infants in the first six months as it may reduce the incidence of hip dysplasia, and should be encouraged in areas with a high incidence of hip dysplasia, particularly where screenings and therapies are insufficient.
What is the baby carrier m position?
The ‘M’ or mannequin, which can also be called an upright position, is a way of holding your baby so that they face you. Your arms are crossed over the baby’s chest and you hold onto your elbows while supporting their head with one hand. This arm-crossed grip allows for more control than other positions because it keeps the child in place better than if they were just held by an arm or shoulder.
The M position is great for long periods of carrying when you need to be hands-free for something else like cooking dinner, making phone calls, or tending to another child. It’s especially useful when parents want their babies close to them but doesn’t want them laying on their laps or being held in a cradle position.
Is M Position good for newborns?
The M position is not recommended for newborns. It’s best to wait until your baby can hold his head up independently before attempting this way of carrying him because it requires more coordination than other methods. Once you start, be sure to keep an eye out for any signs that your baby is uncomfortable such as kicking or moving his head around.
If you feel unsure about this way of carrying your little one, there are plenty of other ways to keep him close and safe when you’re busy. Try using a front carrier, sling, or wrap instead. These positions tend to be secure while still allowing for a lot of movement.
Before you put your baby in an M position start by doing this:
1) Make sure that your carrier is adjustable so you can carry your baby in the buttock’s first position.
2) Ensure that you have a snugly fit carrier with an appropriate waistband and shoulder straps for your body type and that it’s adjusted right.
3) Put some pillows around you on the bed or on the floor where you will place yourself while wearing your baby.
4) Put your little one facing outwards on the bed/pillows/floor, with his legs spread apart in frog-leg position, knees slightly bent and against your belly. He should be secure, but not too tight.
5) Take your baby off the floor or bed carefully while holding it underneath their bum.
6) Fold back the shoulder straps.
7) Place your baby, bum first against your belly.
8) Bring your newborn’s legs up to his body by bringing one leg at a time towards you and tucking it under the tummy panel. This will bring both legs closer together.
Benefits of ‘M’ Positions:
- Baby hip development: When baby’s hips are in the M position, they are spared any pressure that could inhibit their development. This is important because improperly developing hips can lead to health problems later on in life.
- Mobility: The baby will not be able to lean forward or backwards while you hold him in the M position. This helps with stability because it keeps the baby’s center of gravity in line with yours. If you want to be able to move around more freely, try one of the other carrying positions like the cradle position.
Does the M Position Help with Baby’s Reflux?
The M position can help tremendously with acid reflux by keeping baby upright and limiting their movements.
Common M-Position Mistakes:
- Holding your arms too low – Your baby’s center of gravity will be forward and it will cause him to tip forward. They are likely to start kicking his legs in discomfort which can make the situation even worse by causing him to fall over more easily. If you find your child ends up leaning forward, use the M position with your arms held slightly higher.
- Holding baby too loose – If you hold a baby too loosely, they may wiggle out of his arms or even fall out. Make sure to keep a tight grip on him so that he feels secure and safe in your arms. You can also look for ways to support his head and neck so that he feels more secure.
- Not holding baby close enough – If you don’t hold your baby closely, they will be able to lean too far forward or backward which can cause discomfort. Hold your child close to your chest with their legs straddling your arm. This should help them to feel relaxed while also preventing them from moving too much. Some parents may also find that wearing their baby in a sling or front carrier will help him to be more secure and calm while the M position.
- Wearing your baby with his legs bent – Babies legs need to be completely outstretched while you hold them in this position. If they are not, it can cause the hips to become misaligned which will have a negative impact on baby’s development. Try rolling up a towel and placing it under his bottom if you need more support.
- If you find that your baby always seems to be unhappy or uncomfortable in the M position, try switching to a different one such as the cradle position. It may not be for everyone but some parents find that it’s the most convenient way of carrying their little one.
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Emily Larsen is a renowned expert in baby naming and has published various works and research on naming a baby such as the evolution of naming, the impact of baby names on a baby’s future success, the perception of middle names, among others. Emily is our baby-naming expert here at Motherhood HQ and we rely on her insight when writing guides to assist parents trying to find an appropriate baby name. Aside from publishing works on unique and creative baby names, Emily is a mother of three and a grandparent to one infant. She is trained as a Psychologist and previously worked as a Social Worker for the State of New York. Emily also runs a small personalized baby-naming consulting business and can be reached using her email, emily.larsen(at)motherhoodhq.com