Horizontal position and its dangers

Horizontal position has its negatives. The side or the so called cradle position was formerly widely used and very popular – back then it was very common to hold children in the so called “ball” position assuming that this way parents simulate the position it was in in uterus. However, this is a fallacy.

What are the differences between the horizontal position and vertical one and how does it affect the healthy development of a child and babywearing itself?
  • The child is positioned against the side of the mother/babywearer, thus the whole principle of skin to skin contact is not met; in case of return of food from the stomach, suffocation might occur
  • the legs are slightly straight, or more pressed to each other, thus the support for the healthy development of hip joints is minimal
  • with weaker wrapping ability and imperfection of the carry the head of the child can sink into the wrap or bent forward too much and the child can have problems with breathing.

Nursing cradle – a compromise and permitted horizontal position

Professionals and babywearing lovers did not hesitate and came up with a healthy compromise that meets all babywearing rules; this position is also great for those who prefer breastfeeding in horizontal position and are struggling to do so in the vertical position. Or the very baby itself has a tendency for a sidelong position during the first months of its life.

The position of the nursing cradle originates from the breastfeeding rules:
  • the child is turned to the body of its mother with its whole front, not with its side
  • the mother carries the child in a physiological position and holds its head with one hand
  • legs are not straightened or pressed by the body of the mother, but crouched behind the back of the mother approximately at the knee level
Such positioned and breastfed child is being wrapped then. The head – at the same level where the hand of the mother was – is supported not only by the pocket of the wrap but also by another rail of the wrap. Thus bending forward is not possible, which prevents suffocation, because the child rests its chin against the mother’s breast. The chin support causes the child to bend its head backwards a little, thus freeing its nose and airways. Suffocation due to food is not possible seeing that the child does not rest on its back, but on its side.