Babywearing and back aches.”What’s the best sling to use when you have back problems?”. I get this asked a lot, I have helped a lot of people with back issues, and there is no simple answer or quick fix, but here are a few pointers:
There is no ‘best sling’ and not 1 is particularly better for carrying with back problems than another. Every body is different and back aches are very complex. It’s important to try a few to see what works best for you. Check out my blog about sling types
A fancy very bulky carrier carrier with lumbar support isn’t necessarily the one that will work for your body. So try a few!
Ensure the carrier always supports your baby from knee-to-knee, all the way to the neck, this helps support their weight better. If you have a narrow-based carrier and your baby’s legs are quite straight, try the scarf trick as demo-ed in my video or see below for narrow-based carrier and stretchy wrap improvements
Carriers with no waistbelts (e.g., some of the Baby Bjorns) may put more pressure on your shoulders. Again, try the scarf trick or consider a different carrier.
If you have a sling/carrier with no waistbelt but it supports your baby from knee-to-knee (e.g., ringsling, Close Caboos) try tying a scarf around your waist to see if some lumbar support helps.
Try a carrier with straight and crossed straps, padded and spreadable to see the difference. Get the fit checked by a professional (hi there!) and/or check out my buckle carrier troubleshooting video
Wraps can help distribute the weight more evenly over the body, so give them a go! With a bit of support, you will be a pro very quickly!
Shoulder aches? try a torso carry!
Mothers and birthing parents: remember that you’ve been through an enormous change and don’t expect your body to be like it was pre-pregnancy immediately. Your abdominal muscles and your pelvic floor have been affected and they are your core (literally!). It takes a long time to recover. Be patient and gentle to yourself.
Seek help. Osteopaths and women’s physio are here for you.
Gentle exercise, stretches go a long way 🙂
Finding the ‘perfect’ sling won’t always fix everything. You also need to work on your postnatal recovery.
Keep an open mind and try a variety of slings and carriers! We are here to help. Big baby shops are just here to sell you something. We don’t, we have expert knowledge and we love to help, but we are not miracle makers!
Finally, be gentle to yourself
Help support the sling library! If you have enjoyed this article and would like to support the sling library, we have a GoFundMe campaign. All donations go towards supporting parents in difficult financial situations so that babywearing is accessible to all. Thank you so very much!