We love prams, but we are that family who you see pushing an empty pram while holding our baby in a carrier. Neither of our babies really enjoyed the pram in their early months so we took to babywearing.
Most of my friends know that we are a ‘babywearing family’. We basically have our children attached to us for transport, bonding, exercise and as an all round parenting tool. We are the owners though of 2 very flash hardly used prams. As I have always been a sporty person, before having kids I thought that I would be that Mum who runs around the block pushing a pram and my baby/children would happily play or sleep in the pram. My children had other ideas! They didn’t like either pram for more than 10mins & we were left with them in our arms.
After doing my training to be a babywearing consultant I researched the development of the human baby spine. When a baby is born its back is in a ‘C’ shape position. Then as they learn to hold their head and eventually sit and stand, the muscle development changes to the typical ‘S’ shape spine. The discs between our vertebrae act as shock absorbers. These shock absorbers only work to absorb impact when in the vertical position, that is, sitting or standing. So if we are running with our baby in a pram and the seat is positioned with baby lying flat, we are not supporting their ‘C’ shape spine and their little discs cannot absorb the impact of bumps, etc., along the ground.
This is really interesting food for thought. By time I had understood this my first born was already around 1.5 years old but I made a decision then that for my future babies I would not go running for exercise with them in the pram until they were able to sit unassisted and their spines could better take any impacts. This is often when a baby is about 6 months, and probably a better starting point for a postnatal Mum to attempt running again anyway. For us, baby wearing was still our main mode of transport beyond 6 months anyway.
So this is not to say that we never use our pram with our infant. We use it for the occasional shopping trip (which usually still ends in babywearing) and it is a great place for baby to sleep in restaurants. Always gentle use and not vigorous rides. These days a walk in the pram is a guaranteed way to get my toddler to take a day nap.
Prams certainly have their place in our busy world, but we have chosen tweak how often and when we use ours.
Philippa Bowman, September 2015
Nurtured Fitness Owner
Pre & Post Natal Fitness Expert & Trained Babywearing Consultant