Our product developers collaborate closely with paediatricians and medical experts throughout the entire development process – whether we are creating a completely new product or updating a classic.
Collaboration with medical specialists
The input of medical specialists, such as paediatric orthopaedists and neonatal doctors, is very important when we design our baby carriers and other products intended for sensitive newborns and very young children. This means we always have expert approval for the various safety aspects of a product. This may include making sure that the design is correct for a baby’s hips, that a newborn baby has sufficient head support or that our user instructions are easy to understand.
Meet some of the experts we collaborate with
Katie Hilton, midwife
Katie Hilton is a midwife with many years’ experience of helping brand new parents.
Yet in spite of all her experience, she still found becoming a parent an overwhelming experience. She says that the best advice she can give is to carry your little baby as much as you can.
Best feeling in the world
Holding your tiny newborn baby in your arms as they sleep peacefully against your chest is the best feeling in the world. In their first year, babies are totally dependent on their parents for safety and security; but there are other calls on your time. When you have older children who also need a lot of your attention, the situation may be even more challenging. A baby carrier keeps your hands free for other things while you enjoy the fantastic feeling of holding your baby close to your heart.
Closeness is most important
The two most important things you can give your newborn baby are nourishment and physical contact. Closeness to the people who love you and take care of you is the best thing in the world.
Researchers have observed that parents and children who stay in close contact with each other influence each other’s behaviour. If the baby frets, the parent immediately responds to their baby’s signals with soothing noises and movements, and quickly understands when it’s time to eat.
Closeness creates trust
Your baby hears your voice, feels your signals, and depends on you for safety and security. This interaction occurs automatically in your arms. Being carried in a baby carrier helps your baby’s emotional and social development. It also means that as a parent you can keep providing safety and closeness, even when you’re unable to give your baby your full attention.
Babies who are frequently carried in a baby carrier tend to cry less. Carrying helps to meet your baby’s physical need for movement. In the womb, your baby grew accustomed to the rhythmic sound of Mum’s heartbeat and the feeling of being in a confined space. Your baby is soothed by gentle movements.
Better self-confidence as a parent
A baby who is calm and contented makes Mum and Dad feel more confident, and vice versa. Many new parents also tell us their self-confidence has grown as a result of carrying their baby in a baby carrier. They have learnt to recognise their baby’s signals and respond to them before the situation escalates. A baby who is calm and contented makes Mum and Dad feel more confident and sure of themselves as parents.
Positive for breastfeeding too
Mums who carry their baby in a baby carrier also frequently say they feel it has a positive effect on breastfeeding. They have rapidly learnt to recognise their baby’s hunger signals, breastfeed more frequently and find it easier. The closeness between mother and baby presumably stimulates milk production.
Dr Göran Kendorf, paediatric orthopaedist and medical advisor
Göran Kendorf evaluates buckles with Sofia, product developer at BabyBjörn, and six-month-old Naomi. He has been helping babies and young children for over 25 years.
“Children are such a joy! I love working with children and I’m constantly fascinated by how strong they are. Child development is an unstoppable process.”
Always one step ahead
Göran has been involved in the development of our Baby Carrier One, travel cot and bouncer.
“You always have to stay one step ahead, predict all potential risks and minimise them. In the case of baby carriers, we’re talking about ergonomics and comfort for both child and wearer.”
“It’s important that the baby – especially a newborn – gets support for their back, neck and head, and that their head comes high enough to ensure they can breathe freely. The baby’s hips should also get the proper support, yet they must be able to move their legs freely.”
Development work – an ongoing process
The work of developing existing and new products is an ongoing process. Göran tells us that he is in the habit of studying the whole product, even if there has only been a slight change to a buckle.
“Many parents are worried that their baby’s back isn’t in the right position in a baby carrier,” reports Göran. “It’s naturally very important that the baby’s back is supported in the baby carrier and Naomi is clearly getting this support.”
“There’s no risk that the baby’s genitals will be harmed. The baby carrier is so ingeniously designed that the weight is distributed over the baby’s entire body. This means that most pressure is placed on the sitting bones – which is exactly where it should be. It’s comfortable for the child and the cushioning effect of their nappy makes it even softer.”
Unnecessary fears about hip joint damage
“Another thing I always check is that the child’s hips are in a good position in the baby carrier. The risk of hip dysplasia or hip dislocation disappears once the baby is a few months old. Provided the baby doesn’t have a congenital condition, that is,” Göran explains.
“It’s not possible to cause hip dysplasia by carrying a baby in a baby carrier. If you carry your baby in the right way in the baby carrier, i.e. facing inwards during the first months, there’s no need to worry at all.”
Narrow seat area – no cause for concern
Should parents be worried about their baby’s hips when they use a baby carrier with a narrower seat area, such as our classic Baby Carrier Original?
“No, this is a misconception; parents have no need to worry,” replies Göran. “The seat area in Baby Carrier Original is wide enough for a young baby who is also wearing a nappy. But it’s important to follow the instructions and carry the child facing inwards during the first five months.”
Nicholas Hoque, paediatrician
Nicholas Hoque is a paediatrician at a neonatal intensive-care unit in London. In his work, he meets many premature babies and he is an ardent advocate for closeness and physical contact between parents and babies. We were contacted by Nicholas and were so impressed by his expertise that we asked him to be one of our development department’s medical advisors.
The baby carrier saved our holiday
“Our son Barnaby was five months old when we took him with us to New York on holiday. We thought we were well-prepared and had taken a folding pram with us. But from the first day it was clear we needed something better. We finally opted for a BabyBjörn Miracle and headed out on the streets again. Carrying Barnaby in a baby carrier was more than just a wonderful experience – it actually saved our entire holiday and I was surprised by how light he felt.”
Flexible to use
“Our son is an inquisitive little boy, so he loved facing forwards when he was alert. When he grew sleepy, we turned him to face inwards, so he could rest his head against my chest and take a nap.”
Do your homework before you choose a baby carrier
“At work, I’m always advising new parents about the benefits of maintaining close physical contact as much and as frequently as possible. This advice is backed up by numerous scientific studies, particularly in regard of the all-important baby attachment.
But do your homework before you choose a baby carrier and make sure it gives your baby secure and safe support. This is especially important for newborn babies who have weak neck muscles and need support to be able to hold up their heads and breathe properly. Good baby carriers are designed to keep the baby’s back, neck and hips in an optimal position while they are carried.”
No link between hip dysplasia and baby carriers
“My job involves treating children with hip dysplasia and I know there’s no evidence that modern baby carriers cause this serious problem.
Baby carriers also provide proper and safe support for the parent’s back as they distribute the baby’s weight in a correct way. This is important because back problems are common among women who have just undergone a pregnancy. But a good baby carrier can minimise this risk considerably.”
“We had such a wonderful experience when I carried Barnaby in a baby carrier in New York that I wrote to BabyBjörn afterwards to thank them. They got in touch and I’m now providing them with my medical expertise,” reports Nicholas Hoque.