June 13, 2008

"Temporary ban has been lifted due to fantastic photo."

Good call!

There are many things to talk about at the link, but I want to say something about those baby holders, the ones that face the baby forward, so that it protrudes off the chest like a vestigial conjoined twin. Think: Kuato:



Wait. I have a comment I want to make, but looking for some Kuato video, I discovered a whole Kuato genre. There's this. And this. You get the idea. But back to babies...



Scary!

But I want to protect babies. I feel the instinctive need to protect babies. Even when they remind me of Kuato. Every time I see someone carrying their baby like that I worry about them falling. Adults don't fall that often, but we do trip now and then. Maybe once a year. And sometimes an idiot runs square into us or flings open a door when we're traipsing by. The baby's entire face is exposed! I'm sorry. I don't like thinking about this, but how can you walk around like that and not worry about accidents?

Now, apparently, men prefer the facing forward baby carrier. Why is that? Does it seem too intimate having the baby's body in that position? Are men more into exploration and discovery? Which position does the baby prefer? Of course, the baby has no basis for visualizing the grownup taking a header.

I'm not saying the government should take your baby away, but could you please stop carrying it like that?

38 comments:

Pogo said...

men prefer the facing forward baby carrier. Why is that?

To keep from being kicked in the genitals, and to ward off being suckled on our man-boobs.

But maybe that's just me.

dbp said...

I never considered the forward looking baby carrier for two reasons: 1. If they are on my front side I have these handy things called arms which work great for holding things. 2. Those forward looking holders look stupid.

mcg said...

Geez, what in the world is making you so pissy these days, Ann? I mean, at least the sex experimenters are touching on some deep intimacy issues. But you're complaining about forward-facing baby carriers now? What's next, soft-fall toilet seats? Can't you just lower them slowly yourself?

For what it's worth my daughter could not stand those baby carriers where she faced inward. We're talking from two weeks old onward. She wouldn't last five minutes that way unless she was asleep. Even without a carrier her preferred position was facing outward. And I'm certain that at least one of the reasons was that she was busy looking at things, and my shirted chest got boring fast. In fact, in her first few months we'd walk to the nearest heavily trafficked street and watch cars go by. You should have seen her face when the city bus came... (no it was not fear!)

To this day I carry her on my shoulders sometimes, too. Are you going to call CPS now?

Arms are nice; indeed, that's what I generally used for our car-watching. But for longer walks a carrier can't be beat. Once she was too big for a front-facing carrier, those backpacks worked pretty well too. I never took a tumble either way, but I felt slightly less stable with the backpack. On the other hand, it had a metal frame that would provide good protection for her had I fallen backwards.

smgoodman said...

I loved the front carrier with both of my children! It was much easier to navigate in stores or just walking than having to lug those carseat carriers or using a stroller.

I hate the fact that most new parents never let the kid out of that stupid carseat carrier now. It flattens the baby's head and they are stuck in the that uncomfortable semiupright position. Plus parents carry the baby's in the carrier swinging dangerously close to the ground and their feet and ankles because they are so heavy.

With the front carrier, the baby is up high - allowing the baby to interact with people, see faces, and what is going on around them. The baby carriers and strollers keep them low staring at adult legs and feet. Boring!

The front carrier is close to the body, keep the baby warm and next the parent's heart. I never ever got into an accident or tripped and fell with one on. I think its the best invention.

knoxwhirled said...

I'm not saying the government should take your baby away, but could you please stop carrying it like that?

I can understand why people might think they are dangerous, but I always figured I was at much risk of falling on/dropping my baby holding them the normal way... and of course I tried to be extra careful when wearing it.

But my "arms free" carrier was indispensable when I had a newborn and my 2-yr-old son wanted to go outside and run around. And once she was big enough to face forward, my daughter seemed to really enjoy being upright and able to see everything that was going on. I tried those "slings" but could never figure out how to wear it comfortably, for me or the baby.

dbp said...

For longer trips I would use a backpack. It held my daughters high enough to see over my shoulder. I would even go ice-skating on the river behind our house with a girl on-board. I would only skate forward, mostly.

mcg said...

Oh, you've done it now, dbp! Ice-skating? Expect the authorities at your door any minute to take your child away!

mcg said...

Think of it as just an evolution of the papoose or cradle board.

To some, native Americans could do no wrong; and while these were backpacks, the baby was still facing out. So it must be OK, right? Heck, these things would be hung on a saddle sometimes; let's not consider the possible accidents there...

I mean, look at that little guy.

Lance Burri said...

Babies like to see stuff, too.

Pogo said...

Forward-facing means less vomit on your clothes, more on hapless strangers.

Ann Althouse said...

mcg said..."Think of it as just an evolution of the papoose or cradle board. To some, native Americans could do no wrong; and while these were backpacks, the baby was still facing out. So it must be OK, right? Heck, these things would be hung on a saddle sometimes; let's not consider the possible accidents there... I mean, look at that little guy."

Is this on the Stuff White People Like list yet?

Pogo said...

Some men prefer women who use these baby carriers, forward or rear-facing, as it permits their gaze to be directed very near the baby's head, and not be criticized at all, but encouraged.

Or so I have heard.

TROBlog said...

A professional football wide-receiver was walking down the sidwalk one day when he saw a lady leaning out the fourth-story window of a burning building with a baby. The woman was screaming for help, "My apartment is on fire, my apartment is on fire, please someone help save my baby!"

The football player ran underneath the window and yelled up to the woman, "Lady, throw down your baby."

The woman said "no" in horror. "I can't throw my bady that far down, it's too dangerous."

The football player yelled up, "Lady, throw down your baby. I will catch her I promise."

The woman again shook her head and yelled, "No, I can't do it, you will drop her and she will die."

The football player yelled up again, "Lady, I promise I will catch your baby. I am an NFL wide-receiver. I have three Super-Bowl rings and was MVP in all three games. I am the best receiver who ever played the game. I PROMISE I will catch your baby!"

The woman struggled with her decision. The flames were burning her back and she and her baby would surely die if she didn't do something. Finally she decided to throw her bady down to the player.

The football player moved left, then right, and finally did a miraculous diving catch for the baby which landed safely in his arms.

Then he stood up, spiked the kid on the concrete and did a victory dance.

mcg said...

Love that joke!

Is this on the Stuff White People Like list yet?

No, but it should be! White People Like Native Americans.

dmfoiemjsof said...

Sometimes the babies like it better facing out, at least mine did. If you had to choose, would you rather be surrounded by unhappy crying babies?

ron st.amant said...

I generally keep the new baby (and my two-year old when she was an infant as well) facing ME in the baby carrier.

As you suggest it is safer, it also allows me to see her in case there is some distress (because I'm neurotic like that).

As a very large fellow, it also looks less like I've EATEN a baby and have shards of it splashed across my shirt.

Also if they are facing forward there's always the chance they'll start juggling knives or flaming sticks. (I told you I'm neurotic!)

Jeremy said...

"White People Like Native Americans."

Whaa? I thought White People like Indigenous People, maybe, but definately not Native Americans.

And Ann, please don't make me choose between the Bjorn, the moby wrap and the sling. They're all too wonderful.

TROBlog said...

Come to think of it, facing-in would make babies safer from roaming Dingos who might eat them.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Althouse: You cannot have it both ways. If a kid is in a stroller and lacking interaction, you criticize the adult. Here, a kid is at prime interaction height and you want to stop it because of a [excessively female?] urge to protect babies who are not related to you.

Could one of your sons make you a grandmother quick!?!

Trooper York said...

Wow, that was Maxine-ish Ruth Anne.

knoxwhirled said...

Is this on the Stuff White People Like list yet?


LOL, yes, they are pretty white, I must admit.

Pogo said...

You cannot have it both ways.

I think you can.
This is a tolerant group. We can have it as many ways as we want. Don't ask, don't tell. Except Titus, who can be counted on to tell and tell and tell.

For me, though, I like to shield new parents from the awfulness that awaits them in the upcoming teenage years.

Their confidence and surefootedness adopting the papoose or whatever the hell is the current infant fad is soon to be rent asunder as they experience their children become intermittently insane or possessed, and you suddenly realize why tigers might eat their young, and you begin to think that your loving daughter has been replaced by Satan's spawn, as you ruined her life AGAIN merely by existing.

Best to let the faddishness be. The chimera of control is so brief, it's pretty harmless, even though I would very much like to smack them on the head.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Trooper: Wow. Chivalry. How Simon-esque of you.

Trooper York said...

Hey it's role reversal day. Madison Man is going to tell us about his bowel movements and Titus is going to post a picture of a chicken. I just hope it's a feathered one!

Smilin' Jack said...

Why is it safer for the baby to face backward? If he falls forward, even a baby will instinctively use his arms to protect his head. Falling backward, there's nothing between his skull and the sidewalk.

blake said...

Except Titus, who can be counted on to tell and tell and tell.

Even when not asked. Or implored otherwise.

If he falls forward, even a baby will instinctively use his arms to protect his head.

Which is of no consequence whatsoever, I assure you.

blake said...

You know, it's really only a few months. Then they're walking on their own.

Of course, that's less likely to happen if they're bundled up and carried everywhere.

Chip Ahoy said...

In Tokyo all the infants were held on the woman's back neveron a man's. Child rearing up to age six is strictly a woman's job, the husband remains resolutely stoically aloof. They used a large piece of fabric deftly crossed over the front and encompassing the infant on the back facing forward in the same direction as the carrier. The infant was inevitably sleeping, sometimes with its head bobbing loosely, as if dreamily gazing skyward, often appearing as it it would soon detach and go rolling down the sidewalk.

Last week I read on a blog, "stroller yielded as siege machine," and thought, "that's a brilliant description of those things!" Reproductive technology has obvious stroller-related consequence. It's not unusual to see thriple-seaters. Visualize non-stroller carriers for quads.

Last week at the Peoples' fair there sure were a lot of daddys racing past me carrying kids. One holding his little girl like a waiter holds a tray passed me crossing the street.

Chip Ahoy said...

Just saw the "Open you miiiind" Kuato video. HaHaHa X 4.75 Now, that's funny. It would be especially funny if they guy was actually saying that to the kid.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I remember seeing Total Recall and liking it. I cannot for the life of me remember this scene, however.

Joan said...

You're supposed to carry newborns inward-facing, because their spines are not strong enough to support their heads and bodies fully. When they get a little older, you can switch them around to front-facing.

I found the front-carrier indispensable with my second and third children. It allowed me to bring them along to their older brother's preschool classes, where they could see everything and interact with the children, but I didn't have to watch and worry over them every second, I could be with their big brother.

My youngest has a slightly concave chest and rode inward-facing in the front carrier until he outgrew it. He was just never comfortable facing out, I think because of the pressure on his chest. It was kind of annoying because his legs were always kicking me! But even now (he's 7), he still loves to curl up on my lap and put his head on my shoulder. He loved that carrier.

jdeeripper said...

White people Like "Native Americans" although they aren't particularly thrilled with actual American Indians.

Men carrying these babies is similar to the soccer mom plague.

What happened to real men who took their sons to Little League BASEBALL, men who made their babies work those leg muscles and walk!!

I'll hold a baby's hand but I'll be damned if I'm gonna pamper it's precious little butt by carrying it.

This all further evidence of the wussyification of America. It's no surprise that Obama is popular with these people.

Today, Oregon is just 2 percent black, and Portland is about 7 percent black. On May 18, an estimated 75,000 people turned out to hear Senator Barack Obama at a rally, and most were white. For some, that was evidence that Portland’s liberal mind-set transcends race.

So the NY Times is still promoting this myth in place of the truth that the 75,000 whities who showed up were there for the free concert by a popular local band.

I've just laugh at the NY Times and it's Liberal White People agenda.

Ann Althouse said...

Ruth Anne, my problem with kids in the stroller is when they are old enough to be walking and parents are using the stroller to control them. I think a little baby that can't walk should be in a stroller if you're just walking down the street ... for safety. I think the carriers, especially the front carriers are dangerous.

Joan said...

I think the carriers, especially the front carriers are dangerous.

Can you cite any kind of statistic that shows prevalence of injury linked to the use of forward-facing baby carriers, or is this just a "feeling" you have? My oldest nearly fell out of his car seat carrier, even though the straps were properly fastened, because he was so long and thin. I ended up having to wedge a folded baby blanket between his tummy and the five-point harness straps so that he couldn't slump forward. There were no special instructions for what to do if your newborn was very long and very thin! It took me a while to figure out a safe way for him to use that car seat carrier.

I always felt my babies were safe and secure when I was wearing them in the front carrier. Granted it was several years ago, but I cannot recall a single instance of losing my balance with them in the carrier, whereas I can recall many instances of struggling with the car seat carrier, because it was so heavy. Having used the front carrier for such an extended period, I'm mystified by your opposition to them.

Ann Althouse said...

My opposition is to the face-forward type, because I am picturing the adult tripping and falling or something. The baby's face is too out there and unprotected. If the parent is heavy, and ordinary fall could kill the child.

Anthony said...

My wife and I have both used various wrap carriers, with our daughter facing both in and out. The daughter prefers facing out when she's awake, and facing in when she's tired.

My wife was carrying kidet in a carrier and stumbled and fell down. She managed to roll a little and put her arms out enough that the baby's impact with the ground was very mild. The baby was uninjured, though the fall did hurt a little, and she cried. My wife was more banged up because she instinctively fell to protect the baby, not herself.

mcg said...

My opposition is to the face-forward type, because I am picturing the adult tripping and falling or something. The baby's face is too out there and unprotected.

Do you have any actual statistics that point to the actual likelihood of injury or death?

If the parent is heavy, and ordinary fall could kill the child.

Seems to me this would be more likely if the baby is facing inward, due to the heightened potential for suffocation. But I'm pulling my risk analysis out of thin air here, just as you are.

blake said...

I would think the face plant would seem scary and scarring.

But the blow to the back of the head is possibly more likely to be fatal.

Or so it seems to me.

The only person I know who ever actually fell on her kid was carrying her in her arms, not in any sort of carrier.