How Kangaroo Carriers Impact the Health and Development of Infants

Kate Chered
3 min readJan 14, 2024

Kangaroo carriers, resembling backpacks, are popular for their convenience, space efficiency, and the freedom they offer parents. However, their safety and impact on a child's development have been debated. Understanding when and how to use these carriers is crucial for the health and safety of infants.

What is the Kangaroo Carrier and How Does It Look?

Kangaroo carriers are designed for carrying babies, similar in appearance to backpacks. They consist of straps, a belt securing the adult's body, and a firm-backed pouch for the baby. While manufacturers claim these carriers are suitable for newborns if correctly chosen, there are concerns about their rigid structure. This rigidity doesn't conform to the baby's body contours, potentially harming the spinal development.

When Can Babies Safely Be Carried in Kangaroo Carriers?

While kangaroo carriers are advertised for use with newborns, their hard structure can be detrimental to proper spinal development. Newborns should not be carried in these carriers, especially those who cannot hold their heads up. Only after 2-3 months, when special models allowing horizontal placement are used, should parents consider using them.

Safety Considerations for Boys and Girls in Kangaroo Carriers

The design of kangaroo carriers for vertical carrying causes the baby to hang with support only around the groin area. This design can strain the spine, so using these carriers only after the baby can sit independently, around 6-8 months, is advisable. The duration should not exceed when a baby can comfortably remain in that position, usually not more than 1-2 hours a day with breaks.

How Does the Ergonomic Backpack Differ from the Kangaroo: Advantages and Disadvantages

Ergonomic backpacks, unlike kangaroo carriers, are designed to support the natural posture of the baby. They distribute weight evenly across the hips and shoulders, reducing strain on the baby's back and the carrier's body. However, these carriers are often bulkier and more expensive.

Table of Differences Between Ergo Carriers and Kangaroo Carriers

Varieties of Baby Carriers

Different types of baby carriers cater to various needs. Some are designed for newborns, while others are suitable for older babies. The choice depends on factors like the baby's age, the duration of carrying, and the physical comfort of the parent and child.

What is the Evolution of Baby Carriers in Child Development Research?

In the realm of child development, baby carriers have evolved from simple cloth wraps to complex ergonomic designs. Research in developmental psychology emphasizes the importance of physical closeness between caregiver and infant for emotional and cognitive development. Studies, such as those published in the Journal of Pediatrics, highlight how certain carrier types promote secure attachment, a key factor in healthy infant development. Ergonomic carriers, in particular, are designed to maintain the 'M' position of the baby's legs, supporting hip health and spinal development, as noted in pediatric orthopedic research.

How to Choose the Appropriate Carrier Based on Age and Developmental Stage?

Choosing the right carrier involves understanding the baby's developmental needs. For newborns, carriers that allow horizontal positioning and support the entire back are recommended, adhering to guidelines from pediatric experts. As babies grow, carriers supporting sitting and upholding natural spine curvature are preferable. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests using carriers that distribute weight evenly for older infants to encourage motor development and reduce the risk of developmental hip dysplasia. Comfort for the parent is also key, as a study in Applied Ergonomics points out the risk of back pain from improper carrier use.

Table: Types of Baby Carriers and Their Features