What is the spread-squat-position?
The spread-squat-position exists for centuries. It originates in the phylogenetic development of human beings and primats: It was necessary to carry children to ensure the survival of the human race. Babies were placed on the hip of adults. Babies adapted of being carried had developped the so called spread-squat-position evolutionary. Today, this is still the natural posture of newborns being lifted up.
What does the spread-squat-position look like?
The legs of the newborn are squatted, its knees are on navel height and its thighs are spread apart slightly. This natural posture is perfectly suitable for wearing babies on the hip. Infants take the spread-squat-position automatically in anticipation of being lifted up. After the baby is lifted up, it strengthens the already assumed spread-squat-position, in anticipation of being carried. The hip joints orientate forward, the legs bent squatting - knees on navel height - and the thighs spread in a 90° angle. Placing the newborn on the hip, you quickly realize that the spread-squat-position is the perfect position carrying the baby.
Advantages of the spread-squat-position:
Thanks to the spread-squat-position all areas of the acetabulum are charged sufficiently so that the hip joints and cartilage can breed naturally. If the child has hip dysplasia or shows signs of this disease, parents often get the advise to carry their baby in the recommended spread-squat-position. If the baby`s legs dangle down, the heads of the femur give pressure on the cartilaginous and the acetabulum. This can cause deformation.
Anatomical Facts: Spine
If a child is carried in the spread-squat-position, the back does not need to raise. Especially, this is important in the beginning, because the spine is cartilaginous, the muscles are still too weak and the discs do not fulfill their function completely.
You can carry your child in this position directly after birth - whether on the hip, the back or in front of your belly. When choosing a baby carrier or sling, always ensure that the seat portion extends to the knees of your child so that the back is supported and rounded. Also ensure, that the head of your baby is supported because they are not able to hold their head up high unassisted.
Anatomical Facts: Hip
Looking at the anatomy of the hip of newborns, the adjustment of being carried is shown very clearly. The hip of a baby is still immature. But this is not really a problem as if the child assumes the spread-squat-position automatically if it is lifted-up. The advantages of this position are not only particularly valuable for the bones of the baby but also for muscles, ligaments and blood flow of the infant.
The most important at a glance:
- The legs of the newborn should be squatted (about 110°).
- The knees should be at navel height.
- The hips should be orientated to the front.
- The thighs should be spread in a 90° angle slightly.
- The seating surface of the baby carrier should reach from hollow of the knee to the other one, head and back should be supported as well.