I have read many recommendations about not keeping newborns upright due to skeletal development to support the head.

However, I also have (and use) a papoose style carrier in the ErgoBaby (with infant insert).

My 3 week old enjoys being carried in this way, and will often sleep very well in the carrier (though we don't let her sleep upright longer than necessary).

Should I be concerned about her skeletal or brain development from being carried upright like this?

  • You could also call the pediatrician's office and ask the nurse this question. Apr 21, 2015 at 2:55

2 Answers 2


We do carry our baby at home at upright position, either on a carrier or directly held on our arms. My baby boy has almost 5 months old and he is developing as expected. Nothing wrong happened, I noticed that he started doing things before the expected age indeed, and I think it has to do with stimulation.

I noticed that he feels tired from being held on our arms after some time and also when he is lying on the bed or is on the car seat cocoon.

My position is that if done moderately it does no harm, and could even stimulate your baby.

I found this really interesting article that backs my position on this: strollers, baby carriers and infant stress


See http://www.boba.com/our-position-on-position and http://welladjustedbabies.com/are-baby-carriers-safe/

Being in a supported upright position, as in babywearing with the baby facing the parent, is a GOOD idea for many, many reasons.

  • The vestibular system gets developed by the baby responding to the parent's movements and turns;
  • Hips are kept within their sockets;
  • Good for temperature regulation;
  • Spine is not pressed flat as it would be while lying down;
  • Head is not flattened against any surface;
  • Several others.

If the baby faces forward, the spine may be forced into a convex position.

Lying down flat may force the head and spine into unnatural positions.

Immobilizing the legs, especially in a straightened position, negatively affects development of the hip joint and muscles, thus fostering bad posture. In particular, papoose-style carriers force the knees to straighten, which is an unnatural position for the baby. The hip joint is best developed if the knees are allowed to bend toward the body and the legs are not immobilized.

  • Thank you for a well-researched answer! I believe that the modern understanding of a "papoose style" carrier is rather different than the traditional papoose (in particular, most let the baby's legs spread out and bend), so by including a detailed explanation of good position you're helping parents consider carriers without any confusion over terminology :)
    – Acire
    Apr 21, 2015 at 12:01
  • Dear Erica, I am sorry not to have paid more attention to answering -- then I might have deserved your compliment :) /// Here is the third link that I was working with icpa4kids.org/fr/Wellness-Articles/…
    – Helene
    Apr 23, 2015 at 0:11

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