This post is for caregivers of all types: parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, babysitters…everyone can benefit from some body mechanics awareness!

Putting the baby in a crib

What is the best way to put a baby down for a nap? Try and get as close as you can to the crib.

Front squat at the crib

In this photo notice how my knees are touching and bracing the side of the crib. If I get as close as possible, it creates a shorter lever arm at my back. The longer the lever arm, the more chance of back pain!

Standing further from the crib demonstrating how it puts more pressure on the back

Notice in this picture that my legs are further away from the crib and my knees are straighter, which is putting more pressure on my back.

Perhaps the best option for preventing and managing back pain is also best for managing tight real estate.

If you can get along side of the crib with your feet wide and knees bent, you’ll be able to slide the baby in sideways with less pressure on your back.

Taking a diagonal approach to the crib

You may not be able to tell, but my left leg is touching the foot of the crib and my abdomen is right along the crib rail, supporting my spine as much as possible.

Holding the baby

Many caregivers develop sore and painful wrists and forearms.

When you are supporting your baby from below, turn your forearm neutral and see if that feels better.

Holding a baby

I’m showing you a jazz hand in the photo below so you can see the orientation of my arm, but in real life I would have a relaxed hand 🙂

What about all the burping?

When you find yourself getting sore in the wrist from all of the back patting, try keeping your wrist straight and using the fulcrum from the elbow to move your hand back and forth. It’s a bit robotic looking, but your wrist might appreciate the break.

Also, try and soften your hands when you can safely throughout the day.

Standing posture

Is your back talking to you after walking and bouncing the baby around? What if you find a more optimal standing posture? See what it feels like to bring your rib cage over the pelvis.

We typically find ourselves leaning back in a posterior sheared standing posture. It is natural to recline a little so we can gaze at the baby and also it’s very similar to the posture many women adapt in the final months of pregnancy.