So there has been much discussion lately about the front-facing out option in baby carriers. I get asked about it quite often so I thought I would share my thoughts here.
I don’t personally recommend FFO for a few reasons.
First- I have never found it comfortable. When the baby is in the FFO position their body is curving away from yours. So even in a great carrier, this is going to cause your body to want to lean forward and put extra strain on your back. And if you have a great carrier you can also have them facing in.
Second- I don’t think it is as comfortable for the baby. I think personally of the times years ago went I went rock climbing and was strapped in a harness- the comfort level of that versus sitting in a chair or hammock with your hips supported.
Third- There is compelling research showing that long-term use in that position is not the best for babies’ hip development.
and last but not least- For my kids about the time I thought of facing them out usually around 5-6 months I switched to back carries, which BY FAR are the most comfortable.
In the years of babywearing, I have done with my 5 kiddos and the moms I have met in these years at Frogmama I would say 99% of kids are fine facing in, especially once you can start back carries. Some babies don’t like facing in right away, especially if they are used to facing out. Most babies I have found do get used to it if you keep trying- making it as fun as you can, gentle bouncing, swaying, shaking, going for a walk, etc
That being said if your baby is the 1% that really only will tolerate being worn if facing out, I would say to do it in shorter amounts of time and continue to try facing in and back carries, Or try hip carries as well in something like a ring sling too. I would also make sure to get a carrier that along with a facing out option would also have the option for back or hip carries to give you a few more choices.