I saw at least ten babies being carried in crotch danglers, the Baby Bjorn type carriers. All of the babies were younger than about three or four months old. Their legs just hanging there as they were suspended by their crotch. Research shows that being carried in such a position is damaging to a baby's developing spine and contributes towards hip dysplasia, but it is the sheer uncomfiness of how it looks that makes me cringe. I know that I wouldn't want to be carried that way!
Not only are these types of carriers uncomfortable for the baby, they are also uncomfortable for the adult, especially as baby grows heavier. The baby is positioned very low down which pulls on the wearer's shoulders causing back ache.
An example of how a baby hangs from their crotch when using a Baby Bjorn type carrier,
compared to the seating position of a mei tai type sling.
Such a large baby wouldn't normally be carried in a Baby Bjorn (far too uncomfortable for all involved!)
but this image illustrates the point very well.
On the way back to the car, I finally saw a tiny baby snuggled up in a soft, cosy wrap. If I had caught the mother's eye I would have made a positive comment and thanked her! Her baby was so comfy she was asleep. None of the crotch danglers were sleeping. Comparing the wrap to the Baby Bjorn carriers, with a wrap (or other mei tai type slings, etc) the baby is worn higher up and closer to the body. The higher a baby is worn, the more a part of your own body the weight becomes, which prevents back ache. The baby is also positioned differently. Rather than hanging from their crotch, a baby in a wrap or mei tai type sling is positioned more naturally. Young babies are carried with their legs "froggied" up - the same position as they are in the womb. As they get older, they can sit with their legs astride, around the adult's waist, and their weight is beared on their bottom. With a wrap or mei tai you can also carry the baby on your back, especially useful for older babies and toddlers.
An example of how a baby's weight is beared on their bottom when using a mei tai sling.
Thank you Jade.
Below is a very informative link explaining hip dysplasia and how using certain slings and carriers can contribute towards the condition...
Footnote - If anyone knows who has "copyright" of the first image, please let me know so I can get in touch. I am not intentionally using a copyrighted image! Thank you :-)