Responding to critics of his baby wearing technique, Ryan Reynolds admits, “That is not the first mistake I’ve made. And I can guarantee you, it won’t be the last.” (Photo: Instagram/blakelively)
Ryan Reynolds got more than he bargained for on Father’s Day — when, as Today host Matt Lauer said on Tuesday, “all hell broke loose” — over a photo of the actor incorrectly holding 6-month-old daughter James in a baby carrier.
After Reynolds’ wife, Blake Lively, posted the controversial image on Instagram June 21, fans immediately began firing off comments warning Lively that the dad was hurting baby James by positioning her with her feet sticking out the bottom of the carrier and totally obscuring her head.
Speaking out about the controversy for the first time on Today, the Self/less star admitted that he messed up. “The baby’s not properly secured in the vessel that I’m wearing there,” Reynolds told Lauer. “And you know, I’m a first-time dad and that is not the first mistake I’ve made. And I can guarantee you it won’t be the last.”
When Lauer asked if he’d learned a lesson from the feedback, Reynolds responded, “Sure, absolutely,” adding that usually he does position his daughter’s legs correctly. “[But] I’d never used that particular carrier before so…Every other time it’s been perfect.”
For the record, infants around 6 months old should always be in a froglike, spread-squat position, Babywearing Institute president Beate Frome tells Yahoo Parenting. James’s feet hanging down below the carrier bottom means that her position is “totally against the way this carrier is designed,” explains Frome. “Her legs should be spread apart 90 degrees and 100 degrees up. Having the legs together is essentially like having baby on a cradle board, which can lead to hip dysplasia. In a straight-leg position like this, the hip is essentially pushed out of the socket.”
The height at which you position the baby’s body is also vital. “A wearer should always be able to clearly see their child’s face and ensure that baby’s airway is clear,” Adriane Stare, certified babywearing educator and owner of New York City’s Wild Was Mama (formerly Caribou Baby), tells Yahoo Parenting.
Reynolds, though, still gets points from Stare for using a carrier instead of a stroller. “Although baby James is not in the most ideal position for this carrier,” she says, “it’s really wonderful to see a happy dad trying his best to follow his instincts and snuggle his baby close.”