Will Hollywood Ever Portray Babywearing Correctly?

Will Hollywood Ever Portray Babywearing Correctly?


That is the sound of me shooting my TV Screen at yet another show that has incorrectly, and dangerously, portrayed a baby being worn in a carrier.

You might be thinking, “Who Cares?  The actor is just wearing a creepy doll, no babies were harmed in the making of that film.”

Hollywood makes money because people, millions of them, watch TV, commercials, and movies.  And then they buy what the actor is wearing, or eat at the restaurant they talk about, or cut their hair the way that actress did, well, you get the picture.

I’m not underestimating the intelligence of every American, but when you see this on the silver screen, some people might actually think that is the proper way to wear a baby in a sling.

Not a purse, that is a baby in a sling
Notice how low and covered the baby is

My Idiot Brother: The fact that this movie (My Idiot Brother) was made very recently, after the CPSC issued a warning about the safety of slings and still chose to portray a baby being worn in such a clearly unsafe manner, is just baffling.

I try to put myself on the set during filming.  Do no mothers (or people with common sense) work on set?  Not a single soul spoke up to the director or actor?

Grey’s Anatomy: Another case of unsafe babywearing was during last season of Grey’s Anatomy.  Mark wore newborn Sophia in an Ergo.  Yes, this is really awesome because in general most shows depict babies facing out in crotch danglers.

Mark wearing the Ergo

Unfortunately he was wearing a newborn in the Ergo without an insert, the chest clip wasn’t fastened, and she was positioned far too low.  This show is seen by over 9 million viewers.  What if just one mother thought this was OK and wore her infant this way?  And what if that baby slid out from the side or suffocated?  That is one baby too many.  The previous week Callie wore Sophia in a ring sling but made it look like a full time job by clutching at the bottom for dear life.  And I wanted to spread the fabric over her shoulder so bad I couldn’t stand it.  {View a clip on Carry Me Away}

Sears: In the “close but no cigar” category is the recent Sears ad that has gotten so much airplay I have seen it at least 5 times, and I don’t get to watch a lot of TV.

A couple is seen shopping for appliances and the mother is seen wearing a small baby (doll) in a STRETCHY WRAP.

Good try, Sears

#Win for putting a lesser known baby carrier out for the world to see.

#Fail for having the poor baby (doll) incorrectly positioned so that it still seems to be hanging way too low, and the face is smushed into the mother’s chest.  Mom is also clutching the baby, likely to hide the fact that it is a doll, but it makes her look uncomfortable with wearing it, as if she thinks the baby will fall out at any moment.  {view commercial here}


It is just TV.

I just don’t get why it is so hard to portray babywearing correctly.  Real moms do it every day.  We put our baby in our carrier the way they should be worn so that they are safe and comfortable.  Can’t someone behind the scenes take an extra minute to consult the INTERNET, or hell, even read the instruction manual that came with the carrier being filmed, to keep babies in the real world safe?

And my final thought: Hollywood, please stop glorifying the crotch dangler!!!  We babywearing moms love that you are starting to look past the Baby Bjorn to more comfortable carriers…. just do your research before you film the next movie, ok?

SNL almost had it right, I bet those babies are frog legged

Am I overthinking this? I’d also love to hear where else you have seen babywearing on TV or in movies, especially if the baby was worn correctly! I wrote this post for International Babywearing Week because this topic has been nagging me for a long time.

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  • Mandi Sronce

    I don’t think you are over thinking at all! Mainstream media should seriously try to show that baby wearing can be safe and comfortable. There is NO reason why they can’t.

  • I’m so glad I’m not the only one to be frustrated by this!

  • Mindy

    I remember seeing that Sears commercial, smiling, and thinking “How awesome that they have a baby in a wrap!” I didn’t spend a lot of time looking at how baby was positioned. It would be great if Hollywood could get this right, but I think this is a “no publicity is bad publicity” moment. If Hollywood’s use of babywearing piques someone’s interest, then that is a good thing. I also think that anyone seriously considering babywearing will not turn to films or ads to determine how to wear their baby. Lastly, I own a Baby Bjorn because it was highly rated 3 years ago and I could actually afford it used on Ebaby. From different posts I’ve seen about babywearing this week, clearly my “crotch dangler” is frowned upon. In my experience, my baby is safe and happy facing both directions. 

    • I think similarly, Mindy.  I inherited a Baby Bjorn and since I only ‘baby wear’ on occasion, I didn’t have a problem with it being what I have now learned is a ‘crotch dangler’ carrier.  While I would love to try an Ergo, it just isn’t in my family’s budget.  Now that my baby is a year old, I will probably use my Hip Hammock (made by the mom inventor, not by Playtex) when I need some assistance in carrying my little one.  All that said, it would be nice if Hollywood/Media would take the extra moment to try to show these carriers being used effectively.  Thanks for the post, Kim.

      • Anonymous

        Bjorns are very expensive when purchased new, but can be found dirt cheap used on FSOT forums or local ads.
        Ergo’s and similar SSC’s hold their value more so even used they are harder to find for a “steal.” I purchased my first Ergo 2.5 years ago for 75.00 off of a mom on Craigslist. It was the best money I ever spent considering how many hours we logged in it. In fact, I still own it!

  • Liane

    Will Arnett puts baby Amy in a Baby Bjorn on “Up All Night” frequently, and I think it’s cool that they have a dad babywearing. But in one commercial he’s complaining about how his back hurts from wearing her. I wanted to yell at the TV- get yourself a better quality carrier and your back won’t hurt honey!! 🙂 I love my Beco Gemini!

  • Christina D

    Ahhhhh!  That Sears commercial drives me crazy with the way that baby is being held!  So glad to hear someone else agree with me!

    I haven’t seen the most recent season of Grey’s Anatomy, but when I do I’m sure I’ll want to bang my head repeatedly against a wall when I see the incorrect baby wearing.  So glad I’m not the only one that is bothered by this!!

  • Heather

    I’ve thought that Sears commercial was annoying for ages! I 100% agree with your post. By the way, Iwas leafing through People Magazine at the checkout yesterday and saw a pictureof Orlando Bloom holding his baby in an Ergo, correctly 🙂

  • Not a huge babywearer myself (just never could get it quite “right”), but if you’re going to promote a practice through television, wouldn’t it be a socially responsible thing to promote doing it properly? You know, so you don’t encourage your viewers to kill their kids by doing it wrong?

  • Sarah

    I agree it is annoying to see baby wearing portrayed incorrectly in movies & on tv but what drives me WAY more bonkers is incorrect car seat use on tv & in movies. And unfortunately most people in real life do not do it properly either. The recommendations are also way off (rear facing should be till at least 2, not 1)
    Sorry to go on a tangent there 😉

  • Steph Black

    Props to the UK for getting it right! I love this show, and noticed the babywearing in it one day. It looked like GOOD babywearing, too.

  • Mary D

    Have you seen other SNL babywearing skit where the parents keep coming in using more and more outlandish carriers to one-up each other? One is worn like a little cradle dangling between the parent’s legs! Good thing it’s all in jest so no heads need to explode. (My personal head-exploder is car seats on TV and movies. Ai ai ai!)

    • kimrosas

      I did! It was hilarious.

      Please excuse typos and brevity. Sent from my iPhone