“I use an Asian baby carrier (called a Mei tai) on my 3-month-old. She spreads her legs out and straddles my body. I have heard that in older days, women would strap their babies to their bodies and work in the fields. Having their legs spread out around their mothers all day caused bow legged ness in children. Is this true?”
Most toddlers will develop some degree of bow-legged ness regardless of which type of carrier is used. The Mei tai I am not familiar with (of course, the Mai Tai is a different story!). Babies typically are born bow-legged, and remain that way for over a year. Usually the legs start to straighten-out and are mostly straight by 18 months. After this, the legs start to get knocked-kneed and progress this way for the next few years. Finally, they become straight again by adolescence. There are some red flags to watch for: Asymmetry, short stature, or if the child is extremely knock-kneed.