The ever-growing trend of babywearing is everywhere. It isn’t a new concept, rather an ancient one. Men and woman have been carrying their children for ages, while working in fields, preparing meals and tending to more children. Lucky for us, baby carriers are getting more and more comfortable and stylish every day!
When we registered for our baby shower, I researched so many carriers that my eyes started to blur. I wanted to choose one that would be comfortable for both Dad and myself, as well as one that was cute and safe. Cute was tricky — Dad wasn’t as excited about the adorable prints as I was, if you can believe that! Comfortable was easy to determine with padding on the shoulder straps, large carrying pouches and easy to access buckles. Safe was obviously our biggest concern. Thankfully most carriers on the market today meet all safety suggestions for babywearing. If you are unsure if your carrier is safe for use this is a great resource for checking for suggested recalls.
Babywearing safety tricks using TICKS
Now that you have determined which type of carrier you are in love with, you want to make sure that you are wearing your baby correctly. Here are a few babywearing safety tips easily remembered as TICKS.
TIGHT — Slings and carriers should be tight enough to hug your baby close to you as this will be most comfortable for you both. Any slack/loose fabric will allow your baby to slump down in the carrier which can hinder their breathing and pull on your back.
IN VIEW AT ALL TIMES — You should always be able to see your baby’s face by simply glancing down. The fabric of a sling or carrier should not close around them so you have to open it to check on them. In a cradle position, your baby should face upwards not be turned in towards your body.
CLOSE ENOUGH TO KISS — Your baby’s head should be as close to your chin as is comfortable. By tipping your head forward you should be able to kiss your baby on the head or forehead.
KEEP CHIN OFF THE CHEST — A baby should never be curled so their chin is forced onto their chest as this can restrict their breathing. Ensure there is always a space of at least a finger width under your baby’s chin.
SUPPORTED BACK — In an upright carry, a baby should be held comfortably close to the wearer so their back is supported in its natural position and their tummy and chest are against you. If a sling is too loose, they can slump which can partially close their airway. (This can be tested by placing a hand on your baby’s back and pressing gently — they should not uncurl or move closer to you.) A baby in a cradle carry in a pouch or ring sling should be positioned carefully with their bottom in the deepest part so the sling does not fold them in half pressing their chin to their chest.
More about wearing your baby safely
You can win an Ergo Baby Carrier of your own in our #AwayWeGo Instagram Challenge. Read all of the details on Instagram.
Here is a great printable infograph to help you remember the key safety points of babywearing.