Babywearing 101 – How to Safely Use Carriers

Women have been wearing their children for a very long time, in fact centuries. Being a mother means being able to do things simultaneously and baby wearing has come to the rescue. While I was pregnant I searched for items that would be most used by me and the baby.  I didn’t want to be stuck with a bunch of things I wouldn’t put to use.  So what exactly is baby wearing? To put is simply, exactly what is says. There are so many infant carriers and slings out there. I’ve only tried two so I’m partial to them but you can always try different ones with your little one and see which is most comfortable to you and to your baby.
My first experience with baby wearing was with a Moby wrap.  Nico really enjoyed being in it when he was a newborn. But I could say honestly that I’ve never tried with him bigger. There’s not doubt the comfort level of the Moby wrap is unbeatable. But for me, having all that fabric to wrap around me was a bit of a turn off. I didn’t get to fully experience it’s benefits.  I don’t know if I’ll give it another try now, but since then I’ve been really using the Ergo Baby. It’s easy to put on and take off.  And I couldn’t be happier with it.  The only thing I dislike about it is the fact that my son will always bite and drool on the shoulder straps.  But I solve that by sticking a pacifier in his mouth.

Script below care of Baby Wearing International 

It is very important to understand basic babywearing safety before ever putting on a carrier. As with any baby product, baby carriers can pose potential safety hazards if they are not used carefully and correctly.

Make sure your child’s airway remains open at all times while babywearing. The best way to do this is to keep him or her in an upright position, high enough on your body to monitor breathing and ensure that her chin is off her chest. Babywearing International recommends that infants only be held in a horizontal or cradle position while actively nursing (if desired) and return to an upright or vertical position as soon as they have finished.

It is also important that your carrier provide adequate support for your infant’s developing neck and back. Ideally baby should be held with his knees higher than his bottom with legs in a spread squat position and support from knee to knee although with older babies and toddlers full knee to knee support is not always possible or necessary. An ergonomic carrier (whether a soft structured carrier, Asian-style carrier, sling, or wrap) will provide better support for baby and will be more comfortable for the caregiver as well.

Always inspect your carrier for wear or damage before use examining it for weak spots, loose stitching, worn fabrics, etc. BWI recommends purchasing a carrier from a reputable manufacturer to ensure that it meets all current US safety, testing, and labeling standards.

Practice all carries—especially back carries–with a spotter, over a bed or couch, or low to the ground until you are completely confident. A BWI meeting is the perfect place to learn new skills with the assistance of a Volunteer Babywearing Educator. In most cases it is best to be comfortable with front carries before attempting back carries.

Always exercise common sense while babywearing. Baby carriers are not an approved child restraint or floatation device and should not be used in moving vehicles or boats. Avoid babywearing in situations where it would not be safe to carry an infant in-arms.

Here’s an illustration on how to safely wear your baby in an infant carrier.

Here’s an illustration on how to safely wear your baby in a sling.

Whichever way you choose to wear your baby, be sure to wear them safely. I hope this has been a helpful post and that you’ll wear those babies proudly. Want to know more about baby wearing? Click here to learn more about it’s benefits.

So, what about you? Do you wear your baby? Which carrier is your favorite?

Thank you for stopping in.

 


5 thoughts on “Babywearing 101 – How to Safely Use Carriers”

  1. LOVED THIS!! Every preggo lady needs this in her arsenal. We started with a Baby Bjorn and moved to the Moby when he got older. You are right about practicing! Practice makes perfect (and keeps a baby safe.)

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