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Carry On! 6 Tips for Safe Babywearing

Is babywearing safe?  Absolutely yes! 

Babywearing is a practice that has been around for centuries throughout the world.  It offers many benefits for parent and baby.  With the many carseats, strollers and other devises introduced by manufacturers in the last few decades, is seems we have moved away from closer contact with our babies though babywearing.  Babywearing keeps your baby near you for bonding and comfort, and it is certainly a safe practice, but not frequently seeing lots of babies being worn can make us doubt and question our ability and the safety of babywearing. With these 6 tips for safe babywearing, some practice and maybe a helping hand from an experienced babywearer, you’ll feel confident in no time to keep your baby closer to you through babywearing.

  1. Keep Baby Visible – Keeping baby close enough to kiss allows the wearer to make sure baby’s face and nose are fee from fabric or skin ensuring baby has fresh air to breath.  It also ensures baby’s chin is not resting on his chest; therefore keeping baby’s airway open.
  2. Use a Properly Fitted Carrier – No matter what brand/type of carrier you have, insure it fits wearer and baby properly according to manufacturer’s instructions.  This will insure the wearer is properly supported.  It also insures for baby’s safety and head and neck support (while a newborn or while sleeping).
  3. Keep Baby Hip Healthy – You can insure hip-healthy development when baby’s knees are level or higher than baby’s hips/bottom, also referred to as “M” or “squat” position.
  4. Security – Inspect your carrier before wearing to insure all buckles, harnesses and stitching is secure.  Insure baby is secure in the carrier.  Practice in front of a mirror, over sofa or bed before venturing out and about.  Keep a hand on baby while learning baby wearing until you feel confident. 
  5. Purchase from a Reputable Manufacturer – Purchasing a carrier from a reputable manufacturer will insure your carrier meets all current US safety, testing and labeling standards.
  6. Practice Common Sense – Use common sense when babywearing.  Never drink hot beverages while wearing your baby.  Bend at the knee (not at the hip) and have a hand on the baby while picking something up.  Avoid babywearing situations where it would not be safe to carry an infant in arms.

So, pick up your baby….Keep Calm and Carry On!

by Deby Wells, IBCLC