Are you excited to wear your baby with your new gear? We are sure you are looking forward to bonding with your baby and also freeing up your two hands for other things.
Before you start with babywearing, you need to know these top tips for babywearing safely.
Tips for Comfortable and Safe Babywearing
There are many baby carriers online and in the stores, and each has its pros and cons. Before purchasing, be sure to read babywearing articles. You can check out our 2 part blog post about baby carriers.
Get advice and feedback from family and friends who are babywearing too. You may also want to talk with a babywearing consultant for expert opinion and point of view.
2. Check the label!
Check for a baby carrier tested for safety and passed the European standard
EN 13209-2:2005 or the U.S. standard ASTM F2236-08.
Try different types of carriers and different brands to see and feel how it feels on you.
3. Practice. Practice. Practice.
Knowledge and practice come hand-in-hand. Read your baby carrier’s manual and watch video tutorials to learn how to use a baby carrier. And regardless of the type of baby carrier you use, you should try wearing it using a doll or a small pillow. Practice will allow you to master wrapping the fabric using a wrap, fastening a soft-structured carrier. Check yourself on the mirror, or better yet, ask help from your partner or trusted family member to check if you have set up your baby carrier correctly.
Once you feel confident, try wearing your baby. Again, make sure you do this before attending an event, going for a walk, or doing an errand. Familiarize yourself with moving your baby in and out of your baby carrier. If you are breastfeeding, practice how to change your baby’s position so you can nurse comfortably and easily.
4. Have your expectations in check
We have our vision of how babywearing would be like, right? You may be expecting a picture of you wearing your baby, who is peacefully cradled in the carrier. The reality is every babywearing experience is different for everyone. You and your child may have an adjustment period, but don’t worry; it is just a phase.
Babywearing comes with some challenges, especially in the beginning. Join a local babywearing group or an online babywearing community.
6. Wear according to the weather.
Consider you and your baby carrier as another layer of clothing. Some parents have multiple wraps with different fabrics to choose a carrier with a more breathable fabric during summer and thicker material for winter months.
If you prefer a Soft-structured carrier, choose models that have padding that can be added or removed.
7. Add a fabric between you and your baby.
Being so close to each other can feel warm. An extra piece of soft cloth tucked between you and your baby can help you have less sweaty.
8. Try other babywearing positions.
Start with wearing your child in your front. This position is excellent for beginners and wearers with a newborn baby. Once your child has head and neck control, you can try wearing your child on your hips or back. Parents say that it is more comfortable to carry their child on the back during warmer seasons.
9. Check your baby carrier regulary.
Your baby carrier is disposed to wear and tear. The usability of the baby carrier depends on the fabric, weight of your child, and frequency you use it. Always make sure to check your baby carrier for any tears, loose seams, or other damages.
10. Practice Safe Babywearing.
To avoid injuries and suffocation, always be mindful of the T.I.C.K.S rule for safe babywearing. According to the Consortium of U.K. Sling Manufacturer and Retailers, T.I.C.K.S stands for:
Your baby should be close enough that you can hug them. Otherwise, your baby has room to slump down inside the carrier, which can make it difficult to breathe.
· In View at all Times
You must be able to see your baby’s face when you glance down. Ensure that the fabric is not blocking their face or head. If your child is in a cradle position, he/she should be facing upwards at all times.
· Close Enough to Kiss
Your baby’s head should be close to your chin. You should be able to kiss your baby’s head or forehead by simply tipping your head forward.
· Keep Chin Off the Chest
Make sure that there is a room of at least a finger width under your child’s chin. Your baby should never be curled that their chin is forced to your chest.
· Supported Back
If you are carrying your child in a cradle position in a pouch or a sling, make sure that your baby is positioned with its bottom at the deepest part of the carrier. This will prevent your baby’s chin from pressing into your chest.
On the other hand, keep your child close if you carry your child in an upright position. This ensures that your baby’s back is supported in its natural position.
11. Put the baby down when you are cooking.
It may be tempting to do all your chores while you are baby-carrying. However, hold off from babywearing when you are in front of the stove. Ring slings or wraps may have dangling fabric that may catch fire. Also, it is not safe for babies to be near stoves because of the hot pots and hot grease splatters.
12. Enjoy the babywearing season of your life.
Babies grow so fast! Enjoy this time when your child can be so close to you. Take the time to talk with your baby, hum or sing songs, or even dance together. If you are the active or adventurous type, go for an outdoor walk or hike and enjoy the breeze and scenery.
We hope that these tips kick off your babywearing journey to a happy start. If you have any other advice or experiences that you want to share with soon-to-be baby wearers or fellow baby wearers, please comment down in the box below.
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