To kick off my Babywearing Series, I thought I should talk about babywearing safety. I know, I know, it is not a very exciting start, but it is important and I promise there are much more fun posts scheduled after this one.
If you are brand new to babywearing, there are some common sense things to know just to make sure baby is safe while you are wearing him or her. Some of the things you probably would naturally do anyway (I know I did some of these already before I knew all the “rules”) but some may not be so obvious.
Just type in “babywearing safety” in a search engine and you will find all sorts of resources which might make it seem more complicated than it really is. In fact, I can narrow it down to a short 9 point list:
- Make sure baby’s nose is not blocked. This is most important with newborns and baby’s that don’t have head and neck control yet. Avoid the chin to chest position or having their head back to far as well, as this will block their airway.
- Baby’s head should be high enough for you to kiss. You want to do that anyway, right. 🙂 Keep baby high up and wrapped snugly and you’re golden.
- Keep baby’s face visible (which goes back to #1). You want to be able to see them.
- The best and safest position to babywear is tummy to tummy for a little baby. You can do a cradle hold safely but it’s tricky to keep rules #1 and #3 with this hold.
- Do not use a bag type carrier. I don’t think they even sell these anymore but they may be floating around used. These are NOT safe.
- This definitely falls in the common sense category but don’t do any activity where you are going to be jumping or bouncing around (obviously). And remember your center of gravity is going to be off so keep that in mind.
- This one seems obvious, but I freely admit to needing a reminder on this myself! Be aware of what baby can grab because curious babies all the sudden may just have access to something less than safe when they are up high being worn.
- Remember while wearing your baby, the carry should mimic how you would carry your baby in your arms. That will help you to keep baby out of the wrong type of position.
- Baby’s knees should be higher than his or her bottom. Also, the carrier should support baby out to the knees (as in the carrier comes all the way out to baby’s knees.)