I recently read an article on the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance website about baby wearing and baby carrier safety, and I wanted to share some important points from it with you.
Baby wearing has become more and more popular among parents in the last couple of years, because it allows parents to keep their baby close while carrying out their daily activities. When you use a baby carrier, especially front carriers like slings and wraps, your baby is always in your sight and you can nurse or kiss it anytime you want. Hence, a permanent connection is established between you and your baby.
When a baby is carried, it rests in the safest place possible and enjoys the feeling of being close to its parent. In most cases, the baby will fall asleep even without you needing external sleep aids such as white noise machines. Babies need ongoing care and nursing in their first couple of years, and that makes baby wearing an important part of parenting.
One common thing in almost all front baby carriers is that the carrying position is the same as if the baby is carried by arms. This is absolutely important in terms of bonding. To continue your baby wearing safely, there are things that you should always pay attention. Below is a ;
List of general baby wearing safety tips.
- Once you put the baby inside the carrier, check its position to make sure that it will not shift considerably. The baby needs to be properly settled within the carrier.
- Instructions supplied by the manufacturers should be your first source for wearing the baby safely. Refer to manuals, videos and other type of mediums to fully understand how the carrier is to be used. If you are not sure about something, just contact their support and ask questions.
- Pressing the face of your baby to your body is something you should avoid all the time; its face should be visible and it should easily breathe. Covering baby’s face tightly is also not advised.
- If the baby is small, like under 4 months, check it often and make sure everything is fine.
- To ensure a healthy breathing of the baby, check the position of its chin and chest. Baby’s chin shouldn’t be pressed to its chest.
- If the baby was born below the normal weight or in the case of twins or illnesses, consulting an expert before using a baby carrier will be a good idea.
So, while the baby carriers make life easier and fun for both parents and babies, the above safety practices should always be followed to stay on the safe side.
How to Correctly Use a Baby Sling
In the past couple of years, we unfortunately have witnessed some serious injuries and deaths of babies as a result of baby carrier failures and some parents that are not following instructions strictly. Also, there have been some large scale baby carrier recalls from some of the most popular brands.
To increase babywearing safety awareness and educating parents towards a safer baby wearing practice, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC) has published directions about how to carry your baby in a baby sling the right way. The goal of these directions is to reduce, if not totally eliminate, the risk of suffocation of the infants, and all parents that use baby slings should pay attention to them.
Baby’s face should look up; it shouldn’t look towards your chest.
As you can see from the above image, in the first position the face of the baby is looking up and it is visible by the parent. The baby will breathe easily, hence no risk of suffocation.
Baby shouldn’t be at a low position, hunched or pressed against you.
In the first photo above the baby is being carried at a very low position, making it uncomfortable and as a result, creating a risk of suffocation.
In the second position ,baby is hunched and its chin is touching your chest, which is not a recommended way of carrying in a sling.
Creating any type of pressure on the baby, especially on its face while carrying is extremely dangerous and should be avoided by all means.
Once you feel it becomes uncomfortable for the baby or for you, just give a break and get it out of the carrier, so that both of you can take some breath and rest for a while.
For a safer babywearing, please follow the directions above and please share this page with other babywearing parents that you know.