Babywearing Safety and Positioning
- Baby should be close enough to kiss and his face should always be visible so you can ensure his airway is clear and he is not in distress.
- Keep baby’s chin off her chest to keep the airway open.
- Baby should be facing you and secured firmly to you in the carrier—whether worn on your front, hip or back. This is a must until baby is 4-6 months old and has excellent head control and thereafter is our best recommendation. Baby should always be facing you when sleeping so you can ensure the best position to keep the airway open and clear.
- Baby should be upright and in a seated squat position with her knees above her bum. This allows for the hip joints to be neutral and relaxed with no stress or pressure, and a developmentally appropriate position.
- Always keep a hand on baby until the carrier is securely tightened, tied, or buckled. When first learning back carries I encourage you to practice with a spotter or by a bed or sofa.
- The natural curve of baby's back should be properly supported and not forced to straighten. When babies are born their back is in a natural C-shape called kyphosis. During the first year the back straightens in three steps. (I use “straighten” very loosely as our backs have a natural double "S" curve to them.) By the time the baby has good head control and can lift his head when laying down the top portion of the spine has straightened. This usually occurs around 6 weeks. When baby can sit unassisted, often around 4-5 months the torso section of the spine has straightened. By the time baby can walk on his own the lower portion of the spine has straightened. This is important to know so that you can ensure that baby’s back is allowed to be in its natural position. For newborns and young babies a carrier should not put pressure on the back and force it into a straight position.
- Regularly look over your carrier to be sure there are no rips, tears, or areas that may cause a safety concern.
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