Menu Close

Baby Wearing

Babywearing is the practice of carrying your baby in a Sling or Baby carrier.  It provides an easy way to help improve bonding of a parent with their baby when out for walks or even when doing simple chores around the house.   For many Babies being in a baby carrier helps to soothe them and stop the crying.     The slings in the early stages help to make Skin to skin contact easy to do.  It is important to take considerations to ensure that the Babywearing is fully safe for both you and your baby.   This section will cover the following:

    • Examples of Different Types of carrier available
    • The T.I.C.K.S Rules to Safe Babywearing to help ensure your babywearing is safe for you and your baby
    • How to put on and take off a baby carrier
    • How to move a Baby Carrier from the front to the back
    • How to remove a Sleeping Baby in a Carrier
    • How to prevent Back Pain using a Carrier

Types of Baby Carrier Available

There are so many types and brands of Baby Carrier it can become confusing which one’s to choose.   If you are wanting more hands on help and advice in choosing look for a Babywearing Educator in your area or a store that offers a variety of different types to try on and find one that works for you.   Babywearing is usually split into different categories.

Pouches / Slings / Wraps 

These are ideal for the newborn stage to about 6 months and are useful for encouraging bonding, skin to skin and enabling breastfeeding when out and about.

Carriers

The different carriers will state which ages they are recommended for.  Some are specifically designed for Newborns and others are adjustable allowing room for your baby to grow with your carrier and also allow front and back carry positions.   It is only recommended that babies can try the back carry position or facing forwards position from approximately 6 months or from when they have good head and neck control being able to hold their head up easily.

Ensure if they fall asleep that the support is up around the back of their head and face is free.

There is also the Hiking type carrier which is specifically for the more active person wanting to take their baby on long walks or hikes.   Again they need to have good head and neck control before trying this carrier (approximately 6 months).

Below shows the difference between some types of carriers.  Please note these are not recommendations but just examples.

Optimising Hip Development - M Shape

The International Hip Dysplasia Institute recommends that babies adopt the M shaped position when in Baby Carriers where the legs are allowed to fall out freely into a frog like position optimising the hip joints which are ball and socket joints.  During the first few months the ball is more likely to be loose within the socket due to stretching in the birthing process and also due to babies being more flexible naturally and the edges of the socket can bend easily.   If the legs are kept in the straight stretched out position with knees together in the early stages (0-6 months) then the ball of the hip joint may deform the edges of the socket or cause a slip altogether (Hip Dysplasia).  This issue almost never causes any pain so may go unnoticed until walking age.  By adopting the M-shaped position it promotes natural hip development.  Slings, Pouches and Wraps if legs are enclosed and not able to freely fall out should not be worn for extended periods of time or avoided altogether to help with this early optimal hip development.

 

There are a list of Baby Carriers that have been recognised as safe for Hip Development by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute – Find Out More Here

Safety When Using a Baby Carrier

Fion (Nurse and Babywear Educator from Babycarriers Rental SG) shows how to ensure your babywearing is safe following the T.I.C.K.S Rules to safe Babywearing and certain activities to avoid when wearing a Baby Carrier including:

    • Using knives for cutting
    • Cooking
    • Climbing up to higher places

The table below sums up the T.I.C.K.S Rules created by the UK Sling Consortium to follow to ensure your Babywearing is safe for you and your baby.

How To Put On a Baby Carrier

How to Put A Sleeping Baby Down In a Carrier

This video shows the technique that can be used to help remove your carrier without waking your sleeping baby down onto a bed, sofa or playyard.   If down onto the bed or sofa it is recommended to transfer them to their cot or bassinet (in line with Safe Sleep Guidelines) or monitor them closely at all times until they awaken.

How to Protect Your Back Wearing a Baby Carrier

Leave a Reply