While there are numerous ways to babywear, traditionally and fantastic baby carriers now available, one primary thing remains a constant – the safety of the baby. The earlier you start using baby carriers, the more the benefits, both for the child and the caregiver. However it is absolutely common to be concerned while babywearing an infant, without sufficient torso control. The posture of an infant, in an ergonomic carrier would essentially mimic that of carrying them upright in our arms – well supported, and clear airways.
The basic safety principles- TICKS
The baby carrier should be tight and snug. Looseness can cause your baby to slump, restricting their breathing.
I – In view at all times
You should be able to see your baby’s face to check that their airway is clear. Their nose and mouth should be uncovered and not blocked by the baby carrier or your body.
C – Close enough to Kiss
You should be able to tilt your head forward to easily kiss your baby’s forehead, without having to strain your neck
K – Keep chin off chest
The child’s chin should remain away from their body. Having the chin tucked towards the chest might cause distress to the airways. Do keep a watch, specially in case of infants without torso control.
S – Supported back
The baby should be held in a supported, natural position. Ideally supported from knee to knee up until the nape of the neck.
Safety while commuting
Having your hands free while having the baby safe on you is a huge plus, but it should be remembered that although it seems to be a handy option, it is NOT an alternative to car-seats. And definitely not even an option while on two-wheelers.
Any sudden breaking of the vehicle in these cases (no matter how much caution the driver may exercise) can pose a huge risk to the baby and even be fatal. So, if you are travelling by a car, get a trusted (preferably rear-facing as per the baby’s age) car-seat or in worst case scenarios carry the baby in your lap, and buckle them in when you step out.
Safety at home
Most parents and caregivers are completely convinced about the advantages of babywearing while being out and about. But only those who have tried it, may understand how much of a help it is even while at home. Have you had a colicky baby, screeching their lungs out for hours, or a teething baby – helpless and unable to sleep? Or a baby hitting new milestones and tiring themselves to a point where they must rest, but can’t? Well, yes – this one tool works wonders in situations like these.
You can carry on with almost all of your chores as you have the little one tucked in safely, but there are a few things that are best avoided:
Working near an open flame/hot surface/sharp objects
No matter how cautious we are, babies do have a mind of their own, and we wouldn’t want a sudden swing of their limbs or a curious jerk to take us by surprise and cause any harm to them or us.
Similarly, be careful while using sharp objects or drinking hot beverages with them in tow. (Well as new parents we all know, a hot cup of tea is a joke!)
Safety while sitting down/reclining
You can definitely sit down or recline while babywearing, but ensure that the baby is still in sight and airways clear, especially if you have to do a few adjustments to the belts while changing the posture. Lying down completely with the baby on your chest is not recommended, obviously, because it can be a threat to their airways.
Safety while exercising
For new mothers post-partum fitness is often a big challenge, and no matter what they are pressed for time, to even take a leisurely shower. Most babies love it when you walk about while babywearing or even better dance or sway. Babywearing walks and workouts are the best way out to not just be able to be mobile but also have a baby who enjoys the experience as much. The other caregivers could also enjoy these experience to bond with the baby even more.
While being enthusiastic about it, we must remember that walking on a treadmill like surface or using gym equipments with a child in tow, can be risky too.
Similarly, any sudden jerks to the child, is to be definitely avoided, and if you were to bend forward, do remember to bend from the knee and not the waist.
Seek professional guidance when needed
If in doubt, do reach out to the brand team , or a trusted babywearing educator/ sling library to get fit checks to confirm that you are wearing your baby carrier correctly. . Even the best of products, if worn/used improperly, could be risky.
Once you have chosen an age appropriate baby carrier and are able to understand and follow the safe babywearing practices, be rest assured to have a comfortable journey ahead, while making warmest of memories with your child. They grow up too soon, let’s keep them close for as long as we can, and they allow us to 😉
Most rewarding take away from motherhood
Of all the various things motherhood has introduced me to, babywearing has definitely been the biggest game-changer! From giving me back my sense of self and independence, to helping me restart the journey to fitness, and to let me bond with the child, after a busy day away at work. I can’t imagine having travelled to even half the places we did, with the little in tow, without breastfeeding and babywearing.
It has been a rewarding experience, to be able to not just cherish these moments myself, but also to be able to share this joy with the community, and help thousands of family discover this way of keeping the baby safe and snuggled.