Is Baby Wearing Safe?Baby wearing is safe, although not all carriers used for baby wearing are safe. Like with any product used with babies and children, safety guidelines need to be followed. Your baby is your responsibility and their safety is of utmost importance. It is vital that when using any carrier, ring sling or wrap, that you understand how to use it safely and correctly, remembering the appropriate age and developmental stage of the child.
It is crucial that you check the strength of the straps and buckles (if using soft structured carriers, or mei tais), rings are closed and not pulling apart (ring slings) and check over your wraps for any flaws. The correct tying of wraps is important to ensure the safety of your child. Please refer to the T.I.C.K.S Rule for Safe Baby Safety Guidelines for further information.
How to position baby in a woven wrap?
A good quality carrier will mimic the position that baby is held in arms, with their legs ‘drawn up’ and in the 'm' position. Their knees should be higher than their bottom, in a natural seated position. This is both ergonomically correct for the baby's developing spine and comfortable for the wearer. The weight of the baby or young child is evenly distributed, with fabric spreading evenly from knee to knee.
The best position for a newborn is upright, in the tummy to tummy position. It is imperative that a newborn not have their chin curled towards their chest, this partially closes the baby’s airways. For this reason it is recommended that the cradle position only be used for breastfeeding and that when a baby has finished feeding, to return them to an upright position. Rapid or laboured breathing, grunting or sighing with every breath, may be an indication that a baby is experiencing respiratory difficulty. If you have any doubt, remove them from the wrap.
All fabric of the wrap should be clear from the baby’s nose and mouth, to ensure sufficient airflow. Baby should be ‘close enough to kiss’ and supported tightly enough by the wrap, to avoid slumping.
If back wrapping it is best to practice with someone else as a spotter or over a soft surface. Use a stuffed toy or doll to practice with to ensure you are confident to wrap your child. Regularly check the position of your child in a mirror or other reflective surface.
How to position baby in a ring sling?
The safest position for a baby in a ring sling is always upright, tummy to tummy and close enough to kiss. This is particularly important for newborns who are more vulnerable and need extra monitoring, therefore for this reason we do not recommend a cradle carry (baby horizontally positioned). A baby in a ring sling will mimic a baby positioned correctly in a woven wrap, with their legs drawn up and in a spread squat position.