Babywearing is absolutely wonderful. But, if you’re demonstrating a carry to someone new or if you are a new babywearer, please do these little things because it will make a difference in babywearing safety.
1. Don’t finish off with a bow tie.
There are some carriers like a mei tai or a wrap that you tie to finish the carry. Always do a double knot. The problem with bow tie is that it can accidentally come undone, which means your baby can accidentally fall out of the carrier. Double knot always.
2. Practice over something soft.
If you’re new to learning to babywear, be safe and practice over something soft or with someone spotting you. If by chance baby falls/slips, then you’re over something that catches the baby.
3. Keep a hand on baby – always.
No matter the carrier, no matter the carry, always keep a hand on your baby. One hand on baby means you know where your baby is while you’re putting on the carrier and you have baby securely on you with that hand holding the baby. Switch hands as you’re putting on the carrier, so that you always have one available to put on your baby.
4. Don’t do back carries with strecthy wraps like Moby, Sleepy Wrap, Baby K’tan or other knit stretchy fabrics.
Yes, I know that the advanced babywearer can do them safely with a double hammock, but publically promoting back carries with a stretchy wrap makes me very nervous. A new babywearer can get the impression that it’s ok and then whip her baby on her back with a Moby and have her baby fall off or work her way out because of the stretch. Be safe and just avoid it. If budget is an issue, there’s always the option of making your own with osnaburg fabric. Contact me through granolababies.com and I’ll tell you how!
5. Upright, upright, upright
I’m not one to say NEVER do cradle. I’ve done it and there is a way to carry a baby cradle — I like to say semi reclined instead. But, to be safe, carry your baby in the upright position. Be sure baby has a clear airway and that the chin is not pressed against the chest as it will restrict air intake. Baby’s head should be against your chest and close enough that you can kiss the top of his head. If you have to do cradle for nursing, for example, then be sure that baby is placed semi reclined in a position that resembles a check mark.
6. Pull on it.
If you’re using a buckle carrier, once you buckle it on, pull on the buckles to make sure you’ve buckled them on correctly. If you pull and it comes out — redo. Sometimes even when you hear that “click” of a buckle, it could still be put on incorrectly. So, just take a second to pull on it when you click it to make sure it’s staying put.
7. And the most important one of all — always check your baby.
No matter how advanced you are in babywearing – always check your baby. As you wear your baby, he can shift or airway can be blocked and you won’t know until you see it. So, no matter what you’re using to carry your baby (baby carrier or even a stroller) be sure to take a peak here and there to make sure everything is still ok.
A lot of these things happen instinctively and some take some getting used to, but all are important to safe babywearing. Peace to you all!