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An Introduction to Baby Wearing

Baby wearing is the practice of carrying a baby with a wrap or device that leaves your arms and hands free. Parents find baby wearing has many benefits for their child and themselves when done safely. Keep reading if you want to learn more! 


Benefits of Baby Wearing 

  • Soothes and comforts the baby 
  • Allows for skin-to-skin contact with your baby, which promotes their health 
  • Makes breastfeeding easier on the go 
  • May help your baby breastfeed for longer 
  • Creates a stronger bond and connection between you and baby 
  • Frees your hands so you can do other household tasks or take care of other children 
  • Exposes the baby to new sights and sounds, helping their cognitive development 
  • Encourages hip health for your baby 
  • Simulates the womb, such as the swaying of the mother or the sound of her heartbeat 
  • Allows dads and other loved ones to connect with the baby and help with caregiving 


Safety When Baby Wearing 

When you baby wear, it is important that you do so safely and properly. This will protect both you and your baby. Baby wearing safely includes only wearing your baby in positions that are safe for their age. Before your baby has strong head and neck control, you should only wear your baby on the front, with their chest against your chest. Once they have strong head and neck control, they can also be worn facing away from you on your front or facing towards you on your back. Check your baby carrier to make sure that you follow its specific instructions for how to use the carrier with your baby at different ages.  

Primary Safety Tips: TICKS 

  • T: Tight. When in the carrier, the baby should be upright and tight against you. This prevents any accidental falls. 
  • I: In view at all times. You should be able to see the baby’s face to check their breathing. This will also help you to check in on the baby’s mood. This only applies when you are front wearing. 
  • C: Close enough to kiss. When you lower your head, you should be able to kiss the top of the baby’s head. If you cannot, the carrier needs to be repositioned so that the baby is high enough for you to kiss them. This only applies when you are front wearing. 
  • K: Keep chin off chest. Your baby should have a gap of about two fingers under their chin while they are in the carrier. If they are in a proper upright position with a curved spine and legs squatting, their chin is less likely to drop. 
  • S: Supported back. Your carrier should be tight enough that there is no gap between you and the baby. However, it should also be loose enough that you can slide a hand into the carrier.  

Other Safety Tips: 

  • The baby’s feet should be free to move and their legs should be in “froggy” position, with their knees higher than their hips. 
  • Do not carry your baby in a carrier in potentially unsafe situations, like when cooking at a stove, using knives, or drinking hot beverages. 
  • If you need to bend down to pick up something, bend at your knees while keeping one hand on the baby. 
  • Monitor the temperature of the baby. Your body will help to keep the baby warm. 
  • Never baby wear while in the car or on a bicycle or scooter. Babies should only ride in approved infant seats in vehicles. 
  • Make sure that the baby’s weight is evenly distributed across your shoulders and hips in order to minimize strain on your body. 
  • Young infants should always be placed facing inwards, towards you.  
  • Read the instructions of the baby carrier carefully to make sure that you use it properly. 
  • Follow the age and weight guidelines for the carrier. 
  • Inspect your carrier regularly for any wear and tear or damage. 


Types of Baby Wearing 

There are three main types of baby carriers: wraps, slings, and structured carriers. The type and specific carrier that you choose will depend on the age or size of your baby, your body type, your budget, your activities, and your personal preferences 

  • Wraps: Wraps are made of a long piece of fabric that you wrap around your body. Wraps allow you to have flexibility in how you carry the baby. Wraps can be used in several positions. Make sure that you use the wrap in approved positions only. It can be dangerous to use the wrap in a position that is not approved.  
  • Slings: Slings are fabric loops that rest on one of your shoulders. They are convenient as the they are easy to put on and position. However, given that the weight of the baby rests on one shoulder of the caregiver, some caregivers may feel strain when using one.  
  • Structured Carriers: Structured carriers look the most like a backpack. They have shoulder straps and waist belts that support the weight of baby. Structured carriers tend to be easy to use and comfortable for long periods of baby wearing. They often can be used in different positions for babies and toddlers.  

For baby carrier recommendations and further information on how to baby wear at different stages of your baby’s life, check out this article 



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Having a Baby? Get Prenatal Care