The Dos and Don’ts of Babywearing

While babywearing seems like it is really simple, there are some things that any parent who intends on using a baby carrier should be aware of before they begin.  Here is a list of tips that will help you keep your baby safe and make your babywearing experience as pleasant and easy as possible.

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DO:

  • Wear your baby as high as is comfortable for you.  The higher the baby, the easier it will be to sustain a carry and the less strain will be placed on your back. 
  • Wear your baby as often as you like!  Babywearing isn’t limited to when you are out and about or times when baby is fussy!  Carry your baby during your everyday activities and build that bond!
  • Support your baby’s head.  Newborns especially need to have their delicate heads cushioned and held up and in a comfortable position.  Make sure that the carrier that you are using provides the necessary support. 
  • Practice putting on your carrier.  Some styles definitely take a few tries to get them on just right.  Practice makes perfect!  
  • Experiment with different carries. Virtually every style of carrier can be used in a variety of different holds.  Test out each one to find the one that works best for you and baby. 
  • Use a well constructed carrier. Not all fabrics are made to support the weight of a child.  Ensure that there will be no unfortunate accidents or injuries by using only those carriers that are put together well. 
  • Wear your baby in positions that are natural.  Don’t contort your child into odd positions.  Carriers should be used to essentially mimic holds that you could do with your own arms. Proper positioning is key to comfort and safety. Children should be supported from knee to knee and from bottom to back.  Newborns should also have head and neck support.
  • Wear your baby close and snug.  Carriers that are too loose will not keep your child inside them. 
  •  Keep your eye on baby.  Just because they are in a carrier doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t carefully monitor them for any signs of distress or discomfort. 
  •  Use different carrier styles to determine which one is the optimum choice for your needs. 

Me with my youngest in a Moby wrap when he was a newborn

Don’t:

  • Believe that carrying your baby will spoil them. 
  • Let your baby’s legs dangle straight down. This can lead to hip dysplasia.
  • Use a carrier without knowing how to properly put it on and position your child. Get help if you need it!
  • Allow baby’s face to become covered with fabric. 
  • Wear your baby while doing strenuous exercise or activity. 
  • Wear your baby in a back carry using stretchy wraps. 
  • Allow baby’s chin to be tucked in too far.  This could make breathing difficult for little ones.
  • Put too many clothing layers on your baby.  An overabundance of clothing plus the layers of your carrier or wrap can make baby become overheated. 
  • Ride bicycles or drive cars while wearing your baby.
  • Let curious hands grab things sitting nearby that are dangerous!  Toddlers who are worn can reach out and get a hold on items that may not be suitable for them to handle. 
My 3rd child in a hip carry with my Moby

What is your best tip for babywearing parents?  Would you add anything else to these lists?

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Day 1: An Introduction to Babywearing and its Benefits
Day 2: A Guide to Baby Carrier Styles
Day 4: The Ultimate Guide to FREE Baby Carrier Tutorials
Day 5:  Babywearing in the Summer (and a Beachfront Baby review)

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Meg @ Adventures with Jude ~ 5 Days of Homeschooling from the Kitchen
Lori @ At Home: where life happens ~ 5 Days of Favorite Books
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Comments

  1. Don’t cook while wearing your newborn!! It drives me CRAZY to see this. Newborns and infants are typically worn in a front carry, and seeing women wearing them, and cooking over a hot stove… it’s an accident waiting to happen. that’s my best Don’t tip.

    Do relax, and have fun!!! Do remember that this time flies, and enjoy every. single. precious. moment.

  2. Wearing a baby in a narrow based carrier, or a carrier that allows the legs to “dangle” does not “lead to hip dysplasia.” A child who is genetically predisposed to, or has been diagnossed with, hip dysplasia should not be worn this way as it can exacerbate symptoms.

    • Actually yes, in young babies having the child’s legs ‘dangle’ can cause hip dysplasia and is not recommended. Once the child is older/ sitting on his or her own, I am told it is less of a risk.

      • No this is not correct, a NBC does not cause hip issues it is only not recommended if child has existing hip and joint issues. Narrow Based Carriers are perfectly safe, they just typically are not the most comfortable for the wearer

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