Welcome to the world of Babywearing your infant, baby or older child!
Babywearing has an incredible amount of benefits for both the Wearer and for the Baby. To start your journey into wearing your baby, educating yourself on safety should be the first place to start!
There are several sources for How to Wear your baby safely. Our mission to you is to outline and explain the main sources that we recommend.
Visible & Kissable
The BCIA (Baby Carrier Industry Alliance) supports Health Canada’s Babywearing Safety Campaign – Visible and Kissable!
The BCIA is an international organization that supports the baby carrier carrier industry in bringing safe carriers to market, promotes the importance of in-arms carrying, and works to increase the value of baby carriers. The safety message in the Health Canada campaign is widely used in North America but also Internationally.
BCIA recommends the practice of babywearing as it keeps babies in the safest place possible — a parent’s arms, with baby’s face visible to the carrying adult. Babywearing keeps your baby Visible and Kissable!
Babies are vulnerable in their first four months of life. They require constant supervision, which is why babywearing is critical to the well-being of infants. Baby carriers are meant to mimic in-arms carrying positions. Your baby should be in the same position in which you would hold him in your arms. Check your baby’s position by embracing him after settling him into the carrier; his position should not shift significantly in your embrace.
Here are some additional guidelines from the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance’s (BCIA) website on how to safely wear your baby:
- Read and follow all manufacturer’s instructions for use, and watch any included DVDs, if applicable.
- Ensure you can see baby’s face at all times. Do not let baby’s face press into your body. Do not cover baby’s face with a blanket, sling fabric, nursing cover, etc.
- Baby’s head and neck must be gently and completely supported, with chin off chest. If baby’s chin is pressed tightly to baby’s chest, this can restrict baby’s airway. Check to ensure you can slip two fingers between baby’s chin and chest to check for correct positioning.
- Consult an expert if your infant was born with a low birth weight, such as a preemie or often the case with twins, or if your infant has respiratory illness or any other respiratory problems. Extra vigilance is required with these babies.
- After nursing in a carrier, remove baby from breast and return baby to proper carrying position with head above the breasts and face free of fabric and turned away from the mother’s body.
- Attend to and check on baby often, especially those under 4 months of age.
Visit BCIA & Health Canada for additional information.
T.I.C.K.S. is an acronym used for safe babywearing guidelines. These safety guidelines were initially put together by The Consortium of UK Sling Manufacturers and Retailers. T.I.C.KS. is used worldwide and is a great resource for explaining in detail all the wearing safety check marks. T.I.C.K.S. stands for:
In view at all times
Close enough to kiss
Keep the chin off chest
T.I.C.K.S. is especially important when carrying a newborn baby or a small baby with no neck control. Newborn babies have little to no ability to control their head and neck. For this reason, the danger of airways being blocked is at a higher risk than babies with neck control. However, these guidelines apply to all ages and sizes of babies and children. Please also keep in mind that T.I.C.K.S. can be applied to car seats, baby chairs and even in arms carrying.
T.I.C.K.S. by the UK Sling Consortium
An additional safety reminder for babywearing safety is the ABC quick reference. The ABCs for safety guidelines covers the basics and the catchy acronym is easy to remember.
AIRWAY – Ensure baby’s airway is not obstructed, by keeping chin off of chest and by maintaining fresh airflow around baby’s face.
BODY POSITIONING – Be sure that your baby carrier supports baby in a position that is appropriate for their level of neck and trunk control. There should be no slumping and baby knees should ideally be positioned higher than bum.
COMFORT – Your baby carrier should be comfortable for both you and your baby. If something does not feel right, re-adjust and/or seek some assistance from a babywearing educator.
Another great Safety checklist is the Baby-Carrying-Safety brochure. It was originally created by a group of French Babywearing Consultants and later translated by Slingababy. It provides an excellent visual to explain each safety recommendation.
For more information visit Slingababy
For more information or additional questions, feel free to reach out to the experts at firstname.lastname@example.org