Babywearing Safety Checklist
The baby is breathing well
Always make sure that the baby's airway is not obstructed, the fabric shouldn't cover the baby's face.
Baby should get good airflow especially when you wear your baby at stuffy and crowded places
DON’T always ASSUME quiet/sleeping baby a content baby. Make sure of it.
Nursing while babywearing is a very handy skill but always make sure your boob is not covering the baby's nose.
Face baby towards the side (preferably facing slightly upwards) when they fall asleep and make sure their face is not pressed against your body.
Naturally curled vs. too much curled (applicable mostly to newborns)
Newborns are naturally curled by being in the fetal position in the womb and they retain some of this curl when they were born
It's okay for them to curl a little because even when you carry them with bare hands, their spine is naturally slightly curved
BUT babies shouldn't be curled further, caused by bad positioning in the carrier
You know it's wrong if the baby's chin is pressed against its chest
With tummy to tummy, the baby's back should be supported by fabric or mehdai straps to avoid the baby from slumping into the carrier
Use support by folding a nappy or small towel placed at the baby's back if it's necessary to achieve good and snug positioning
Not too hot or not too cold
Slings and carriers are an additional layer around your baby so dress lightly in hot weather
Avoid constrictive clothing like tight denim as this may add pressure points onto your baby
Put on sunblock if you plan to go outdoors in daylight
In extremely cold weather, babywearing gear only, even though thick is not enough to protect the baby against cold. Put on layers and cover the baby's head.
The first time
Have someone to help you
Try your carrier near a soft landing like a sofa or bed
Wear your baby as low as possible and stand up when you're confident that you're wearing them correctly
Both you and baby should be calm
Stop and rest if the baby struggles too much and try again when the baby is calm
To babywear or not to babywear
If you need to put on some form of safety gear, chances are you're not supposed to wear your baby. (E.g. Rollerskating, operating heavy machinery, biking)
Don't wear your baby in the car. The car seat is the safest place for baby
If you happen to fall into the water, the baby will be safer if NOT strapped to your body
Activities that involve a lot of bouncing and shaking shouldn't be done with your baby strapped on your body. (E.g. running, aerobics, jumping)
To travel by plane is an exception
Beware of graspy baby
Baby is at the same level as you, what you can reach most likely they can too
Be aware of your surroundings
Cooking should be done very carefully especially when dealing with sharp knives and hot surfaces
Be careful when dealing with laundry detergent or misc. cleaning liquid, be certain that the baby doesn't accidentally touch or ingest them
Remember that they can reach things with their feet too
Inspect your carriers for wear and tear
Make it a habit to inspect your carriers for any signs of wear and tear
All support seams should be intact
Buckles and rings shouldn't have cracks
The fabric shouldn't have signs of ripping
Check, reposition and adjust.
Eventually, while babywearing carriers may come loose, the baby's position can be shifted
Stop and check positioning in the mirror
Make sure baby's leg doesn't turn blue, this is unlikely with correct positioning
Tighten or retie your knots and readjust if necessary
Gentle bouncing or repositioning from time to time may help the baby's circulation
Listen to your body
You are carrying extra weight but with the good weight distribution that comes with babywearing, sometimes you don't feel this extra weight
Ideally, you should take a break from time to time
Don't try to exert yourself and risk injuring your muscles
If you can, switch shoulders now and again with a single shouldered carrier
Share the weight between you and your partner if you're babywearing for a long period of time
Enjoy all the incredible benefits that come with wearing your baby safely.
Written by: Liza Yaakup, certified Babywearing Consultant. Updated 17/6/2021