Monday, October 6th, 2014
Strapping your peanut to your chest can be a sanity saver when he wants to be held and you need to keep your hands free, but it’s not always easy to master safely using a carrier. Learn to be a wrap star with these steps.
Take it slow. Read the instructions carefully, and practice with a doll or a sack of flour first (seriously!). When you’re ready, wrap your baby or place her into the carrier over a soft surface such as a bed, says Linnea Catalan, executive director of the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance.
Keep Baby close. When he’s in an upright position, your little one’s head should be close enough to kiss and his back should be supported, so that his spine sits in its natural curve and his chin is off his chest. You should be able to fit at least one finger between his chin and his chest—any less and his airway could become blocked. In the cradle position in a sling, he should rest at chest level, with
his bottom in the deepest part of it. And know that babywearing shouldn’t hurt your back, shoulders, or neck—if it does, the carrier isn’t fitted properly.
Make sure his face is visible at all times. Suffocation can be a real risk, especially for infants younger than 4 months, preemies, and those with respiratory problems, says Nychelle Fleming, public affairs specialist for the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Look down at your baby often, and be especially diligent about returning him to the proper position after nursing. You don’t want him to fall asleep after a feeding with his face pressed against your body or behind a piece of fabric. In fact, Catalan suggests that you skip nursing in the carrier until your sweetie is stronger.
Avoid overheating. “Think of the carrier as an extra layer of clothing,” says Catalan. Don’t wear Baby zipped up under your coat. That’s dangerous. A cover that’s made for the carrier is best.
This week is International Babywearing Week! Read about the benefits of babywearing and watch our video all about attachment parenting: