Safety is vital when wearing your baby. From a safety perspective, how you carry your baby is often more important than which sling or carrier you use.
Babies should always be carried upright in a sling, with the whole body supported and their airways open and clear. Babies should never be carried in a laying down, ‘cradle’ position.
Whichever sling or carrier you are using, make sure it is tightened securely so that baby cannot curl up or slump down inside it. If slings are worn too loosely, your baby’s chin can drop down onto their chest which can compromise their airways.
Always make sure you can see your baby’s face. Babies should be positioned high up on your chest and be close enough for you to easily kiss the top of their head without craning your neck. Be sure to check on (and cuddle!) your baby regularly.
Take care when putting baby into and taking them out of the carrier. When practising with a new carrier, or a new way of carrying, it’s best to near a bed or sofa. Use a mirror if you find it helpful. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Always get some expert advice from our team of Consultants if you can.
When carrying a young baby who does not yet have head control, support their head by ensuring the top of the sling comes to the top of their neck (and preferably no higher). Ensuring they are seated with their pelvis tucked up towards and their knees higher than their bum will also help prevent their heads from flopping back.
Once baby has full head control and some control of their upper body, usually, from around 4-6 months, the carrier only needs to come up to their armpits, so they can have one or both of their arms out of the sling.
Ensure your sling is safe. If buying new, ensure it’s been fully safety tested and from a reputable, authorised retailer. There are fakes around, imitating – in some cases very well, unfortunately – well know brands. If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you buy or hire a second-hand sling, make sure you check it for any damage before using it.
Be sure not to overheat your baby. As a rough rule of thumb when babywearing, your body counts as one layer of clothing, the sling is at least one more, and if you’re in a warm place that’s a third – so minimal clothing is required!
In hot weather ensure baby’s head is protected from the sun and dress them minimal or no clothing.
In cold weather baby will likely need an extra layer when going outside, but remember your body and the carrier are already providing a lot of additional warmth. An outer layer than goes around both of you and can easily be removed is a much better option that coats and snowsuits.
Always consult an expert or medical practitioner if you or your baby have any health concerns.