Is babywearing safe?

It is, when done correctly. Like every tool, baby wraps and baby carriers have to be used correctly to avoid accidents. But before we get into babywearing safety, I'd like to state the obvious: your baby's safety is the responsibility of you (or a caregiver of your trust). So do think critically about any advice you hear or read (yes, even mine!) and do your due diligence. 

What should you watch out for while wearing your baby?

When it comes to babywearing safety, the two most critical risk factors are no different from general baby safety. Have you ever heard someone saying they don't want to hold a newborn because they're afraid she might fall? Or ever witnessed a new mother just checking if her sleeping baby is still breathing?

The risk of falling and the risk of suffocation are exactly the two most critical risks you should watch out for while babywearing too. 

What can you do to stay safe while babywearing?

  • check your baby carrier or wrap for signs of damage before using it
  • ALWAYS hold your baby securely with one arm when putting baby in and out of the carrier 
  • practice practice PRACTICE without your baby first and then over a soft surface and/or with a spotter
  • pay attention to your baby & the circumstances while babywearing 
  • do not run, sit in a car, ride a bike, or do any other activities while carrying that might put your baby to risk.

Besides, follow the T.I.C.K.S. rule from the UK Sling Consortium.

Why is the T.I.C.K.S. rule important and how can you perform self-checks?

T - Tight

Why?

If the baby carrier or wrap is too loose, a wiggly baby might be at the risk of falling. Besides, the baby might slump down, which hinders breathing.

How to check?

Carefully lean forward a bit while holding your baby's head. If your baby is moving away from your body, then the baby carrier or wrap is too loose. 

Babywearing safety TICKS rule - Tight


I - In view at all times

Why?

Your baby's face should be visible and clear of any fabric (scarf, sleeping hood, etc.) to ensure proper breathing.

How to check?

Glance down and see if your baby's face is visible, airways are clear, and there is sufficient air circulation. When back carrying, you can check the baby's face using a mirror or your phone.

Babywearing safety TICKS rule - In view at all times


C - Close enough to kiss

Why?

If the baby is positioned too low, she can slump down in the carrier, which hinders breathing.

How to check?

Try kissing your baby's head by tipping your head forward.

Babywearing safety TICKS - Close enough to kiss

K - Keep chin off the chest

Why?

If the baby's chin is pressed against her chest, then the airways can be restricted.

How to check?

Check if there's a gap of at least 2 cm (3/4 inch) between your baby's chin and chest. Adjust the baby's head gently if needed.

Babywearing safety TICKS - Keep chin off the chest

S - Supported back

Why?

A baby might slump down in the carrier if her back is not supported.

How to check?

Put your hand on the baby's back and apply gentle pressure. If the baby uncurls or moves closer to your body, then the back is not well supported.

Babywearing safety TICKS - Supported back


That's a wrap (pun intended). These are the most important things when it comes to babywearing safety. I hope this article gave you an answer to the questions "Is babywearing safe?" and "What can I do to safely wear my baby?". 

Save it for later if you wish.

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