If you are new to babywearing or are using a new carrier style, there are definitely some things you need to know and be aware of. Here are some important Do's & Don'ts, but please be sure to review the safety tips for your specific carrier as well.
- Practice before you start. Be sure to try out your carrier before you load baby in the first time. Get familiar with the straps and buckles, and even practice with a teddy bear or bag of rice or sugar. Enlist the help of a partner if necessary. Practice makes perfect!
- Check regularly that baby's chin is positioned upwardly and never pressed into their chest.
- Always make sure baby's airways are unrestricted by fabric or the position of their head in the carrier.
- To maximize your comfort, wear your baby high (aim to position your carrier at belly button level) and as close to you as possible, while leaving room for breathability.
- Use a carrier and position that is appropriate for your baby's age and development stage. Check the manufacturer's specifications before you decide which is right for you.
- Remember to support your baby whenever you lean down or bend over. When you first begin carrying you may not be used to the baby's weight and it's important to support their head and keep them securely in the carrier.
- It sounds simple, but you should always be aware of your walking environment. Make sure to keep an eye out for objects on the ground or anything that could cause you to trip or stumble.
- If using a knotted carrier, always make sure it is tied securely and double check your tie or knot. For other carriers, make sure the fit is snug and any buckles are fastened on other types of carriers.
- Don't overdress your baby. Your closeness and body heat along with the carrier fabric will help to keep them warm.
TIP: Small children have poor temperature regulation, so check baby’s abdomen, forehead and neck frequently.
- Check your baby’s legs often to make sure they are warm and blood circulates freely. Should the calves and feet appear to have a little bit of a different color, shift baby in the carrier.
- If baby falls asleep or starts to fuss in the facing-out position you should switch to the facing in-position or remove them from the carrier entirely.
- Regularly check the seams, buckles and straps on any carrier in order to ensure quality standards are still up to par. As always, be sure to check the carrier instructions for all proper guidelines and warnings.