What is Babywearing?
Babywearing is a mean of transport that allows continuous contact between baby and carer, offering multiple advantages and health benefits for the baby.
Physical contact offers tranquility and security to the baby. Ergonomic babywearing also offers several benefits for the physical and emotional development of the baby.
Ergonomic babywearing or babywearing in the best possible way
Babywearing should always respect the natural posture of a newborn baby. The more the carrier respects that natural posture, the most ergonomic it’ll be. The most adaptable and ergonomic carriers are simply a long piece of cloth where we can adjust to the exact shape of the baby. They represent the most ergonomic option for a newborn, although some claim they are hard to use and prefer different options (that we will discuss in another post: what is the best carrier for me and my baby? Best baby carriers of 2020)
Safe babywearing checklist:
- Permanent visual contact: can you see your baby’s face?
- Can you kiss your baby’s head when looking down? Baby must be at kissing distance
- Are face and nose free? The fabric should never cover their natural airways
- If baby is asleep, is her face resting on your body? The baby’s head should not be hanging back or down, it should rest against your body when they are sleeping or not strong enough to hold their necks
- Is your baby comfortable? Most common mistake is to over dress them. Avoid snowsuits, coats etc. There are other options!
Safe ergonomic babywearing checklist:
- Are the baby’s leg in M position? This is such an important one. Baby should ‘sit’ on the carrier, their knees should be higher than their little bums, aligned with their belly button.
- Is her bum resting against your body? The picture here probably clarifies this point!
- Is your baby’s head supported adequately? The carrier should support your baby’s head and help them support it during movement
- Is the carrier respecting the natural form of your baby’s back? The carrier should adapt to your baby’s shape, not force your baby into awkward positions!
- Are you comfortable when carrying your baby?
- Their bum should be above your belly button (which is your gravity center)
- Their weight should be distributed across your back and hips
- Carrier should be well adjusted. The difference in having a well adjusted carrier or not makes babywearing the best experience in the world or the most annoying one. Speak to a babywearing consultant, watch tutorials on YouTube and ask as many times as you need to. It’s key to the practicality of babywearing!
Key facts for babywearing parents
- Feel safe
Ok, the baby is not going to fall down, but practice with a toy or soft toy as much as your need. If you are too heavily pregnant ask your partner or friends to practice in front of you. Use a mirror to look at what you are doing, it’s much easier when you see what you are doing. Watch online tutorials, ask your friends or find out your closest sling library and pop in for a visit. Most people working there are super nice and they are used to all sorts of question, so don’t be shy!
- Choose the right time
It’s important for both of you to be relaxed and probably on your own the first time you do this! If the baby is hungry or tired it’ll be extra hard. With experience, babywearing will be an unbeatable way of putting them to sleep or calm them!
- Choose wisely
You don’t need to buy a pricey carrier; you can buy them second hand or rent it from a sling library to see if you enjoy it. We would always recommend to go for a carrier that allows ergonomic babywearing, so you can rest assured your baby will be safe, your back will not be sore afterwards, and you’ll both have a lovely experience.
- You are not alone
From your partner to family and friends, babywearing is an experience you can share. Grandmas and grandpas can babywear, friends can babywear too, brothers, sisters etc. If you are tired, if you had a c-section, if you are not feeling great and need a hand, ask for help. It makes such a difference!
- Keep warm<
There are different ways of keeping warm when going for a walk in the cold. We definitely recommend one of our Wombat & Co. coats and covers, but you can read more about you to babywear in the cold weather here.