The safest place for your baby being held by a loving caregiver. With your baby securely in a baby carrier, you can easily monitor your baby, notice your baby’s cues, and sniff their sweet little head.
Babywearing is safe and beneficial to both you and your baby. This post will show you how to check your carry to be sure you are using your carrier correctly.
You can use this graphic to help you check your carry:
I like to use the acronym TASK to check babywearing carries.
T- Two fingers under baby’s chin
In any baby gear (including car seats, bouncy seats, swings, and baby carriers) your baby should never be positioned with their chin against their chest. You should always be able to fit two fingers under baby’s chin. If you place your chin against your chest and breathe, you probably notice that it is harder for you to breath with your head positioned this way. This is also true for babies. If your baby is positioned with their chin against their chest in any baby gear (carseat, bouncy seat, baby carrier, etc), you should adjust their positioning immediately.
A – Always Visible
Your baby’s entire head, face, mouth, and nose should be visible to you at all times. Your carrier should not cover the baby’s head. If you choose to breastfeed in the carrier, you should be able to see your baby’s face the entire time they are feeding.
S – Snug and Well Supported
You should feel like your baby is securely held by the carrier. The carry should feel “hands free.” If you feel like you need to keep a hand on your baby to keep them from falling, please see a babywearing educator or group to get help adjusting your carry.
K – Kissable
Your baby should be close enough for you to kiss or sniff their little head. This doesn’t mean that the baby needs to be so close to you that you can’t move your head or look down. The baby’s head should be on the flat part of your chest below your collarbone, where you can smell their sweet little baby smell or kids their sweet head.
Activities that are Safe while Babywearing
Most activities that you would do while holding a baby in arms are also safe while babywearing. This includes:
- simple food prep
- minor household chores
- playing video games
- wading in shallow water
Not only are many activities easier to do while babywearing than while carrying baby in arms, it can also be safer to wear the baby than to hold baby. For example, grocery shopping can be more convenient and safer while babywearing. If you wear your baby, you don’t have to put the car seat carrier in the cart or the baby into the cart seat, so you have plenty of room for groceries. Since your baby is safely in the baby carrier with you, they aren’t being exposed to any germs on the cart infant seat. They aren’t able to stand up or lean out of the shopping cart seat while you are getting something off of the shelf. Your baby is safe in a carrier with you!
Activities that Are Not Safe While Babywearing
Use common sense when choosing activities to do while babywearing. Do not do any of the following:
- Activities that require safety or protective gear (such as helmets or facemasks) should not be done while babywearing.
- Activities that have a fall risk (rock climbing, climbing a ladder, etc)
- Activities that involve vigorous bouncing (running, jumping on a trampoline, etc)
- Activities where the baby could be burned (working closely with a fire, cooking tasks with splattering grease, etc)
- Activities where the baby could be hit by a flying projectile (such as on the field during a baseball game)
- Swimming, wading in water with powerful currents
- Remember that wearing or holding your baby can change your center of gravity slightly. Take extra care when walking on slippery surfaces or uneven ground.
- Be mindful of your baby’s body positioning when going through narrow passageways such as doorways, being careful not to bump baby into the doorframe or another object.
- Don’t over-dress baby. Your body heat will help keep baby warm. Likewise, in cold weather, keep baby’s extremities warm. You can feel baby’s head, chest, hands, and feet to check on baby’s temperature.
- Pay attention to what your baby can reach while in the carrier and keep any sharp, hot, or otherwise dangerous items out of reach.
Babywearing is very safe! The safest place for your baby is in a baby carrier with a loving caregiver or in the arms of a loving caregiver. I hope that this babywearing safety guide helps you check your carrier and wisely choose activities to do while babywearing.
Wonderful Safety Brochures in English, Spanish, and French by the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance.
Positioning your Newborn
How to Use a Stretchy Wrap
How to Use a Woven Wrap
How to Use a Ring Sling
How to Use a Pouch Sling
How to Use a Meh Dai
How to Use a Soft Structured Carrier