Many baby carrying aids can help you bond with your new baby, but they’re not just super chic accessories. They’re just practical! Baby wraps and carrying aids make everyday life with a baby much easier.
Carrying Your New Baby
Carrying your new baby and holding them close might be one of the most important jobs of many new parents. To many people, this statement seems like common sense: after spending nine months in a cozy womb, why wouldn’t you still want to feel snuggled up?
This has nothing to do with pampering. With babywearing, you’re simply satisfying the child’s basic need for closeness and affection.
But how can you keep your baby secure and cuddled when you’re on the go? And what are some of the best ways to carry your child? There are so many safe and fun options!
Instead of carrying your child on your hips with one arm, they can be strapped to your stomach or back with a wrap or baby carrier. This method isn’t just better for the baby’s back, hips and joints – but also for you and your back. Today, there’s a large market for baby carriers and accessories to foster babywearing. But before you buy just any type of carrying aid, you should pay attention to several things.
Spread-squat / straddle position when carrying your baby
When carrying your newborn, they should be in a spread-squat position, especially if they have been diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Your baby will automatically adopt this position, sometimes refered to as the frog position, when you snuggle him or her to your breast. When babywearing, it’s important that the legs don’t hang down loosely; knees should be at the approximate level of the belly button and form an M. If you take care, you can prevent hip damage to your child.
Rounded back and viewing direction when using a carrying aid
In addition, your baby’s back should always be slightly curved but not pushed into a swayback position. The firm support of many Soft Structured Carriers, like the Baby Bjorn or Ergo should help you put your baby in this ideal position.
What’s swayback? Swayback, or pelvic tilt, can also develop if the child is not carried with their stomach toward your body. They will over-rotate their hips so they don’t sit properly. Keeping your baby in the right position will help prevent this problem,
Another risk of a bad babywearing position could be over-stimulating your baby when he or she faces away from you. That’s why it’s doubly important to carry your child in such a way that they can snuggle up to your breast when the world overwhelms them.
Head position when carrying in a sling or other aid
No matter how you’re carrying your child, make sure to support their head until they can hold it up by themselves. Wrap-wearers can do so by pulling the edge tightly and by holding the head with an additional cloth. Carrying aids usually have a kind of hood that prevents the head from falling back, or they should invest in the infant insert for babies that are too small.
When in doubt, try the kiss test. If you can comfortably kiss your baby’s forehead when they’re in the carrier, chances are, their head is well-supported.
By paying attention to these things, you make a significant contribution to your baby’s safety. The T.I.C.K.S. rule is also a good reminder:
- In View At All Times
- Close Enough To Kiss
- Keep Chin Off The Chest
- Supported Back
Babywearing advice with slings and other things
As your child changes, so might your choice of baby-carrying aid. The smallest babies might love the close snuggles of a baby wrap, but as they get heavier, you might want to switch from a wrap to another type of carrier. The Soft Structured Carrier helps distribute weight to your hips, so you’re less likely to strain your back.
Ask advice from family on the FamilyApp, or bring in experts like Babywearing International. This organization is represented in almost 40 states, and has regular classes for new parents. They can definitely help you choose the right accessories.
To make sure you’re in the know when you meet other babywearing parents, we’ll tell you about the most important differences between wraps and other carrying aids here. This process might seem daunting at first but keep an open mind. The results might surprise you!