No matter what type of carrier you are going to use, babywearing safety should be your priority while carrying your most beloved ones. Baby carrier manufacturers are continuously improving their safety practices to provide a much safer babywearing experience; however, as a user, it is all up to you to be totally safe while carrying your baby.
Importance of Safety
As parents, babies are our everything; they are the most precious beings in our life and in all circumstances our first duty is to keep them safe. Babies are not like adults or grown up kids; they are so defenseless and fragile. If proper care is not taken, they may suffer injuries or health problems. Therefore, in all types of babywearing, safety should come first and both the manufacturer and the parent has to ensure that.
First of all, you should know that each baby carrier brand has specific usage and safety instructions. Most baby carrier brands publish safety instructions on their websites, written or as images and videos. They also include instruction manuals with their carriers.
When you buy a baby carrier, in fact even before buying one, the first thing you should do is to check its instructions and safety warnings. If you are not sure about something or have unanswered questions, you should contact the manufacturer or supplier before using it.
All baby carriers such as slings, wraps, mei tais and others are designed for a specific weight range and that is clearly mentioned in their manuals or on product pages. For example, if a carrier is meant to be used for babies between 7 to 30 lbs (3.2 – 13.6 kg) then you shouldn’t use it for a baby under 7 lbs or above 30 lbs. Because, this is the safe weight range that is determined after considerable research and tests.
The First Use
If you are going to use a baby carrier for the first time, you should be extra careful until you feel comfortable using it. Before the first use, make sure that the carrier is ready for use. To do that, check that all the buckles, straps, adjustments and fabric are in place and secure. Especially the critical parts should be examined carefully. In fact, do this every time you will wear the carrier. If possible, get help from someone else as well; something you may not see may be visible to others.
Put the carrier on without the baby a couple of times until you get used to it. Make sure that you are holding the baby above a soft ground or seat while getting her into the carrier. Once the baby is inside, make the necessary fastening and adjustments and control the security. Practice at home for a while before going out.
Don’t forget to check your child frequently and ensure that her face, especially her mouth and nose, is not pressed to your body or to the carrier. Always keep sufficient space for her to breathe.
Different types of baby carriers may have different allowed carrying positions and this information is also provided in manuals or on product pages. In general, we can speak of three positions: on the front, on the back and on the hip. Starting from your first use, make a habit of carrying your baby in the correct positions. If a certain position is not recommended for your carrier, don’t try it.
Never forget that the best babywearing experience is the safest one.