7 Tips for Safe Babywearing (2024)

7 Tips for Safe Babywearing (1)

Babywearing is a time-tested way to keep your baby close and calm, while freeing up your hands so you can go about your day. And the great news is babywearing isn’t just beneficial for you, mama! It is shown to help soothe your little one, supports breastfeeding by making it easier to quickly respond to baby’s feeding cues, and may even promote language development.

While baby carriers are invaluable tools, it’s important to ensure you’re babywearing as safely as possible. Here are eight things to keep in mind when wearing your little one in a baby carrier, sling, or wrap.

  1. Keep them facing you at first: Always carry your little one inward-facing until they develop good neck control—often between four and six months. Some babies really enjoy looking out at the world around them, so this is always a good time to try babywearing, even if you or your baby didn’t like it as a young infant. La Leche League International recommends wearing your baby forward-facing for 20 minutes maximum at first, then building up the amount of time spent facing outward.
  2. No sleeping facing outwards: If your little one is beginning to fall asleep in their carrier, it’s important to turn them inward to face you—no matter their age. Even with good neck control, a sleeping baby’s head can tip too far forward and inadvertently close off their airways.
  3. Ensure baby is upright: Your baby should never curl or slump down in their carrier, which can close off their airway. Your little one’s back and bottom should be supported in a carrier that is tight enough to keep them upright, never folded forward. Check the position of your baby’s chin. If it’s forced down onto their chest, their breathing has the potential to be restricted. There should always be a finger-width of space (or more) under their chin.
  4. Baby’s head should be near your chin: In order to keep your baby in the safest position, their head should be as close to your chin as possible while in their carrier. A good rule of thumb? If you tip your head forward, you should be able to easily kiss your baby’s head.
  5. Peek at baby’s face: If you look down, you should always be able to see your little one’s face to ensure they’re breathing freely. While wearing your baby in a cradle position, they should be facing upward towards you, not inward towards your chest. Similarly, your sling or carrier fabric should never fully close around your baby to ensure plenty of airflow. No fabric should be over their face or mouth.
  6. Don’t carry baby in unsafe situations: Cooking at a hot stove, slicing with a sharp knife, or drinking a hot beverage? These scenarios aren’t the best time to wear your little one. Even if you’re trying to be as safe as possible, babies can be unpredictable in their movements. It’s important to place baby in a safe spot when doing similar activities in order to avoid a potentially harmful accident. On the flip side, working at your computer may be a great time for babywearing. Some parents find it is easier to stand while babywearing, so you may try putting your computer at standing height on a counter or dresser. Swaying side to side may soothe baby (and you) while you work.
  7. Monitor baby’s temperature: Remember that being snuggled up so close to you means your baby will be nice and warm. Unless you’re outside in cold temperatures, it probably isn’t the time to add extra layers to your little one. Check baby’s head and legs often while babywearing. If they feel warm to the touch, are visibly flushed, or are sweating, they are probably too warm. If you want to walk outside in cold weather, you can try tucking a light blanket around the carrier to keep baby warm.

Lastly, be sure to follow your baby carrier’s recommendations for wearing your little one as safely as possible. Different manufacturers and styles of carriers come with different instructions, and it’s important to read them thoroughly before putting your baby into your carrier of choice. Some manufacturers even have useful “how-to” videos on their websites that are worth viewing before trying out your carrier for the first time. Babywearing can be a wonderful thing for both you and your baby, as long as it’s done safely. Enjoy it, mama!

7 Tips for Safe Babywearing (2024)


7 Tips for Safe Babywearing? ›

Ensure baby is upright: Your baby should never curl or slump down in their carrier, which can close off their airway. Your little one's back and bottom should be supported in a carrier that is tight enough to keep them upright, never folded forward. Check the position of your baby's chin.

How to babywear safely? ›

Ensure baby is upright: Your baby should never curl or slump down in their carrier, which can close off their airway. Your little one's back and bottom should be supported in a carrier that is tight enough to keep them upright, never folded forward. Check the position of your baby's chin.

Can I sit down while babywearing? ›

You can definitely sit down or recline while babywearing, but ensure that the baby is still in sight and airways clear, especially if you have to do a few adjustments to the belts while changing the posture.

Can a baby wear footie pajamas in a carrier? ›

Footed PJs are perfect for keeping those little baby toes nice and toasty, but they can pose a risk when wearing a baby in a carrier. Fitted PJs will naturally rise when a baby is placed in a carrier, possibly constricting the movement of toes and blood flow.

What is the acronym for safe baby wearing? ›

ABCs: This is an acronym meant to remind you of three principles of babywearing safety: airway, body positioning, comfort. (for more tips on babywearing safety, check out this video!)

How to safely carry a baby? ›

Always support your baby's head and neck. To pick up your baby, slide one hand under their head and neck and the other hand under their bottom. Bend your knees to protect your back. Once you've got a good hold, scoop up your baby and bring them close to your chest as you straighten your legs again.

Can I Babywear all day? ›

If your sling supports your little one safely and in a spread squat position then you don't have to limit their time in a sling. Carrying your baby in a wide-based, ergonomic sling is great for their physiological development.

Can I nap while babywearing? ›

No, you shouldn't sleep while babywearing. Dr. Gina Posner, a pediatrician in California, notes that it's not safe to sleep while your baby sleeps in a carrier. She said, “The problem with sleeping with your baby while wearing [them] is that their head can drop and constrict their breathing.

Can you babywear too much? ›

Parents commonly wonder whether there's a time or age limit to baby wearing, and when to stop using the baby carrier. But if you are using a high quality carrier with good ergonomic support, you don't have to worry. There is then minimal risk of the baby sitting in an uncomfortable or unhealthy position.

Can you use the bathroom while babywearing? ›

Either way, if your carrier has a waist strap, you may need to loosen it a little and bring the strap up high enough so that you can easily slip your pants down. If your baby is on your back, you may need to lean forward a bit while on the toilet.

Why do my babies' legs turn blue in the baby carrier? ›

If you notice any discolouration on their legs (a blue or purple tinge) it's likely that your baby's weight is on their legs rather than their bottom and it's being caused by the pressure from the edge of the fabric. A pelvic tuck and scooping their knees up will prevent this from happening.

What should baby wear outside in carrier? ›

Warm but lightweight all-in-one cotton and fleece suits come in very handy for babywearing, especially if you don't want to wear a coat yourself. Opt for lightweight options that provide warmth without bulk, and put them on over 1 or 2 layers of your baby's regular cotton clothing.

How many baby carriers do I need? ›

Many families opt for two carriers: one for the newborn stage, like a wrap, and a soft structured carrier for older babies or toddlers. Other families get one carrier that adjusts to different ages.

What does tics stand for baby wearing? ›

TICKS stands for: Tight. In view at all times. Close enough to kiss.

What does PM stand for in baby clothes? ›

USA (Months/Years)UK (Months/Years)Brazil
PM (Premature)PM (Premature)PR
NBNB (Newborn)PP
14 more rows
Mar 14, 2022

How many hours can you babywear? ›

How long should you carry your baby for each day? Good news: there's no upper limit! While there are upper limits for car seat use, the same rules don't apply to babywearing. That's because, in a car seat, your baby's airways are at risk of compromise after extended periods because they're in a slumped position.

Is it safe for baby to sleep while babywearing? ›

As long as you are using a baby carrier correctly and safely, it should be safe for your baby to nap while you carry them in a carrier. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies sleep alone on their backs on a firm, flat surface without any loose blankets, pillows, toys or other people.

Is babywearing safe for newborns? ›

Framed baby carriers and backpacks aren't recommended for babies under 4 months of age. Young babies have limited head control. This increases their risk of airway blockage and neck injuries if they're placed in framed carriers and backpacks.

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