Babywearing Safety Tips & Reminders
Historically speaking, there are many different ways to practice the ancient tradition of babywearing. Babywearing is not a new trend, it is a culturally rich practice held by communities all over the world since the beginning of time. Here at LoveHeld, we utilize the ring sling baby carrier for many reasons! Ring sling carriers enable for a high positioning of baby while wearing which is easier for the caregiver to monitor baby at all times. LoveHeld slings are also flattering for all body types, quick to put on and adjust, convenient as they roll up compact enough to fit in a diaper bag without taking up a lot of space, ultra soft and comfortable against delicate skin, and support a soothing connected environment for caregiver and baby.
Here are 3 VERY IMPORTANT SAFETY REMINDERS to keep in mind when using a sing sling baby carrier, especially for young babies in the front carrying positioning.
- Make sure your child’s airway remains open and monitored at all times while being held in your sling. The best way to do this is to keep baby in an upright "heart-to-heart" position, high enough on your chest to easily kiss their face, to be sure that baby's chin DOES NOT touch baby's chest. This will allow you to visually monitor baby's breathing and ensure that baby's chin is off his/her chest therefore protecting the airway at all times.
- It is also important that baby's position fully supports baby's developing neck, back and hips. Baby should be held with their knees higher than their bottom with legs in a squat position. This is known as the "M" positioning and sometimes referred to as a "deep seat." The bottom of the sling fabric (bottom rail) will support baby in a hammock seat with the fabric spread from knee to knee. The top of the fabric (top rail) is positioned behind the nape of baby's neck. The tail of the sling (once threaded/adjusted) can be rolled and tucked into the outside of the sling's top rail for additional head and neck support for a young baby. For older toddlers who can sit independently and prefer to have their arms free, the top of the sling fabric is to support right under the toddler's arms (high on their back) with the bottom of the fabric (bottom rail) positioned as a "M" hammock seat as described above. Please note, full knee to knee support is not always possible or necessary with older toddlers as long as the "M" positioning is established.
- Always exercise common sense and caution while babywearing. Baby carriers are not an approved child restraint or flotation device and should not be used in moving vehicles or any watercrafts. Do not babywear while working-out/heavily exercising, drinking alcohol, dehydrated/sick/weak, or taking any medication that causes vertigo/dizziness as to prevent you falling which would put baby at risk. Avoid babywearing in situations where it would not be safe to carry an infant in your arms.
General Safety Tips & Reminders:
- With a young baby and when learning to wear your new sling correctly, always help to support your baby in your sling with one hand. When you get used to the extra weight and learn to balance properly, you will feel confident enough to go "hands free." Always be on the look out for potential trip hazards whether at home or on the go to avoid falling. *If your sling tail is too long for comfort, email us for a no charge alteration to shorten it.
- Do not wear your baby in a sling in potentially unsafe situations, like by a cooking stove, when drinking (or carrying) hot beverages, or when using sharp tools or knives.
- Always be mindful of your posture and bend at the knees if you have to pick up an object, keeping one hand on the baby for support.
- Remember that toddlers have long reaches, so keep well away from dangerous objects when carrying them in slings.
- Walk carefully around corners and through doorways as to prevent tripping/fall hazards and/or accidents.
Babywearing is an incredibly helpful tool used over generations to help soothe, calm, enrich baby's development and keep baby safe while also fostering a connectedness and deep bond between caregiver and child. Following the safety tips and reminders put forth by trained certified babywearing teachers and educators is very important. If at anytime, you would like a little more help with your ring sling baby carrier please contact us. We have trained/certified babywearing educators that are here to help ensure the proper positioning of your baby and toddler in their LoveHeld slings. Correct positioning is super important for safety and will allow for a much more comfortable babywearing experience for you both.
In our next Journal, we will take a closer look at the correct way to wear your LoveHeld slings. Positioning checks and help with getting comfortable in your sling with the correct fit are available to you at no charge. Here are two pages to review and save for your reference in the meantime.
Sending you big hugs, and so much love!