We are half way through International Babywearing Week 2012 so I wanted to acknowledge it by sharing babywearing tips. For those of you who don’t know, babywearing ”means holding or carrying a baby or young child using a cloth baby carrier. Holding babies is natural and universal; baby carriers make it easier and more comfortable, allowing parents and caregivers to hold or carry their children while attending to the daily tasks of living.”
A commercial carrier is not necessary to baby wear. Many people just use cloth that they wrap around them self and baby in a special way to hold baby. Babywearing takes practice for the adult and baby – it is a learned skill whether using a commercial carrier or a home made carrier.
The benefits of babywearing are plentiful because infants thrive on human touch, babies cry less when carried and adults bond better with the baby.
Here are some important safety tips to follow when babywearing:
- Make sure your baby can breathe.
- Never jog, run or jump while baby wearing – these motions can damage your baby’s neck, spine or brain.
- Never use a baby carrier when riding in a car.
- Use carriers that are appropriate for your baby’s age and weight.
- Practice using a new carrier with a doll before trying it with your baby.
- Inspect your carrier regularly - check for loose buckles, seams, fasteners etc
There are many types of carriers and it can be hard to decide which one will be the best for you. The best way to figure it out is attend a babywearing group in your area or following babywearing forums online.
- Wraparound Sling – long strip of cloth
- Ring Sling – Shawl with a pair of rings attached to one end
- Pouch Sling – tube of fabric with a curved seam
- Mei Tais – modern take on a traditional Chinese baby carrier with a body panel, shoulder straps and waist straps
- Soft Structured Carriers – body panel and shoulder and waist straps but use buckles and fasteners
Babywearing is a special bonding experience for the parent and child. If you plan on doing it, make sure you follow the guidelines in this post.