Information on babywearing safety and how to make sure you are wearing your baby safely. What makes a safe baby carrier vs. an unsafe baby carrier? What is a bag carrier and why is it so dangerous?
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Home >  Babywearing 101 --  > Babywearing Safety

Babywearing Safety

- What Are Bag-Style Carriers, and Why Are They Not Safe?
Listen to the one-hour Mothering Radio and Parenting Unplugged show on babywearing safety, featuring interviews with babywearing experts, including yours truly. :)

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall on Infantino SlingRider baby carriers as well as a warning about the safety of using baby slings in babies younger than four months, after the tragic suffocation deaths of several babies in bag-style slings. Consumer Reports has gone even further, putting baby slings on their list of five baby products not to buy. Many concerned parents are understandably asking:

Is It Safe To Use a Baby Sling or Carrier With a Newborn or Baby Younger Than Four Months?

Absolutely, under two conditions:
  1. You must use an appropriate carrier that is designed to allow proper positioning for newborns and small babies.
  2. You must use that carrier safely and follow correct positioning guidelines.
What is a Bag Carrier and Why is it So Dangerous? Click here to learn more.

Are the Baby Slings and Baby Carriers at Safe for Newborns and Young Babies?

Yes, they are safe. In fact, baby slings and baby carriers are some of the safest baby products you can buy! Plus, babywearing has many physical and emotional benefits for your baby.

But as with any baby gear, you must use your baby sling or baby carrier correctly, following safe positioning guidelines, and be attentive to your baby to ensure her airway is always protected.

Here are the rules you should follow for a newborn or young baby under four months of age, or until she achieves good head and neck control:

  • For a front carry, baby should be in the same position you'd hold her in in your arms. She should be in the "babywearing zone" between your collarbone and your waistline, either upright in a tummy to tummy position or in a slightly reclined seated position. In the correct carrying position, you can kiss the top of her head.
  • Never allow baby to be curled into a C-position with her chin forced to her chest. Think T2T (tummy to tummy) not C2C (chin to chest).
  • Her airway must always be clear. Her chin must be up off her chest with her neck straight and her head in a neutral position. You should be able to get one to two fingers between her chin and her chest.
  • Her face must always be visible. Do not allow fabric to cover her nose, mouth, or face.
  • Do not allow her face to be pressed into your body. Check her when she's actively nursing to ensure her nose is not blocked, and when she's finished nursing, re-position her so that her nose and mouth are not obstructed by your body or by the sling fabric.
  • Her body should be fully supported by the baby sling or baby carrier, from her bottom to her back to her neck, to avoid any slumping or slouching.
If your baby exhibits any signs of respiratory distress -- rapid or labored breathing, grunting or sighing with every breath, and/or restlessness, or if she screams or cries or turns sweaty or red in the face in the carrier, she should be taken out and repositioned immediately.

Remember -- you are responsible at all times for your baby's safety!

What Is the Safest Baby Sling or Baby Carrier for a Newborn or Small Baby?

Newborns and small babies can be safely positioned and carried in ring slings, pouches, mei tais, wraps, and most buckle carriers. The best baby sling or carrier for you is the one that you will feel comfortable using, that fits your body and your lifestyle, and that you will use correctly each and every time.

The baby slings and baby carriers I stock at QuirkyBaby have been designed and tested by expert babywearers and I have used them with my own babies and helped other parents learn to use them with their babies. If you're having a hard time deciding which carrier will suit your needs and whether it works well for newborns and small babies, please contact me for a free babywearing consultation via email.

Where Can I Learn More About Babywearing Safety and Correct Positioning?

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