Little by little the world becomes more familiar with the term babywearing and all the benefits that it provides for both mother and baby. I am a huge supporter and advocate of babywearing from birth (so much that I convinced my mom to start a home business making ring slings and now she sells them here). Once you enter this world however, it’s overwhelming. You would not believe the amount of designs and styles and that are out there, so I clicked my laptop away and found some really beautiful and modern pieces for ya. 😉
If you’re new to babywearing, here are some main things to know about it. Babywearing carriers are such as ring slings, soft structured (Mei Tai), buckled carriers, woven wraps and wrap conversions (wraps made into ring slings, soft structured or buckled carriers). The benefits of carrying your baby from birth are similar to those of skin to skin practices, only this is meant to carry your child with movement. In my personal experience, carrying my baby everywhere during the day helped soothe my newborn so much that it helped our breastfeeding relationship and helped regulate his night sleep.
Among other things, wearing your baby can help them feel more secure at all times knowing that you are close, all while you have your hands free! I pulled a couple of gigs during my LO’s first weeks with him on my chest and me on my desk typing away. I felt so. incredibly. accomplished. One thing I wouldn’t do however is cook with baby in a ring sling, let’s say. I know, contradictory because it’s usually what takes a lot of time and they need you ALL THE TIME . BUT I do recommend a carrier that you can wear on your back if they are old enough.
Certain cautions are to be taken when carrying baby. The Baby Carrier Industry Alliance recommends that your baby should be Visible and Kissable. I’d say, to measure, have baby’s eyes align with collar-bone. Never carry your baby low below your boobs or sideways (sideways is not ergonomic for their hips).
The practice of babywearing keeps babies in the safest place possible — a parent’s arms, with baby’s face visible to the carrying adult. Babies are vulnerable in their first four months of life. They require constant supervision, which is why babywearing is critical to the well-being of infants.
Baby carriers are meant to mimic in-arms carrying positions. Your baby should be in the same position in which you would hold him in your arms. Check your baby’s position by embracing him after settling him into the carrier; his position should not shift significantly in your embrace.
-Babywearing Carrier Industry
For us in the heat of Miami BCIA has the following recommendations here:
Sun hats are a must (preferably ones that offer neck protection)…Make sure baby is always visible. It can be tempting to pull up a sleeping hood to create shade. You must always be able to see baby’s face both to maintain an open airway, and to ensure that baby is not overheating. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can overcome babies quickly and a sleepy, lethargic baby may be overheated. Familiarize yourself with the signs of heat stroke in babies. Regularly take your baby out of the carrier to release trapped heat and circulate air between your bodies. Babies who seem distressed or overheated in any way should be removed from the carrier and brought somewhere cooler immediately. Avoid carriers with bulky inserts, excessive padding and multi-layers as these will all restrict airflow. Choose a hot-weather appropriate carrier. Single layer carriers (ring slings, lightweight wraps), breathable materials (linen, gauze, lightweight cotton and moisture wicking fabrics) and light coloured carriers can keep you as cool as possible. Buckle carriers or mei-tai with vents, mesh panels, and curved hourglass shaped sides will all offer increased airflow. If it is developmentally appropriate, hip and back carries can be slightly cooler than front carries. Water wraps and slings are a great option for cooling off in the water together.