Babywearing 101: Close Enough for a Kiss
Recently there has been a lot of news surrounding babywearing and slings. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has posted a warning, “advising parents and caregivers to be cautious when using infant slings for babies younger than four months of age.” The warning continues to report that suffocation occurred due to fabric and the infants airway being restricted. Babywearing can be beneficial to the parent and/or caregiver when using skilled techniques and properly fitted equipment.
Here are a few rules to keep in mind when choosing your baby carrier:
Please note that whatever carrier you choose, please learn how to use it properly by reading the instruction manual, taking a class or asking a professional. Safety is the utmost importance.
- Make sure your baby can breathe at all times. You will be moving around, so check on your baby often to confirm that he/she hasn’t moved into an unsafe position within the carrier.
- Use the “two finger” rule. In any carrier, make sure your baby has “two-fingers” width between his/her chin-to-chest. This will insure that that the position will not restrict the baby’s ability to breathe.
- Never cover your baby’s face or head with fabric. By covering your baby’s face, you are creating an environment where he/she will be re-breathing their same air. This is not optimum for health. Also, you will not be able to check in to see how he/she is doing or what position they may be in if their face or head is covered.
- Use only carriers that are appropriate for your baby’s weight and age. Many carriers vary in size and weight restrictions. As your baby grows, be aware that the carrier may not be safe for them any longer. Post a note with your doctor appointment in your calendar. This way you’ll always remember to double check your carrier for age appropriate weight, height and age.
- Be fitted properly and take a course on babywearing. There are so many carriers on the market these days that it it virtually impossible to keep up. There are professionals who’s sole job is to teach, research products and educate parents about babywearing. Sign-up for a class today and bring your slings, carriers and backpacks to have them properly fitted.
The benefits of babywearing are countless! Research shows that “wearing” your baby can increase weight, reduce baby’s crying, and deepen the bond between mothers, fathers, grandparents, adoptive parents, babysitters, and other caregivers. When a baby is close to the chest (or skin-to skin), he/she is able to regulate their body heat successfully. The baby is then able to relate with the caregivers scent of skin,
rhythm of breathing, body movements and heartbeat. This type of stimulation helps baby to regulate their physical and emotional development. The more connected a caregiver is to the baby, the more in tuned they are to their needs, therefore creating a loving, nurturing and healthy relationship from the start. Keeping baby close to you, will assure that you”ll always be close enough for a kiss.