Biologically, the most natural & normal place for a newborn baby to be is on their primary caregivers chest. While babywearing has several benefits, the most important thing to remember is how to do it safely.
"I always teach parents is that you are putting your sling, wrap or carrier AROUND your baby, you're not putting your baby into a carrier, wrap or sling."
This means that your sling is an aid that is used to keep a baby on your body. It needs to respect the baby's biological positioning, while keeping them secure.
New born babies sit with their tiny little legs still curled up, like a frog. Parents need to be responsive to the baby's physiology, and support them in their normal seated position.
We spoke to babywearing consultant, Gillian O’Neill, from Mummy Hub, on an effective method to follow and ensure you’re taking the right measures while wearing your baby.
Tight: Slings and carriers should be tight enough to hug your baby close to you as this will be most comfortable for you both. By keeping the sling tight & fitting correctly, we automatically protect baby's airways.
In View At All Times: You should always be able to see your baby’s face by simply glancing down. The fabric of the carrier should not close around them so you have to open it to check on them. In a cradle position, your baby should face upwards and not be turned in towards your body.
Close Enough To Kiss: Your baby’s head should be as close to your chin as is comfortable. By tipping your head forward you should be able to kiss your baby on the head or forehead.
Keep Chin Off The Chest: A baby should never be curled so their chin is forced onto their chest as this can restrict their breathing. Ensure there is always a space of at least a finger width under your baby’s chin
Supported Back: In an upright carry, a baby’s tummy and chest should be held comfortable against you. If a sling is too looe they can slump which can partially close their airway. Test this by placing a hand on your baby’s abc and pressing gently - they should not uncurl or move closer to you.
Safety guidelines are there not only to keep the baby safe but also to keep their caregivers comfortable & confident while carrying the baby.
If you are not feeling 100% confident in using your sling, carrier or wrap, you have a few options for support; Youtube tutorials, local sling libraries and consultants. You can also consult the in-house MOBY expert on Instagram @askamobywrapexpert for help and tips.
Yours and baby's safety is the most important thing when it comes to carrying. Being confident & capable will make enjoying all of those oxytocin boosting snuggles all the better :-)