Babywearing, Back to Basics by Alyson Moo Young
Which carrier is your favorite?
Which carrier is the best?
What should I look for when choosing one?
There’s so many to choose from!
Those are the most common questions and statements I hear from parents when entering “the world of babywearing.” Maybe you’ve heard of babywearing – simply put, it’s the act of wearing your baby and being hands free, or maybe you’ve seen others doing it and were intrigued.
It isn’t something new. Humans have been wearing and carrying their little ones since the beginning of time. Nowadays, we have plenty of options and this is one the reasons why parents are paralyzed in knowing where to start. My answer is, “Start simple. You and baby have to like it. Oh, and don’t forget to practice!”
The Baby K’tan Carrier (https://babyktan.com/collections/baby-carriers) can be a great way to introduce parents to babywearing. It’s a hybrid-style carrier that is easy to use, convenient to stash away and versatile in positions. When using any carrier, remember to follow T.I.C.K.S.
T – TIGHT – slings and carriers should be tight enough to hug your baby close to you as this will be most comfortable for you both. Any slack/loose fabric will allow your baby to slump down in the carrier which can hinder their breathing and pull on your back.
I – IN VIEW AT ALL TIMES – you should always be able to see your baby’s face by simply glancing down. The fabric of a sling or 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 not be turned in towards your body.
C – 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.
K – KEEP CHIN OFF 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.
S – SUPPORTED BACK - in an upright carry a baby should be held comfortably close to the wearer so their back is supported in its natural position and their tummy and chest are against you. If a sling is too loose they can slump which can partially close their airway. (This can be tested by placing a hand on your baby’s back and pressing gently - they should not uncurl or move closer to you.) A baby in a cradle carry in a pouch or ring sling should be positioned carefully with their bottom in the deepest part so the sling does not fold them in half pressing their chin to their chest.
*TICKS used with permission of the UK Sling Consortium (http://babyslingsafety.co.uk/)
Additionally, consider a few of the benefits of babywearing, including breastfeeding (link to previous blog – Natl BF Month here). If you need help in deciding which Baby K’tan carrier to purchase or which size is for you, our Customer Care team (link https://babyktan.com/pages/contact-us ) or Virtual Sizing assistant can help with a Fit Check (link https://babyktan.com/pages/virtual-sizing-assistant).
Author: Alyson Moo Young, Certified Babywearing Educator, Certified Community Lactation Education and La Leche League Leader