Carrying your little one snuggly and safely will require a comfortable baby carrier or a sling.
You must have seen a lot of parents wear one while carrying their child and would have already added one to the list of baby things to purchase before your baby arrives.
However, there are a few precautionary measures to take and know before you decide on what baby carrier to buy or how to wear your new-born child comfortably strapped to your chest.
Benefits of Baby Carriers & Slings
Baby carriers are convenient and a safe way to wear and carry your baby around without both the baby and you getting tired. The design of baby carriers allows you to wear your baby close to you with skin-to-skin contact. As per studies, skin contact helps increase the bond with your baby, as they can feel your heartbeat, familiarize with your smell and even hear you. Babies who are carried around for 2-3 hours a day are less fussy and even cry less in comparison to babies who are not carried around.
Mothers benefit from the baby slings as much as the babies, because the babies sleep well, nurse and are easy on the backs with its design. All this while your hands are free to do other things like cook, go for a walk, or even work. While baby carriers are for babies over 7-8 pounds, slings or wraps can be used for newborns. Wraps have a weight limit of around 30-35 pounds, however, parents recommend it for the baby only till they start squirming and wiggling.
Choosing the Right One
As mentioned earlier, carriers or wraps hold the baby close, snug and safe. There is a wide range of slings and wraps available in the market with fabrics (cotton, spandex, terry cotton, etc.), styles and utility options. For instance, if you have a pelvic floor condition, you should look for options that do not strain your back, or if the baby is overweight look for a sturdier style. So, find a wrap that has all the above features according to the weight and comfort requirements of you and your new-born. And consult with your doctor about the type you choose before strapping up your little bundle.
According to What To Expect,” Take special care with newborns. Babies with low birth weight may not have enough muscle strength to keep their airways open in an unsupported position, so check with your care provider before using any type of carrier. Similarly, avoid carriers that curl your baby into a C shape or where her chin drops into her chest, as that could restrict her air supply. In 2010, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning advising parents to be careful with slings for infants younger than four months due to these concerns.”
How to Wear it?
The way you wear a carrier or wrap will depend on the one you choose for your baby. Go through the product manual and read the instructions carefully to properly use the wrap or carrier. If you still have doubts look up tutorial videos of the product or ask your support group for guidance. You can use wraps for newborn babies instantly if the baby has no medical concerns and weighs over 7 pounds. If you are using carriers for your newborn, use a newborn insert for comfort and the right fit. While wearing the carrier always ensure the baby’s face is visible till they turn 4 months old.
Once the baby is older it will start getting curious about the surroundings, so opt for something that can give your baby complete view then being snug and facing you. And once they are around a year old, they can also be carried on your back. However, for older babies, you need a well-structured carrier to hold your baby’s legs and hips well. You can wear your baby carrier by first positioning them on your side hip, strapping the waist belt on and then slowly shifting them back and strapping the shoulder belt for easy and comfortable wearing.
other valuable tips:
Newborns require special care while being wrapped in a sling as they do not have enough muscle strength to navigate breathing if placed in a wrong position. Avoid carriers that are not supported well or curl up the baby in a C-shape, as the chin will drop on the chest, blocking the baby’s air supply. Hence check with your health care provider before trying it on with the baby for safety purposes.
Practice strapping the carrier or sling on and off by yourself with weights to be confident before taking the baby out. If you nurse your infant while in the sling, ensure that you bring the baby back into the original upright position. And most importantly always keep an eye on the baby’s face to ensure it is outside and above the wrapped fabric to help them breathe easily.
Image Credit: baby carriers by Pixabay
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