Babywearing safety; baby wearing safety

Babywearing is a great way for you to bond with your new baby and provides a host of benefits including providing you flexibility to do many tasks that require both hands. As a result, a carrier or wrap can be one those must haves for baby and may be extremely valuable to those expecting multiples. There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to wearing your baby, but regardless of what you want, there are specific safety guidelines you should follow.  TICKS is a commonly used acronym to describe best practices for babywearing safety, and we will be discussing each part of the acronym in the sections that follow.

Tight

This first aspect of babywearing safety deals with the proper positioning of the straps or fabric to that you are wearing your baby tight enough to hug them close to you. If the straps aren’t tight enough or the fabric is too loose, baby can slump down which hinder baby’s breathing. Additionally, wearing your baby too loosely could pull on your back causing unnecessary strain. Proper positioning and tightness ensures the most comfortable position for you and your Cleveland baby and provides baby the safest possible ride. When babywearing using a tight wrap you can help with premature newborns by allowing skin to skin contact.

In view at all times

While you need to keep baby close to maximize babywearing safety, you must be able to see baby’s face by just glancing down. If there is any fabric obstructing your view of your baby, consider re-positioning or re-wrapping your baby. If your baby is being worn safely, you should not need to separate any fabric to check on your baby. If your baby is wrapped in a cradle position, they should be facing up and not turned towards your body.

Close enough to kiss

Pregnant Cleveland moms often dream about opportunities to be affectionate with their babies and, in this case, those desires for affection and babywearing safety go hand in hand. For this part of the acronym, you want to make sure that baby’s head is as close to your chin as is comfortable. Additionally, when you tilt your head forward, you should be able to kiss baby’s head or forehead without having to strain to do so.

Keep chin off the chest

As with most aspects of TICKS, proper positioning of baby is of the utmost importance when it comes to babywearing safety. Therefore, baby should never be in a position where their chin is forced into their chest because this type of position can restrict breathing. To maintain a safe position, make sure there is always at least a finger width of space under baby’s chin when they are being worn.

Supported back

In order to maintain proper babywearing safety, it is vital that baby’s back be supported.  The method for obtaining this with a carrier is to make sure they are held comfortably close, with their back in a natural position and their front against you. If positioned correctly, when you gently press on baby’s back, baby will not uncurl or move closer to you.  If you are using a sling or wrap, make sure baby’s bottom is in the deepest part, so the sling doesn’t fold them in half.  This can cause baby’s chin to be pressed to their chest and restrict their breathing.

While your Cleveland postpartum doula or newborn care specialist may be able to assist you in correctly positioning your baby, you may want to check out the resources below for additional information on babywearing and babywearing safety.

The Babywearer Forums

Babywearing Institute

Babywearing International

Ask Dr. Sears – The Benefits of Babywearing

La Leche League – The Benefits of Babywearing