Is wrapping safe?
Babywearing is absolutely safe when done properly. Wearing your baby in a woven wrap is a safe and baby-friendly practice. However, as with any baby product, it is imperative that parents and caregivers become fully informed on the proper usage, especially when wrapping younger, smaller, or sick babies.
A general rule of thumb is to wear baby close and high enough to be easily kissed when worn in the front. Baby’s chin should always remain untucked so that airways are uncovered and visible. Hips and thighs should be in a squatted straddle position, which occurs when baby’s spine curves into a natural “c” shape while being worn. Below are some diagrams that show what safe babywearing should look like at every stage.
Here are some additional guidelines from the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance’s (BCIA) website on how to safely wear your baby:
- Baby carriers are meant to mimic in-arms carrying positions. Your baby should be in the same position in which you would hold him in your arms. Check your baby’s position by embracing him after settling him into the carrier; his position should not shift significantly in your embrace.
- Read and follow all manufacturers’ instructions for use, and watch any included DVDs, if applicable.
- Ensure you can see baby’s face at all times. Do not let baby’s face press into your body. Do not cover baby’s face with a blanket, sling fabric, nursing covers, clothing, etc.
- Baby’s head and neck must be gently and completely supported, with chin off chest. If baby’s chin is pressed tightly to baby’s chest, this can restrict baby’s airway. Check to ensure you can slip your finger between baby’s chin and chest to check for correct positioning.
- Consult an expert (a babywearing consultant and/or your heathcare provider) if your infant was born with a low birth weight, such as a preemie or twins, or if your infant has a respiratory illness or other respiratory problems. Extra vigilance is required with these babies.
- After nursing in a carrier, remove baby from breast and return baby to proper carrying position with head above the breasts and face free of fabric and turned to the side with baby’s face clear of mother’s body.
- Attend to and check on baby often, especially those under 4 months of age.
Visit http://babycarrierindustryalliance.org/babywearing-safety/consumers/ for additional information.