How to use wraps and slings safely
This page includes a three step checklist to ensure safe babywearing in baby slings.
A three step guide to safely using woven baby slings
- General safety
Once your baby is positioned in the sling, first, make sure it is breathing and that airways are clear from coats, scarves and other clothing. Secondly, ensure that the neck is in a neutral, and straight. Lastly, you should feel comfortable when you’re not supporting your baby’s bottom or back with your hands.
- Baby’s comfort
The three step method.
1 – Safety
- Are airways free and is baby breathing?
- Is the neck in a safe, neutral position? Eg. not too far forward, nor too far back.
- Is babys face visible and free of fabric?
- Does it feel secure? Can you be hands free?
2 – Baby’s comfort
- Is the fabric high, but not too high?
- For a newborn to the earlobe, but without applying pressure to the neck
- For a baby with head control: to the nape of the neck, excess fabric gathered in the neck and no higher
- For a walking child: at least to the armpit and no higher than the nape of the neck
- Are the child’s hands up and available for chewing?
- Is the fabric smooth and tight on the child’s spine?
- Is the child supported from knee-to-knee?
- Is excess fabric gathered at the knee pits?
- Is the pelvis tilted?
The child’s position and pelvis-tilt can be examined and adjusted (if necessary) by one of the following ways:
- Support the child’s neck and head, lean forward and push the child’s knees up and under its bum.
- Get your hands inside the pocket of the wrap, place your fingers in the child’s hip joints, carefully tilt the pelvis and lift the child’s legs.
3 – The wearer’s comfort
- Anything that needs adjustment?
- Does it feel comfortable over the neck and shoulders? In the armpits?
- Is the knot placed a comfortable place?
All of three of the above can be adjusted to improve your comfort!
Please also remember
- Pay attention to your balance. Your center of gravity is changed when carrying and might affect your balance.
- Change position. Our bodies are build for movement, so change the vary the direction your baby is facing (especially importen for babies without head control)
- After feeding and in case of reflux, a vertical position is essential.
- Pay attention to the clothing of the child. Baggy pants can gather in the knee pits and hinder blood flow. Pants with build-in feet might hinder movement of the toes.
- Use shoes appropriate for the weather and surface conditions.
- Pay attention to what your child can reach when you carry it.