ASK CHILDBEARING: Do you have any safety tips for wearing a baby in a sling?

A: Yes, indeed there are a couple guidelines for safe babywearing. By following a few simple principles you can wear your baby worry-free:

  • Your baby should be where she would be if you were carrying her in your arms—no higher, and no lower. Avoid slings that position baby way below your natural reach: no one carries a baby down near their hips, neither should your sling. Or an easier rule of thumb is that baby should be high enough that you can kiss the top of her head.
  • Baby’s face should be unobstructed. Make sure there is no fabric covering baby’s face, and that his face is not buried deep in your own chest or shoulder.
  • Baby’s neck should not be compressed. Ensure that baby’s chin is not being forced into her own chest in a way that could obstruct her breathing.
  • Avoid carriers that face a young baby forwards, putting weight on their crotch, and dangling their legs. This position is awkward for baby’s spine and hips, and can lead to baby’s weight being poorly distributed. Instead choose carriers in which baby faces you, or baby is in a cradle position.

As you can see, there are only a few points to remember, most of which are fairly commonsense. Wearing your baby safely is easy, and well worth the minimal amount of effort.


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