Baby Carrier Safety
Below you will find some general tips for safe use any baby carrier, baby sling, baby wrap, mei tai or other carrier. Please always refer to the instructions provided with your baby carrier for proper use of that particular carrier.
1. When putting your baby in the carrier, be sure you are standing in a safe place. Use the same common sense about choosing a place to tie on your baby as you would about choosing a place to stop to tie your shoes. For example, you would not stop in the middle of a busy walkway or parking lot to bend over and tie your shoes. Do not tie your baby carrier there, either.
2. Be sure there are not straps or other parts of your carrier that dangle lower than your bottom. Tuck them in. Loose ends can cause you to trip. Dangling cloth, whether from a baby carrier or from a blouse, could catch on fire while you cook. Use common sense!
3. Be careful not to bump baby’s head on anything. It is possible to bump baby’s head whether using a sling or carrying baby in your arms. Be especially careful of doorways when carrying baby on your hip or back.
4. Trust your instincts. If you feel that the baby is not secure, try again. Read the instructions again. If you can’t figure out what you are doing wrong, check out online resources or get help from an experienced babywearer.
5. Have another adult help you when learning a new carry position or using a new carrier. Have your helper double check your work to be sure you followed the instructions correctly. Have your helper inspect the carrier to see if there is any way for the baby to slip.
6. Practice each new carrying position with a doll or teddy bear until you are really good at it. Only then should you try it with your child. And even then, if it’s a back carry, go ahead and kneel on a soft surface. And check your work when you’re done. And have another adult help you the first few times.
7. If you have a newborn (especially a preemie), check the baby’s chin and ensure it isn’t touching his/her chest as this can cut off air supply. Generally a baby will tell you if s/he are uncomfortable, but this isn’t always the case so be sure to visually check on your baby periodically.
8. Do not cover the baby’s head with any cloth that shouldn’t be used to cover a baby’s head.
9. Use Common Sense. This list does not, and cannot possibly include warnings about all the possible silly things a person might absent-mindedly do!
Used with permission and modified from www.mamatoto.org