When it comes to your newborn — safety is always the number one priority.
While many products proclaim to be perfect for newborns, the truth is that you need to do a bit of your own research prior to purchasing anything.
The question we are looking into today is, “Are baby carriers safe?”
Baby carriers are a product that makes the lives of a parent 1000x more convenient... but are they worth it? What are the potential downfalls of a baby carrier and which baby carriers are best?
If you’re interested in learning more, then keep reading! We’ll be answering all of your questions about baby carriers in this article.
What Are Baby Carriers and What Are They Used For?
Babywearing is a common practice that is exactly what it sounds like — “wearing” your baby close to your body is a common practice that has actually been around for centuries! It is a widespread practice across many different countries and cultures. It’s no surprise why this practice is so popular.
When you are wearing your baby close to you, you are able to keep a close eye on your child and make sure that they are getting everything they need. Babies are less likely to be fussy in a carrier than in other positions.
It allows you to continue to get any work or tasks done that you need since your arms are free in this position.
Not only is it convenient, but it also is a way to promote bonding between you and your baby.
There are a few products created specifically for babywearing. They are:
- Baby Carriers
- Baby Slings
- Baby Wraps
You may be asking yourself, “What is the difference?”
These wraps are typically a cloth that you wear around your body and tie to secure the baby close to you.
These wraps are nice because you can typically wear them in a variety of different ways depending how you want to carry baby and their age.
A ring sling is also a piece of cloth that is threaded through two rings that can be worn primarily over one shoulder with baby supported on your opposite hip.
This is the most common type of baby carrier / sling.
A baby carrier typically has more structure, which creates added comfort and security for both you and the baby.
This babywearing product has snaps and a strap that goes around your waist so that the weight is evenly distributed and is more supportive for carrying baby for longer periods of time.
Although there are fewer ways to wear a baby carrier than a baby wrap or a sling, the added comfort and security is what makes this product so popular for young families.
Here are a few benefits of a baby carrier as opposed to a stroller:
It Makes Traveling Super Convenient
If you are traveling on a bus, train, or plane, a baby carrier is going to be your new best friend.
A baby carrier allows you to keep your baby close to you at all times without having to worry about manoeuvring, loading up, and unloading a stroller wherever you are going.
Add that to the fact that a baby is less fussy in a carrier, and this is a must-buy for your newborn!
It Frees Up Your Hands
If you are a parent, you know how important it is to have your hands free while you are caring for a newborn.
Even though it is just one tiny person added to the occasion, the job is enormous and it can feel like your to-do list is never ending! A baby carrier will allow your baby to be close to you while your hands are 100% free.
Whether you’re handling some cleaning at your house, you’re out for an adventure, or you're just out to grab a cup of coffee, a baby carrier can give you that little bit more freedom in your day-to-day life.
It’s A Way to Bond With Your Baby
Carrying your child in a baby carrier is a great way to increase the amount of skin to skin contact with your baby.
Beyond just being cozy, this is actually good for the baby’s health!
- Carrying your baby helps develop a deep, secure mutual attachment.
- It allows both parents, or indeed any caregiver, to develop a deep bond with baby.
- It increases parental sensitivity to a baby's needs - you learn to interpret their noises and expressions so much quicker.
- It simulates the sensations of pressure, motion, warmth and security of the womb.
- Carrying your baby in a sling reduces their level of stress.
- It can greatly reduce crying and fussiness, and also helps your tired baby fall asleep.
Are Baby Carriers Safe For Newborns?
A common question that parents ask themselves is, “Are baby carriers safe for newborns?”
This is of course an important question to keep in mind.
Here are points to consider before purchasing a baby carrier for your little one:
When your baby’s in the sling or carrier, check them often, making sure nothing is blocking their nose and mouth. Also make sure you read and follow the TICKS checklist:
- (T)ight: Slings and carriers should be tight enough to hug your baby close. Any loose fabric will allow your baby to slump down in the carrier, which can hinder their breathing and pull on your back.
- (I)n view at all times: You should always be able to see your baby’s face just by glancing down. The fabric of a sling or carrier shouldn’t close around your baby so you have to open it to check on them. In a cradle position your baby should face upwards, and not turned in towards your body.
- (C)lose enough to kiss: Your baby’s head should be as close to your chin as is comfortable. By tipping your head forward, you should be able to kiss your baby on the head or forehead.
- (K)eep chin off the chest: A baby should never be curled so their chin is forced onto their chest as this can restrict their breathing. Make sure there is always a space of at least a finger width under your baby’s chin.
- (S)upported back: In an upright carrier, your sling should carry you baby comfortably close to you to support their back in its natural position. Their tummy and chest should be against you. Test this by putting your hand on your baby’s back and pressing gently, they should not uncurl or move closer to you.
If your baby is in a cradle carry or pouch, their bottom must be in the deepest part of the sling. This way, the sling doesn’t fold your baby and press their chin to their chest.
Finding the Best Baby Carrier for Newborns
Finding the best baby carrier for newborns is a tricky balance.
It’s a tough balance to strike because you want a lightweight carrier that still has plenty of support, and you want a high-quality baby carrier without breaking your budget.
Newborn babies love being carried in arms; you've probably figured this out already. So it makes sense to have a baby carrier in your parenting toolkit. Indeed, we'd go so far as to say that a baby carrier is the best investment you can make, even right from the beginning with your newborn.
We have an excellent overview of the best baby carriers for newborns.
Baby Carriers: Your Questions Answered
Now you know the answer to the important question, “Are baby carriers safe for newborns?”
The answer is that with the proper research, practice, and purchase, they are perfectly safe. Understanding the potential issues that can come from baby carriers is the first step to avoiding them.
The amazing benefits that a baby carrier can offer you are going to transform your life as a parent!
Are you interested in learning more about the best baby carriers on the market? Feel free to contact us!
We would love to help answer your questions.