A baby carrier is a piece of clothing that can be used to carry your baby either on your chest or your back. Over time, this piece of clothing has been modified to make it more supportive and comfortable not only for your baby but for you as well. These come in various carrying styles and age groups.
Baby carriers are designed in such a way that they support your baby’s weight, however, using a carrier is not suggested for babies that are under the age of four months. This is because your toddler is not strong enough to hold their head up on their own. This can result in severe neck injuries.
To make sure that you and your little one have a great experience with baby carriers, here are a few things you need to know before getting a baby carrier:
- Practice before you start: As easy as it looks, baby carriers can result in a backache for you, if not used properly. Therefore, try and practice using a carrier at home with and without your toddler, before stepping out. Use support when you bend down to pick something up. Strengthening your core will be a great help because your core muscles will be used the most.
- Positioning your baby: Healthy hip positioning is crucial to encourage normal hip development in your baby and to avoid hip dysplasia. Your baby’s carrier should allow their hips to spread so that their legs are straddling your body. When using a sling carrier, do not place their legs together as it increases the risk of Hip Dysplasia.
- Dress for the weather: During hot weather, dress yourself and your little one in light airy clothes. When going out try to keep in shade as much as possible to avoid dehydration. While in winters, if you decide on keeping your baby outside your coat, dress them in winter wear. But if you plan on keeping them in your coat, dress them in light clothes and wear a maternity coat or a coat two sizes bigger than yours. Close it only halfway up to avoid suffocating the baby. Do not cover their heads with any kind of blanket.
- Is it comfortable for you? Look for a carrier with broad and padded shoulder and waist straps. This helps in the even distribution of weight and makes it easier for you to carry your baby. It not only avoids the side-by-side movement of the carrier but also reduces the chances of you getting a backache. While using a baby carrier make sure to wear shoes that are comfortable to walk in.
- Be Careful: Your balance shifts when you use a baby carrier. Therefore, make sure to watch your step, especially when carrying your bundle of joy on your front. Don’t carry them on your front while working in the kitchen as it can burn your baby. Make sure to read the instruction manual as it specifies the weight the carrier can support.
Now that you know of all the precautions, here are five simple rules to remember.
- Tight: Make sure that the baby is not too tightly snuggled as it can cause overheating or difficulty in breathing.
- In view at all times: Your baby’s face must be in your view. You should be able to see their face without having to remove the cloth from their face.
- Close enough to kiss: See if your baby’s head is in close enough range for you to kiss. This is to ensure that their head remains out of the carrier or sling cloth to avoid suffocation.
- Keep chin off the chest: If their chin touches their chest, it can cause them trouble breathing. Therefore, make sure that their chin is off their chest.
- Supported back: Check and ensure that your baby’s spine/back is aligned properly with the carrier.
Keeping in mind all these precautions and the T.I.C.K.S. method will make it a happy as well as comfortable experience for you and your baby. Check out Mothercare’s online store for the best carriers, designed ergonomically to ensure a comfortable experience for you and your baby.