3 common worries about babywearing

This week I have started visiting mum and baby groups in my local area again. It feels so good to be out in the community again and being able to talk to new parents about safe babywearing. Seeing the happy faces when I can confirm that the fit of a carrier is perfect. Hearing the grateful “thank yous” when I give little hints and show small tweaks to get a better fit.

In most groups, there will be a few parents with common worries about babywearing. And because I do get those questions asked a lot, I decided to type up my answers and put them in this little blog post for all of you.

1.     What can I do if my baby is upset in the carrier?

A lot of babies will cry or fuss when placed in a carrier for the first time. This is completely normal and has nothing to do with anything you are doing wrong. Especially, if you are new to babywearing and are still learning this new skill, your baby will pick up on your own nervousness. A good idea for avoiding this would be to practice how to put on and take off your carrier with a doll or teddy bear first. This way you will be much more confident when placing your own baby in the carrier.

When your baby is fussy or even cries, when placed in a carrier you can try a few different things to settle your baby. First, you can move gently, this usually has a calming effect on your baby. Also, try changing the environment. My daughter would often fuss being placed in the carrier indoors but was happy again once I went outdoors with her. Also make sure your baby isn’t hungry, has an upset tummy, or is overtired.

2.     Is forward facing OK for my baby?

When forward facing (outward facing) is done correctly, then there is no reason, why it shouldn’t be ok for your baby. Some babies get very curious once they are about 4 to 5 months old and want to see more of the world. I personally prefer to carry my child on the hip to allow for more visibility but if you only have a soft structured carrier (buckle carrier) this is not the best option for this type of carrier.

Here are a few things you should consider when forward facing your baby:

  • Make sure that your carrier is suitable for forward facing and supports your baby ergonomically in this position.
  • Only carry your baby in this position for short amounts of time (about 20 minutes is a good rule of thumb).
  • Check on your baby regularly to see if he gets overstimulated or tired.
  • Do not let your baby sleep when forward facing. For sleeping your baby should be turned around again.

3.     Can I carry my baby for too long?

The short answer is: No, you can not carry your baby for too long in a carrier.

However, if you do have an infant who isn’t able to move himself yet and you are carrying him for longer than a couple of hours, you should make sure to move him a little once in a while. For example, you could move the head to the other side or lift the knees up a bit more for a good pelvic tuck to create a “J” shape of the spine. This will avoid cramping of the muscles if they are in one position for too long.

Share with me…

Do you have other worries about babywearing that you would like to get addressed in a future blog post? Please leave a comment below or send me an email: elisabeth@babywearing.nz

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