Baby carrying can be a wonderful bonding experience. It allows you to spend time with your little one while doing other tasks. From everyday activities to carrying your child while out shopping, baby carriers can make life a bit easier.
Baby carriers are also great for siblings because it gives them the feeling of being closer to the baby without having to hold them all of the time.
But there has been some controversy about baby carriers lately, are they really safe for newborns? Read on.
What are baby carriers?
A baby carrier is a device that allows you to carry your baby safely and comfortably. It can be worn either on the front or back. The baby’s weight is evenly distributed in a baby carrier, rather than being carried on one arm as it would be with a sling.
A baby carrier differs from a sling because it is sturdier and more secure, and usually consists of two pieces in the form of straps – one for each shoulder – and a hip belt. The pieces can be clipped together to form a seat, cradle or hammock for your child.
Baby carriers are suitable from birth until your child reaches their full height or weight (which will vary between brands). The carrier should be adjusted according to the size of the child and adult using it, so it should fit both you and your baby properly.
The most common type of baby carrier has fabric straps that go around you and your baby, with fastenings at the front to secure them in place.
What is the purpose of baby carriers?
The purpose of baby carriers is to make carrying babies more comfortable, and to make it possible for you to have your hands free, that way you can carry on with other daily activities.
The benefits of baby carriers are numerous. Babies who are carried cry less, as they can hear their caregiver’s heartbeat and voice, feel secure, and remain close to their caregiver’s face. Carrying babies also allows them to be in a position that they are used to from being in the womb: close to the mother’s heart, looking out at the world from under her chin.
Baby carriers enable caregivers to breastfeed while carrying their babies. This is particularly helpful when there are other children who need attention at the same time.
Can you use a baby carrier with a newborn?
The answer is yes, you can use a baby carrier with a newborn. But you’ll need to make sure you choose the right type of carrier, and that it’s adjusted to fit your baby properly.
Newborns usually enjoy being carried rather than pushed in a buggy because they can lie back against your chest and hear your heartbeat.
Check the manufacturer’s instructions, but in general:
- Baby carriers are suitable from birth, as long as they fully support the baby’s head and neck. Make sure this support is in place when your baby is lying horizontally or vertically.
- You can use a soft-structured carrier, sling or wrap for a newborn.
- Backpacks are best suited to babies who are old enough to hold up their heads on their own (around 4 months).
Can I put my 1 week old in a baby carrier?
Yes! But there are a few things to keep in mind. First, your baby needs to be able to hold his head up and you must support it when he’s in the carrier. Second, make sure you have good lumbar support and that the baby is high up on your chest.
If you have one of those big, bulky carriers that hangs down low, this can put your baby in a position that puts too much pressure on his abdomen, which can lead to digestive issues.
A pouch sling is great for newborns because they are comfortable, easy to get on and off, and hold the baby high on your chest where he/she will be happy. (Make sure you get one designed specifically for newborns.)
Third, if you’re doing any kind of hiking or walking for an extended period of time, it’s probably best to wait until your baby is a bit older. Your back may feel fine now but carrying a baby around for several hours can take a toll after a while.
How long can a newborn be in a carrier?
The general guideline is that a baby can be worn in a carrier for as long as they are happy and comfortable. Some babies will only want to be carried for 45 minutes, while others may last 3 hours. Some babies may want to be carried all day long!
A good rule of thumb is to watch your baby’s cues. If they are showing any signs of discomfort or fatigue, then the carrier should come off.
Signs of Discomfort:
- fussing or crying
- tugging at clothing
- arching the back away from the body
- rigid or stiff body
What is the safest baby carrier?
It depends on how much you want to spend, how much you want to carry and what your style is.
For the most part, I prefer baby carriers that are more structured and have more of a seat for the baby.
- Baby Bjorn (I liked this when my babies were very tiny)
- Ergo (my favorite, but pricey — similar to Ergo but less expensive is Infantino)
- Moby Wrap (if you want something less structured)
- Baby Ktan (if you want something in between Moby Wrap and Ergo)
Baby carriers are safer than you think. They promote better bonding with your baby and have shown time and time again to be just as safe as a stroller for your newborn. The safety of both carrier types depends on a variety of factors: from the design and construction of the carrier itself to the user’s ability to use it properly.
As a mother of four very energetic children, Emilia knows how chaotic motherhood can be. She’s learned a lot of lessons along the journey so far and loves sharing the tips & tricks she’s picked up over the years with anybody else on the same life path.