Keeping your baby and you safe while using a sling or carrier is of the upmost importance. Below are the most commonly used guidelines for safe sling use. It doesn’t matter which of these you use, just as long as you know what to check and remain responsive at all times. If you ever have any questions about safety, then please get in touch. If you are not sure that you have your sling or carrier on right, send us a quick message with a photo. We are more than happy to help put you at ease and help build your confidence with carrying your baby.
These rules for safe babywearing have been produced by the UK Sling Consortium as a simple acronym to help you remember to focus on airways and baby’s position.
These are from Babywearing International and again put the focus on baby’s airway first.
While these tools are great for helping you to remember how to keep baby’s airways safe and to keep them secure in the carrier or sling, neither addresses the other major safety concern of overheating. It is important to think about what baby and you are wearing while using a sling or carrier. The general rule is to use layers and protect their extremities. No bulky suits and remembering that the sling or carrier counts as at least one layer of clothing. Extra layers should be saved for little legs and arms.
Once you are sure that baby’s airways are safe and that they are not too hot, then you can think about their position.
The best position for a baby to be in a sling, is the same position they would be in if you had them upright just in your arms. Getting them sat in the sling or carrier with their knees higher than their bum, will not only be more comfortable, it also helps as additional airway protecting tool. Ideally your carrier or sling should support from one knee pit to the other and help support a comfortable squat position for baby’s developmental age.
Newborns and young babies should have their arms inside the carrier, ideally up under their chin. As they grow and develop head and upper torso control, it is absolutely fine for them to have their arms out of the carrier, just as long as the pack panel comes up to at least their armpits.