So let’s learn a little bit more about babywearing. Can it be done safely? Is the child comfortable while being worn? Can the caregiver really be comfortable while supporting the extra weight of a child?
The simple answer to these questions is yes! Absolutely.
Babywearing, when done properly, is more preferable than leaving a child in a carseat or balanced on top of a shopping cart. When babywearing, the caregiver is present with the child, is “close enough to kiss,” and can feel the child’s breath and sense their needs immediately. And yes, when being worn in an ergonomic carrier, the child should be very comfortable as they are in their natural position that’s ideal for their development. And finally, yes, good quality carriers distribute weight evenly and provide excellent support for the wearer, so he or she can be very comfortable while wearing a child even for extended periods of time.
When wearing baby on your front, the child should be positioned upright on the caregiver’s chest. Do not allow baby’s chin to be tucked into their chest. Your baby should be upright with their face visible. With proper positioning, you will be able to kiss baby on the head while wearing her on your front. Baby’s seated position should take the shape of the letter “M.” This means that baby’s legs should be slightly higher than their bum, and not hanging free without support.
Because the “M” position is orthopedically ideal, the immature hip sockets can develop naturally and hip dysplasia can be prevented. This “M” position is the proper and safe babywearing position for baby’s joint development, and all of the carriers that Lift Me Up distributes are ergonomically correct in order to provide this position.
In order to keep correct ergonomic positioning, baby should always be faced in towards the caregiver. If worn facing out, the child’s spine is forced into an unnatural and uncomfortable arched position and there is no way the properly seated “M” position (explained above) can be achieved. Besides the fact that it’s not favorable for baby’s hip and spine development, a baby facing outwards has no protection from the outside elements. He can’t tuck into you for safety and security if he is forced to be facing outwards. It’s important to provide not only the optimal position for development, but also to provide the sense of safety and security for your child.
Although caregivers should usually start by wearing their child on their front, sometimes it’s beneficial for the child to be worn on the back once he or she is old enough. When doing back carries, it’s best to practice with a weighted doll and, if possible, have the assistance of an experienced babywearer. Lift Me Up provides resources to connect families with their local babywearing chapters. By going to babywearing meetings, caregivers can get assistance from certified babywearers to help accomplish ultimate comfort, technique, and of course safety. Back carries may seem intimidating at first, but once practiced and learned properly they can open up a whole new world for both the child and the caregiver.
Babywearing is safe, comfortable, and developmentally beneficially to the child being worn. Lift Me Up is committed to not only distributing ergonomic carriers to families, but also to providing resources and information on the techniques to ensure ultimate safety and comfort for both the caregiver and the child. You can support our mission at Lift Me Up by donating on our website. All donations are tax deductible as we are a 501(c)3. Since Lift Me Up is wholly supported by volunteers, each donation goes directly to helping deserving families receive carriers.
Photos Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhots.net and Paxbaby.com
Posted on Fri, May 2, 2014