General Safety Tips
Let’s begin with some basic safety tips that are intuitive and easy to remember when using a baby carrier.
Keep an eye on newborns as it is possible to cause suffocation by allowing their airway to become blocked. The section below is titled “Maintaining baby’s airway”.
Infants who are in soft-structured carriers should be carried forward with the baby facing in. This will ensure that baby’s neck and head are supported by two vertical fingers between baby’s chest and chin. You can then use a face-out position once baby’s neck has developed enough strength to support their heads (typically around 4 months).
- Double-check to make sure all knots and buckles are securely fastened
- Wearing baby’s clothes is not a good idea.
- When wearing baby, you should not drink any hot liquids such as tea or coffee.
How securely the baby is being carried is a key safety concern. Baby can be seriously injured if they fall below chest height. The parent should hold the baby close and provide a high back to support the head and neck of young babies.
To pick up something, bend at your knees and not at your hips. This will ensure that baby is upright. If you are holding your baby in a carrier, bend over to the side and risk a backdive.
Fabric should support the baby’s whole back so that they can be securely seated in the carrier. Fabric should support baby’s neck and head if they are not able to control their head yet.
Begin by keeping one or two hands on your baby
You may be new to babywearing or have just begun using a new carrier type. Take the time to get to know how to properly use it to make sure that your baby is securely and closely inside. As you become more familiar with a carrier, we recommend that you keep one or two hands on your baby. As you become more comfortable with the carrier you will be able to use one or both of your hands.
Supporting the Head and Neck
Baby’s head should always be supported until it is strong enough to support its neck. This milestone usually occurs at four months old. It is best to not carry your baby in a forward-facing position until they are able to hold their head up on their own. Babies younger than that are content to be snuggled up against their parents’ chests anyway.
The parent cannot see what’s happening with baby and can offer less support to baby in a back carry position. Back carry positions should not be used until baby is at least 6 months of age. Many parents prefer to use front carry positions until their baby turns two years old.
How to maintain baby’s airway
Infants in baby carriers need to be looked after regularly. Infants younger than 4 months and babies suffering from respiratory issues or colds should be given extra attention. When baby is wearing, you should see their faces and be able to touch them. You must ensure that baby’s airway is not blocked by you or the carrier. Baby’s nose should not touch its chest. To avoid airway compromises between the chin and chest, it is a good idea to position baby’s head so that its neck is straight. In the past few years, several sling-type carriers have been recalls because they pose a danger to infants if used incorrectly.
Protecting baby’s hips
When your baby is being examined by your pediatrician, one thing you will notice is that they will do a hip test. They are looking for signs of hip dysplasia which is a common developmental problem. The International Hip Dysplasia Institute provides valuable information about how baby wearing and position can make a difference in healthy hips. They also provide information on related topics like proper swaddling and guidelines for car seat use.
What is Hip Dysplasia and how can it be treated?
In medical jargon, the hip joint is often called a “ball-and-socket joint.” This refers to the superior portion of a femur called a femoral head. It has a round shape similar to a ball and fits perfectly into the cup-shaped area in the pelvis known as the Acetabulum. A large part of the hip joint’s partially developed infant is made up of soft cartilage. The International Hip Dysplasia Institute illustrates the important difference in the anatomy of an infant’s hip and an adult’s. Also, because newborns’ joints are more flexible and loose during pregnancy and birth, their hips are especially vulnerable to dislocation. A family history of hip dysplasia, or poor breech positioning can increase the likelihood of an infant developing developmental hip dysplasia. Poor positioning during the first 4-6 month of life can also be a contributing factor. A large amount of the cartilage in the hips has become bone by the fourth to seventh months of life. This greatly increases stability.
Is Hip Dysplasia Possible with the BabyBjorn?
It is common to find blogs that believe the BabyBjorn causes hip Dysplasia if you search the internet and look at comments and blogs about the BabyBjorn. This assertion was supported by real data, so we tried to find out if it is true. This is a myth.
We concluded that the BabyBjorn Original’s claims of hip development not being affected by it are true. However, we also found that other carriers like the Beco Baby Gemini offer the best ergonomic positioning for hip growth. The ergonomic advantages of the Beco Gemini’s design include a wider seat and increased hip angles. They are especially useful for older babies (from 6-12 months) who need to be carried in front. This position was the most problematic for BabyBjorn.