It is very natural to have the urge to hold your baby in your arms for a longer duration to feel the closeness. But, it is not practically possible to do so because you have to take care of several regular tasks.
Your baby needs your love and care for proper growth, but you simply cannot ignore other tasks. If you are a working mom then you have to execute your tasks and go to market for shopping.
A baby carrier gives you the much needed freedom and flexibility to be close to your baby and do your regular task with ease. Your baby stays close to your heart and your hands remain free to execute tasks.
If you are a new mom and concerned about how to use a baby carrier effectively, then continue reading 7 helpful tips to know about how to use a baby carrier.
In the later section, you will come to know about the ideal baby carrier for your baby.
7 Helpful Tips On How To Use Baby Carrier
#1. You Can Use A Baby Carrier From Day One
You might have heard that you can’t use a baby carrier until your child is 6 weeks older. But, that’s not true. In fact, you can start using a baby carrier beginning from the hospital, if your baby weighs more than 7 pounds.
Mostly, baby carriers come with adjustable settings according to the baby’s age. Always check your baby’s weight and ideal baby position before using a baby carrier.
#2. Understand Different Baby Carrying Positions And Their Usage
You can carry your baby in different carrying positions depending on your baby’s age and weight. There are 4 major positions that you can try depending on your baby’s age.
#1. Front inward-facing (For above 0-months)
Facing in is a great position for newborn babies because this position supports the neck and head. Newborns have delicate neck muscles (in the first 4 months), so they need neck and head support.
Always keep your baby in the m-position (knees slightly higher than hips) to protect your baby’s hips. A wrong position may cause hip dysplasia.
#2. Front outward-facing (For 4 to 6 months or above)
Once your baby is able to hold his head up himself, you can try the front outward-facing position. This will help your baby look around and enjoy the comfort of your closeness.
#3. Hip carry (For 6+ months)
Hip carry position is great for all the babies whether they are small and large. Hip carry is natural for both baby and carrier. Your baby faces inward and straddles his parent’s hips, making this position more versatile.
#4. Back carry (For 6+ months)
If your baby has grown to sit upright, then you can carry on the back. Back carry is ideal for hiking because your hands can move freely.
Back carry also gives you the freedom to do work more freely as your baby is safe in the back and not coming in between you and other stuff.
For example, you can easily do sauteing or frying in the kitchen while cooking food for the family as you know your baby is safe from the hot oil drop that may burn your child if in the front position.
#3. Do Your Research
You will get so many options for baby carriers out there. The most popular baby carriers are wraps, ring slings, soft-structured carriers, and Mei Tai carriers.
You should do your own research to understand which type is suitable for your kid. You should read reviews online and contact other family members and friends to know more about any specific baby carrier.
If you are satisfied, you can buy a carrier of your choice.
#4. Protect Baby’s Head, Neck, And Airways
Since your baby’s safety is of prime importance, you should pay attention to your baby’s neck and head’s position.
A wrong position may block the airway and create serious trouble. Make sure the baby isn’t blocking the airway.
Secondly, check if the neck is in the right position especially if the baby is between 0-4 months because neck muscles are not strong enough to support the weight of the head themselves. You can opt for a facing-in carrier that has padded head and neck support.
#5. Bend On Legs Not Hips
If you are wearing a baby in front-carriers, there are chances slip
To avoid this, always bend your legs, rather than leaning forward from your hips, to keep the baby in the upright position.
There could be chances of losing your balance, so always be aware of any slippery floor, stairs, or other hurdles while walking.
#6. Practice Carrying Baby In Advance
Once you have purchased your baby carrier, you should practice wearing it with some false weight. Once you are confident of carrying the baby with balance then only put your newborn in the carrier.
Ideally, you should first get used to your carrier with a baby doll or a teddy bear. Practice taking it on and off, changing the positions, or adjusting the carrier.
After some practice, you can put your baby in. Baby carriers are quite easy to use. The more you use it the more comfortable you will be in due course.
#7. More Tips For Safe Babywearing
There are some other important things you must keep in mind while using a baby carrier. Let’s discuss that also.
#1. Remember T.I.C.K.S. Rule always
You should create a checklist of T.I.C.K.S. to ensure that you baby is in the right position with maximum comfort.
#2. Support your baby’s hips
Make sure your baby’s hips are properly supported and legs are little up in position, not hanging down.
Using babywear correctly protects your baby from hip-dysplasia.
Also read – Benefits of babywearing.
Different Types of Baby Carrier
#1. Baby Wrap
You can use ‘Baby Wrap’ for a newborn baby because the baby wrap is more comfortable for the baby as you can use soft fabric to wrap your baby.
Baby carriers are generally made of sturdy (hard) material that may make your newborn baby uncomfortable.
You require a piece of cloth that could be 13 feet to 15 feet in length and you can just wrap your baby in that.
You can use different fabrics like cotton, wool, or silk. You can choose fabric as per the weather conditions in your area. Means, a cotton wrap is ideal for all the seasons, on the other hand, you can use wool to keep your baby warm in the winter.
You can use Silk in summers as it has cooling effects that make it comfortable for your baby in summer.
#2. Ring Sling
If you want an easy approach to adjust your baby especially for breastfeeding then ring-sling is the best option for you.
A ring sling is similar to a baby wrap with two attached rings to provide easy binding and wrapping.
A ring sling is a quick-carry solution where you just need to slip in your baby, set his head in the right position, and that’s it.
Sling baby carriers are ideal for babies below 3 years.
#3. Meh Dai Baby Carriers
If you need to adjust the baby carrier a lot for various reasons like if your family members are of different sizes or you have a single carrier to carry two kids of different ages and sizes, then you can opt for a Meh Dai or Meh Tai carriers.
Meh Dai carriers are known as “Strap Carriers” because they have multiple straps and knots to adjust different bodies.
Meh Dai carriers are getting popular as they offer versatility as compared to other wraps.
#4. Soft Structured Carriers
Soft-Structured Carriers (SSC) are the best option for you if you are over conscious about your baby’s safety. You can protect your baby by pulling and locking the buckles of the carrier.
Another benefit of SSC is that they come with extra padding that gives cushion to your baby on the ride. Your baby is safer towards sudden jerks if you have to roam around rough terrain or you have to commute with the baby through crowded places.
Last but not the least, you can carry your baby till he weighs up to 45 lbs in SSCs, so it is kind of a one-time expense to serve you years.
There are some cool benefits of babywearing like supporting the baby’s natural posture or strengthening the bonding between you and your kid. Since your baby remains in touch with you, s/he will cry less.
So, using the baby carrier in the right way helps in the physical, mental, and emotional growth of your baby.
You can use an SSC if you need an all-rounder option to carry your baby. But if you need a quick carry solution or you have to feed your baby in public, then go for a ring sling.