5 Tips for Safe Newborn Babywearing

Carrying your newborn close to you in a wrap or carrier is called babywearing, and it’s a cozy way to keep your baby snug and safe while you go about your day. But, just like riding a bike or cooking dinner, there are some important safety tips to make sure you both are comfy and secure.

In this article, I’ll share with you five simple rules to follow when you’re wearing your newborn baby in a woven wrap, mei tai, or structured carrier. These tips will help make sure your baby is in the right spot, not too hot or too squished, and that both of you are happy.

There’s nothing better than to know that when you’re doing chores, going for a walk, or to a grocery shop, or just walking a dog, your newborn is safely attached to your body.

So, let’s get started with 2 main newborn babywearing rules and learn how to keep your tiny buddy safe!

#1 Rule: Watch the baby’s airway

It’s the number one rule of babywearing and is particularly important for newborns and babies with any sort of breathing issue. This rule applies to any sort of “baby holder” – baby carriers and slings, but also bouncy chairs, swings, and even car seats. All of these can be used safely. But used improperly, all can compromise a small baby’s airway.

Consider that a newborn’s airway is about the diameter of a drinking straw. Think about what happens to a straw when bent – it kinks and doesn’t allow liquid to flow through. When a newborn’s head is allowed to fall into the chin-to-chest position (or one in which the head is tilted very far back), the baby’s airway kinks just like a drinking straw, and air can’t get through, a condition known as positional asphyxia. Most of the time this means that the baby’s oxygen saturation level will drop; in extreme cases, it can have lasting impacts or even result in death.

#2 Rule: Be Mindful of the Baby’s Position

Newborns have large, heavy heads in relation to their bodies and very little neck and trunk strength. This means if we don’t position them properly, they can easily slump into the chin-to-chest position.

While the focus of this post is on how to prevent positional asphyxia in baby carriers, it’s important to remember that this condition can occur in car seats, bouncy chairs, swings, and other baby “holding” devices if they are improperly used or baby is not monitored during use.

Do you know how all car seat instruction manuals stress the correct recline angle on an infant seat? That’s to prevent the baby from slumping into a chin-to-chest position and ending up with a compromised airway. Always be mindful of the baby’s position!

5 Tips on Newborn Babywearing Safety

Babywearing is a SAFE activity. But like anything else you do with your newborn, it’s wise to be mindful of how to do it safely and comfortably!

The video below covers the basics of babywearing newborn safety – what you should know before you ever pick up a carrier.

Here are some of the main points for quick reference.

1. Be mindful of the baby’s airway

If the baby slumps into a chin-to-chest position, you need to reposition him and adjust your carrier. Grunting, snoring sounds, color changes – all can be signs that the baby isn’t getting adequate airflow.

2. Think about how you hold your baby and let the carrier do the same

You are the carrier; the sling/wrap/carrier is merely an extra set of arms and should hold the baby just as you would.

3. Keep baby “close enough to kiss”

A common beginner mistake is to wear the baby in the carrier too low and/or too loose. The carrier should be high and tight to keep the baby in a position high on your chest so you can monitor her breathing. A snug carrier keeps the baby in an upright position and prevents a chin-to-chest slump.

4. An upright tummy-to-tummy position can be done in any carrier and is preferred

The cradle carry may be an iconic sling position but it is tricky to do safely. An upright tummy-to-tummy position is much easier to get snug and secure …and most babies prefer it. If you nurse in a cradle or semi-reclined position in a carrier, it’s recommended that you return the baby to the upright tummy-to-tummy position when you are finished.

5. The baby’s face should always be visible

The carrier should never cover the baby’s face and the baby should never be rolled into the wearer’s body (unless nursing). Most babies will naturally turn their heads to the side when held upright on someone’s chest. A snug carrier will help them maintain this position.

More Information on Newborn Babywearing

When you start your journey into the world of newborn babywearing, it’s like opening a door to a new adventure. As you snugly wrap your little one close, you might wonder about the best ways to ensure their safety. And we’ve got you covered with this article. But the journey doesn’t stop there.

To dive deeper, explore our guide on baby carriers for newborns, which will help you navigate the vast sea of options. For those who love the snug fit and soft embrace of a wrap, the article with the best baby wrap carriers collection is a treasure trove of top picks. And if you’re curious about the perfect fit, the woven wrap sizing guide is your go-to resource for finding that just-right length.

For a comprehensive overview, the “Babywearing Guide” is packed with insights and tips to enhance your babywearing experience. If you’re standing at the crossroads trying to decide which carrier is the one, the article on “How to Choose a Baby Carrier” will illuminate the path.

For the hands-on parents, learning how to wrap a baby carrier can transform a simple piece of fabric into a cozy nest for your baby. And for the crafty at heart, the DIY Baby Carrier instructions offer a personalized touch to your babywearing device.

Lastly, for those intrigued by the simplicity and elegance of ring slings, the guide on how to use a ring sling with a newborn will teach you the ropes.

Each of these articles is a stepping stone to mastering the art of babywearing. Click through to discover more information and elevate your babywearing experience.

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