WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN USING A BABY CARRIER
AUG 5, 2019 @ 2.34PM
Love at first sight – receiving a newborn into the family brings much joy and happiness. However, coping with a baby’s need of wanting to be near you, on you and held by you can make everyday life a lot trickier. If you live on your own and have other younger children to manage, texting, carrying grocery bags or even taking a stroll by the park can be a hassle.
Compared to pushing or carrying a stroller from one place to the other, babywearing offers the convenience of hands-free parenting. This means doing chores around the house, working, cooking, going on a walk and more importantly for parents who have more than one child, being more present for your other children.
Here are the basics of using a baby carrier
1. Baby carriers can be used from day one
Most Asian parents think they can’t use a baby carrier until their baby is 12 weeks old or they choose to wait until then. But you can take a baby carrier with you to the hospital and use it the day your baby is born, as long as they weigh at least seven pounds.
Be sure your baby meets the minimum weight requirement, or else you’ll need to use an infant insert until he reaches a certain weight.
2. There are many types of baby carriers out there, so research is required before you purchase one. An ergonomic baby carrier should distribute the child’s weight evenly and comfortably for the wearer while giving good support to the child. Ergonomic baby carriers are more advanced, with extra functions and settings, which tend to make them more expensive than simpler models. On the other hand, an ergonomic baby carrier allows you to carry for longer sessions and well into the toddler years.
3. Four baby carrier positions
Your baby’s weight, age and developmental stage will determine when it’s appropriate to use the different baby carrying positions. The following are the four different carrying positions based on age.
4. Practice safe babywearing
Nothing matters more than keeping your baby safe while in the carrier. This means keeping him sitting upright with his neck fully supported, airways open, chin of his chest while keeping him close against you and higher up on your torso. You should be able to bend down and kiss his little head.
An ergonomic position with your baby sitting in a natural wide-leg, spread-squat position with knees higher than his bum (an M or frog leg shape) supports baby’s spine, hips and legs to prevent hip dysplasia.
5. Secure all carrier fasteners and check the baby carrier for fabric tears and holes.
6. Be cautious and alert of your surroundings. Your centre of gravity changes when wearing your baby – thus increasing the chances of falling. Be careful walking down the stairs, slippery surfaces, curbs and other tripping hazards.
7. If you need to lie down, take off the baby carrier first as babies need to stay in an upright position when placed in the carrier.
8. If you need to bend down, bend at your knees at not at your waist – so your baby stays in an upright position.
9. Using your baby carrier during light physical activity such as walking, hiking and even babywearing yoga are fine, but not recommended during intense activities such as biking, running, skiing and snowboarding.
10. Drinking hot liquids or eating hot foods while babywearing is certainly not recommended as well as you may unintentionally spill hot coffee or soup on your baby’s sensitive head.
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