Earlier in February, I did a presentation at the Childbearing Society that was focused on babywearing, particularly in the early phases of parenting.
As a trained babywearing educator, I have tried to help new families successfully use carriers, from structured carriers to long woven wraps. I believe that the effective use of carriers allows parents the ability to be hands-free while also providing closeness while their child.
One of the best babywearing resources I know is found in the local Facebook group, Babywearing from the Valley to Vancouver. With nearly 7,500 members, there is a wealth of experience to lean on to answer any question in a timely and respective manner. There is a team of moderators and educators and experiences members who regularly host meet-ups for hands-on learning.
Safety is always the first priority when it comes to wearing your baby. As a result, I always like to review the TICKS rules. That is, Tight, In view, Close enough to kiss, Keep chin off chest, Supported back.
Positioning is Important as well, and there are small modifications that are recommended as your child grows from a newborn into an infant and beyond.
In the presentations and meetups that I often host, I review how to create a safe “seat” in Wraps and Ring Slings. I use the analogy of “sitting in a hammock” in starting the creation of the “seat”, and then spreading and tightening the remainder of the fabric to support the child’s back. I’ve included a visual (thank you to modernbabywearing.com) of the “sitting in a hammock” versus a common error of “pulling the seat up”. When the fabric is “pulled up”, it risks becoming unsafe as the child and the wearer move.
A common fit modification with structured carriers is the placement of the waist belt. As indicated in the infographic below, it is important to ensure that the waistband is snugly fitted horizontally to the waist, not on the hips or at an angle, placing strain on the low back and shoulders.