There is no doubt that majority of mothers would love to get a carrier for their baby, but still have several questions. Is a baby carrier safe for my newborn? Is it ok to carry my newborn in a carrier for long hours? This article has answered the most frequently asked questions about baby carriers and their safety.
Is it safe to use a baby carrier on a newborn?
There is no doubt that baby carriers are the most convenient and comfortable way to carry your baby around. Even though most manufacturers affirm that the carriers are safe for the newborn, you need to take safety precautions when using them.
Newborns are delicate creatures; a lot of care is needed when using the carrier to yield its benefits. To answer the question, yes baby carriers are safe for newborns but when used carefully.
Are baby carriers necessary for newborns?
Yes. Baby carriers are important in the following ways:
- The carriers allow you to be close to your baby, yet hands-free for your other activities and chores.
- They come handy when traveling, instead of pushing a stroller everywhere you want to go, the carrier helps you to quickly get to your destination.
- Baby carriers relieve your arms. It is not possible to carry your baby in your arms for so long but you can with a baby carrier.
- They comfortably fit into your traveling bag, meaning that you can travel with them comfortably.
Types of baby carries
There are different types of baby carriers on the market today. Here are the most popular types of baby carrier you might come across.
Soft structured carrier
A soft structured carrier has buckles that are hard to adjust. These carriers are very suitable for babies from newborns until they are toddlers. There are some brands of the soft structured carriers that have extra padding. Also, there are different carrying positions depending on the brand.
This type of carriers is very versatile, meaning that they can be used in a variety of positions. This carrier has fabric that is put through the rings on one end of the fabric and secured through rings. Some also have trailing fabric to shield your baby from the rain, dust and excessive sunlight.
This type of carriers is very easy to use. For this reason, they are best for first-time mothers. They are made up of a loop of fabric with a pouch for the baby. Depending on the fabric, these types of slings can be used from newborns to toddlers.
The pouch sling carriers provide maximum support with a piece of fabric that goes over one shoulder and across the back.
What factors should you consider before buying a baby carrier?
When buying a carrier, you need help in narrowing your options. Here are several factors to consider before finally paying for that baby carrier:
Yes, the safety of your baby comes first. The general safety of a carrier should be your topmost worry. You can always look at the customer reviews and rating to help you gauge the safety of the particular carrier.
A suitable carrier does not necessarily have to drain your pockets. Different baby carriers vary in amount. Always get a carrier that has the specifications you need but also one that you can easily afford.
Child’s weight and age
Some brands of carriers are better off than others when it comes to the amount of weight and height they can support. There are carriers that last throughout your child’s growth. If you desire such a carrier then be sure to look into the carrier’s weight specifications.
Number of people to use the carrier
Are you the only one who will be using the carrier? Will your partner to wear the baby? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you will need to look for a carrier that is adjustable into different sizes easily.
Again, get a carrier that is neutral in color like blue, grey, beige or black. Most dads will not buy the idea of wearing a pink baby carrier. It may make them feel feminine at some point.
Climate and weather
There are different materials used to make a carrier. Other carriers are heavily padded while others remain light and unpadded. When buying the carrier, it is important to be sure when to use the carrier, if you will need to be using it during winter then you will need a heavy material carrier.
For winter seasons, you will also need a baby carrier that will dry up quickly. For summer you need a carrier that is light and breathable, one that will not suffocate your baby or make them all sweaty.
How you will be using the carrier
How do you plan using the carrier? If you plan to be wearing your baby for long distances, then you might as well as want a carrier that is heavily padded. Short distances may need a light carrier.
A wrong baby carrier could predispose your child to hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is the displacement of the hip ball from its socket. All carriers are not the same. You need to choose a carrier that will enable your baby to sit in to keep their hips healthy.
If your baby is not sitting as recommended in the carrier, they might end of suffering from hip dislocation, hip dysplasia or even deformed hip sockets.
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You can extent the width as your baby grows to ensure your carrier fits your baby perfectly throughout use 👌
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— Cheeky Rascals (@cheekyrascals) December 9, 2018
When can you start using a baby carrier?
Babies can be carried in a carrier as newborns. However, the most recommended age for the carrier is 4-6 months, when the baby’s neck and head muscles have strengthened enough.
Even though, you could carry your newborn in the carrier but adhere to different safety measures as explained in this article. So it is ok to get your newborn a carrier.
How much weight should my baby attain before using a carrier?
There are several types of carriers. Each brand is designed for various weights. Averagely, most bay carriers are made to support baby weight up to the age of 40 pounds.40 pounds is an average weight of babies above 4 years. In that case, a majority of baby carrier can carry your baby up to the age of 4 years.
Safe baby carrying
Here is how to carry your baby safely:
- Monitor the airway closely to avoid risk of suffocation in case your baby gets into a position where their chin is touching the chest.
- Use forward carrying positions with infants on soft structured carriers. This position ensures that the baby’s head and chin are properly supported with at least two vertical finger widths between baby’s chin and chest. You may carry your baby in other positions once your baby is above four months and can support them very well
- Form a habit of double checking whether the all the buckles and knots are securely fastened.
- Do not drive or ride a bicycle while carrying your baby.
Use the acronym T.I.C.K.S. to remember safety measures when carrying your baby:
- In your view at all times
- Close enough to kiss
- Keep chest off the chest
- Support your child’s back properly
How do i prevent falls?
It could be fatal if your child fell from chest height. Newborns should be provided with full support of the head and the neck. Here is how to prevent falls of your newborn:
- Bend at the knee if you wish to pick something up. This means that you should not bend your hip at any time when you are carrying your baby. If you bend at the hip level, you will be risking your child to back dive fall.
- Your baby’s entire back should be firmly supported by the fabric. If your child is less than four months, you need to make sure that the fabric supports their head as well.
How to support your baby’s head and neck
You should support your baby’s head and neck properly until when your child can keep their head up straight. Majority of the babies attain head and neck balance at the age of 4-5 months. It is not advisable that you carry your baby in the front carrying facing position until your baby has attained necessary muscle strength.
It is common sense that a back -carrying position offers less head and neck support and you might not be able to know what is going on with the baby. For this reason, back positions are not recommended for newborns.
- It is advisable that you keep on carrying your baby in the front or hip positions until the age of 6 months.
Supporting and maintaining your baby’s airway
Newborns choke easily. Regarding this, it is important that you maintain your baby’s airway in any carrier that you choose to transport them by. Babies under the age of 4 months need extra care. Respiratory are also diseases are common in newborns and may lead complications in your child’s breathing.
Your baby’s face should be visible to you when wearing the baby and the head close enough to kiss. It is important to be sure that your baby’s breathing is not hindered by your body or the carrier.
Until the age of 4 months, your child’s nose and chin should be turned to one side or the other way with their cheek resting against the chest, in a front-facing position.
Supporting your baby’s hips
Research shows that 1 percent of babies develop hip dysplasia during their developmental stages. If you notice that your doctor frequently examines your child’s hips, they could be ruling out hip dysplasia.
- To reduce the risk of your baby developing hip dysplasia or hip displacement, you need to take breaks when wearing the baby. This way your baby’s hips and legs can move freely.
Other safety measures for using a baby carrier
Here are other extra tips to help you carry your baby effectively as required:
- Do not dress your baby too warmly, when using a carrier. You have to remember that your child will be experiencing their heat and that from your body.
- Do not try to lie on the ground when carrying your baby in the carrier.