How to Wear Your Baby Sling Safely

The art of babywearing has become one of the biggest trends recently. Not only it’s fashionable for a parent or carer, but it also helps to be able to still carry the baby while using both hands on other tasks or activities.

There are several kinds of baby carriers around. The most popular nowadays is the baby sling carrier.  A sling is a cloth that is worn by a carer to carry or support an infant or a small child. It lets you carry the baby against your body either front or back. Using a baby sling not only gives you extra mobility but also encourages the bond between the parent and the baby. This makes the baby feel the warmth of your body and hear your heartbeat.  This can give the baby a sense of security and attachment which can lead to a person with confidence and independence later in life.

While there’s no doubt that using a baby sling has a lot of positive effects for both the parent and the baby, it is also important to note that if not worn properly, it can be dangerous too. Extra care is needed when using the baby sling as it may lead to unwanted scenarios like suffocation. It is truly saddening that there were already some recorded deaths of babies in sling.

To avoid any unwanted tragedies and incidents, here are some tips from the website Madeformums.com on how to wear your baby sling safely:

  1. Keep your baby close and safe, and frequently check the baby’s position.
  2. The sling should keep your baby high and tight against your chest, not around your waist or hips. It should fit your body.
  3. Your baby should be close enough to kiss, with his head as close to your chin as comfortably possible.
  4. In an upright sling, your baby should be held comfortably close to you so the back is supported in its natural position and the tummy and chest are against you.
  5. If a sling is too loose, he could slump down, which could partially close the airway. This can be tested by placing a hand on your baby’s back and pressing gently; he shouldn’t uncurl or move closer to you.

Things to avoid:

  1. Avoid a covered face. The baby’s face should always be visible. The fabric of the sling should not be covering the baby’s face. The baby should face upwards and not turned in towards your body.
  2. Avoid a hunched, chin-to-chest position. The baby’s head and body should be properly supported. The chin should not lean onto the baby’s chest as this might cause some breathing restrictions. There should be at least a width distance between the chest and the chin.
  3. Avoid bag-style slings. This type of slings usually has the deep pouch design. This can give the baby the c-position where the chin touches the chest. This position can restrict airflow.

Majority of the baby slings available in the market today are generally safe. Just make sure that the instructions that come with the sling are strictly followed as well as the tips provided in this article. Avoid the things that should be avoided, and don’t use the sling when you are dizzy or not feeling well. Do not use the sling until you are more stable and ready.

There are also a lot of tutorials you can find online that could show you how to properly wear a baby sling depending on the type. You can go to the official website of the baby sling manufacturer to see instructions directly from them. Also, there are also several videos on YouTube from both manufacturers and mothers as well that could show you exactly how it’s worn.

Advisable slings are the following:

  • Shallow-pouch sling
  • Upright baby carriers
  • Ring slings
  • Wrap slings

Happy babywearing!

References:

http://www.madeformums.com/reviews-and-shopping/shopping-guides/baby-slings–how-to-wear-one-safely/38488.html

http://www.sheffieldslingsurgery.co.uk/positive-effects/effects-on-baby/

http://www.kidspot.com.au/baby/baby-play-and-gear/buying-guides/all-about-slings-the-pros-and-cons-of-baby-wearing