You have carrier, it looks great but isn’t feeling as comfortable as people rave about. Is it you? The carrier? Perhaps babywearing is just not or you? Well try these 3 simple babywearing tricks a consultant would teach you, before putting the carrier to the back of the cupboard.
A carrier should not feel uncomfortable, any discomfort is usually your bodies way of telling you an adjustment needs to be made. Wearing a carrier can feel ‘strange’ at first. As your body adjust to the new sensations. However, this should begin to subside after a few minutes. If you suspect your carrier is too small check out this POST before you move on.
You should not feel you have to support the child in any way. If this is the case then you should do the following.
Straighten the waistband
The waistband on a carrier should be worn straight across the torso, parallel with the ground. The act of tipping the waistband makes the weight distribution uneven and can lead to uncomfortable neck and shoulders as you hollow your back in compensation or it can dig into your waist and hip bones feeling uncomfortable. It can also be the cause of the infant slipping between the waistband and the wearer’s body or the waistband popping forward.
Slacken the waistband
The waist band needs to sit firmly on the waist and can be worn higher or lower depending on preference and infant size. What you want to avoid is the waist being over tightened. This can feel not only hugely uncomfortable for the wearer, it can affect weight distribution. By loosening it slightly you can allow the child to sit into the carrier better.
Tightening the straps
The straps on the carrier need to be tightened to secure the child in. However, over tightening can cause:
It can straighten the infant’s back
Can cause the wearer or infant discomfort and feeling of being trapped
Makes weight distribution uneven
Under tighten and you can cause:
Too loose and you risk the child slumping and compromising their airway
Putting undue pressure on the shoulders
Depending on which carrier you use you can either cross the straps, wear them like a backward rucksack or both. Placement of the straps is important mostly for the wearers comfort.
When crossing the straps:
Ensure the cross is sitting at the lowest points where the shoulder blades start (usually where your bra strap sits)
Ensure they are closer to the outside of your shoulder than your neck.
When wearing in rucksack style:
Ensure the buckles are not digging in, if possible use the dual adjusters to place the buckle is a more comfortable position
Ensure the back strap that connects both the shoulder straps is sitting at a comfortable point. Too high can lead to neck discomfort, too low can cause the straps to slip. It can be trial and error at first to find the perfect spot, so experiment.
So, there you have it, 3 simple professional babywearing tricks to maximise carrier comfort and help that carrier fit you like a glove.
If you are having continued discomfort please visit your local sling library or babywearing consultant.Or drop a comment below and we will try to help.