Babywearing safety and why it’s so important?
Babywearing safety is paramount when carrying your child none more so than when a baby is a newborn, with limited muscle control and a tendency to sleep the vast amount of the day, you must be very vigilant whilst wearing a them. TICKS is universally known as the safety moto when wearing any child, TICKS stands for:
T – Tight
I – In view at all times
C – Close Enough to Kiss (where the magazine name was inspired from)
K – Keep Chin off Chest
S – Supported Back
Beyond TICKS there are a few other common sense rules when babywearing:
Keep babies face free of material this includes slings, there must be a good area free for babies to breath fresh air, anything restricting this can cause babies to ‘rebreathe’ the same air which can be dangerous.
Never jog, run, jump or partake in any activity that simulates bouncing or shaking. This can cause spine or brain damage, as a rule of thumb if you wouldn’t do it holding a baby in your arms – don’t do it when babywearing.
Use a carrier that is age/weight appropriate.
It is always advisable to get expert or peer to peer support from another established babywearer, whether it be your local consultant or library, its always a good idea to research before you try.
Trying with a doll or teddy is good practise, this gives you an idea of how the carrier will feel on, without the worry of safety issues. When trying with baby for the first time its also good practise to have another adult available as a back up to support baby. When ever tying a slings always have one hand supporting babies neck and head or back in an older child with more head control.
Trying New Carries
When trying a new carry it’s always good practise to try over a bed or a soft surface, so that if baby were to fall their landing would be soft and thus minimise injury. When attempting back carries it’s also a good idea to have another person as a ‘spotter’, they can either support baby or be a back up in case of a fall. Another useful tip is to use a mirror to see what you are doing and to check places you cannot see well. Always tying a double knot or granny knot will secure all ties correctly.
Carrying like most thing needs a certain amount of common sense:
Dress weather appropriate: Little heads can get sunburn quickly so cover babies head with a hat, when it’s cold layer up exposed parts like arms and legs – mittens and babylegs keep little extremities warm.
When little hands can reach: Always be aware little people can reach! So make sure you keep away from anything dangerous, especially when they are in a back carry where you cannot see.
If you wouldn’t do it while pregnant: Then avoid doing it whilst babywearing. Climbing ladders, riding bikes, climbing tree’s if there is a risk of becoming unbalanced get someone else to do it for you.
Check carriers regularly: Checking seams, rails, straps and buckles before wearing.
Cooking whilst babywearing can be dangerous: There is a risk of hot fat/water burning a child or in an older child the chances of them reaching the cooker, so it’s best to avoid cooking altogether whilst wearing your child.
Responsible Adults: Wearing any child should be the job of a responsible adult only. Someone who had been consuming alcohol or drugs is not recommended.