Bringing together parents, caregivers and babies to learn and share knowledge about babywearing.

Babywearing Safety

The following list is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather a starting point to encourage babywearers to think about safety issues. It should be used as a complement to your own good common sense. Babywearing safety is solely the responsibility of the caregiver. Happy babywearing!
When learning to use any new carrier it is best to have another adult “spot” you in case you need assistance. Practicing over a soft surface like a padded mat or bed can help, too!
The baby should be well-fed, well-rested, and have a clean diaper before practicing. You will be more successful in ensuring a safe and secure babywearing experience for you both.
The baby’s position and posture in a sling should mimic holding a baby in your arms. A high, snug carry that places baby over your center of gravity will help ensure the baby doesn’t slip. The caregiver’s back will also benefit.
The principles of healthy back positioning and posture apply even more so when you are wearing a baby. As always, to protect the caregiver’s back, keep the load (i.e. the baby) close to you and when you must lift, bend only with your knees and not your back. It is probably not a good idea to wear high heels for an extended period while wearing a baby in a carrier.
Use all your senses to constantly monitor the baby. Look at the baby for proper positioning. Listen often to monitor airflow. Feel and touch the baby’s skin to gauge the temperature and tone. Avoid a “chin to chest” posture of the baby, as it can obstruct the airway. Mirrors, car windows, and other reflective surfaces can be very helpful in monitoring the baby.
Take extra precaution with respect to your personal space when babywearing. Avoid tight fits around door frames, sharp corners, revolving doors, automatic doors (like on public transportation) and other tight spaces. Remember that you are bigger when baby is attached to you.
SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) can happen anywhere, even in baby carriers. Thus, it is important to incorporate SIDS safety tips everywhere. Do not put soft bedding items, toys, etc. in the area of the baby carrier with the child, as it could pose a potential suffocation hazard. Avoid smoking with a baby in the home. Make sure nothing is covering the baby’s face. Avoid over bundling them in clothing. Remember that when wearing a baby, your own body heat is added to theirs. A single layer of clothing may be all you need for you and the baby.
Babies love skin-to-skin contact and some experts think that it can regulate the baby’s temperature and other natural responses. Therefore, you may want to choose thin layers of breathable materials and avoid excessive padding in your clothes and your choice of baby carrier. Never use any accessory that has not been specifically tested and approved for your type of carrier.
Some common activities are made more dangerous when wearing a baby in a carrier. Cooking near hot stoves, cleaning with harsh chemicals and jogging come to mind. You may want to avoid these activities when babywearing.
Always inspect the carrier before use for loose seams and other signs of wear. Replace a carrier with any sign of wear that may be dangerous.