Babywearing Safety

Helina Baby recommends that you carry your baby facing towards you.  This position allows your baby to straddle you, to embrace you and to feel your warmth.  It's all about Care. Comfort. Closeness.


Supportive Position for Baby

Supportive Position for Baby

From birth your baby's spine is like the letter C. The spine slowly unfolds until the baby is walking.  In this precious time, it is important to nurture your baby’s development, especially when being transported in a carrier.

We suggest that you carry your baby with your baby’s heart connected to yours– the same way most carrying cultures have been wearing their children for thousands of years.  With a nice rounded spine, easy access to the breast, and hips supported, your baby is in a physically and emotionally better place to grow.

If you wear your baby facing away from you without supporting the legs, you reduce the opportunity to enhance your baby’s physical and emotional development. 

Physically, wearing your baby this way restricts your baby’s movements and artificially straightens the spine. According to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (2012), when a baby's thighs are unsupported, forces go into the hip.  Maintaining this  position for a long time puts your baby's hips at risk.  

Unsupportive Position for Baby

Unsupportive Position for Baby

Emotionally, this position limits bonding, connection, eye contact and visual cues; your baby cannot see your face to learn how to interpret the world.  Depending on your baby’s age, he or she may not have developed the ability to understand exactly where you are.  Not to mention, this position can be overly stimulating for the baby as he or she may not have learned how to filter out unwanted stimulation.

For the baby wearer, the forward facing position can offset your centre of gravity, causing back and shoulder strain – a  common reason why caregivers stop babywearing. 

Wearing your baby in the horizontal position, also known as the cradle hold, has its risks.

The horizontal position encourages your baby's chin to meet your baby's chest which results in a reduction of airflow. Babies younger than four months of age have not yet developed the neck strength necessary to a  reposition their heads if their airways are constricted.  

 
It is best practice to wear your baby in the vertical position, facing you, with his or her head turned away from your body and the baby’s chin away from their chest. We also recommend that your baby's face remains visible so you can quickly react to any distress signals.

 
Horizontal Carrying vs Vertical Carrying

Horizontal Carrying vs Vertical Carrying

 

Regardless of the safety advice we have shared with you,  you are the most important factor in ensuring the safety of your baby. There simply is no better substitute for a loving and conscious parent.

To learn more about the distinctive aspects of our carrier, visit the Helina Baby Carrier page. 

 

 

References:

Baby Carriers, Seats, & Other Equipment.  (2012).  Retrieved September 4, 2015, from

http://hipdysplasia.org/developmental-dysplasia-of-the-hip/prevention/baby-carriers-seats-and-   other-equipment/