Early in my babywearing journey, I realized that the way I was carrying my daughter was not very safe. After learning that transporting my baby in the cradle hold, which is the horizontal position, could constrict her airway, I immediately changed the way I carried her to an upright position.
When carrying babies in the cradle hold, it is only natural that their chins meet their chests. When this happens, there can be constriction of airflow. Experiment for a moment and do the same; touch your chin to touch your chest. Can you feel how this position limits the amount of air you can take in? Thankfully, you have the neck strength and control to lift your head and open your airway, but babies approximately four months of age and younger have yet to develop this strength.
It is important to note that a cradle hold in a baby carrier is very different than a cradle hold in your arms. When your baby is in your arms, you are actively holding your baby and constantly shifting positions. In a carrier, you are passively carrying your baby which means it is a lot easier for you to focus your attention on something else and without noticing your baby’s discomfort.
So, what is the best practice for positioning your baby in a carrier? It is to wear you baby in a vertical position with his or her face away from your body and their chin away from their chest.