It’s International Babywearing Week! A week dedicated to celebrating all things babywearing, so we caught up with award-winning baby carrier brand Ergobaby to answer your top ten babywearing questions.
Which baby carrier is right for me?
One of the most common babywearing questions to ask when starting your journey is which baby carrier is right for you? There are a lot of options out there and your carrier should sync with your lifestyle and personal style.
From newborn to toddlerhood
Whether you’re a mountain-climbing, adventure-loving family or you need a carrier for around the house and navigating city transport, your baby carrier needs to meet both your needs and your baby’s. If you’re not sure exactly what you need or want then we recommend heading to a local retailer or sling library to try a few on for size.
Some carriers are specially designed for newborns, some offer lumbar support and padded straps to help distribute the weight of a toddler, some offer different carry positions, some have storage pouches, and some do it all!
If you want one carrier that will last you from newborn through to toddlerhood, offers all carry positions and is both comfortable and ergonomic for you and baby, the Ergobaby Omni Breeze and Ergobaby Omni Dream are great all-rounders.
How can I tell if my baby is positioned safely?
A common babywearing question and one of the most important. One of the key things to remember every time you babywear is to check that baby is positioned in accordance with the TICKS Rule for Safe Babywearing. This should also help make wearing your baby as comfortable as possible; Most causes of discomfort can be fixed with a few positioning tweaks.
How do I make sure my baby is seated in the hip-healthy ‘M’ position?
To achieve the optimal position for baby’s hips, we want their knees to be higher than their seat. Always make sure baby’s bum is evenly centerd in the carrier. Reach inside the carrier and rotate baby’s hips, sinking their bum deep into the carrier to encourage a comfortable natural spine position (slightly rounded, C-shape). This should also naturally squat baby’s legs to make sure their knees are positioned higher their bum and you can help adjust them if needs be so you achieve the M-Position. Finally, pull the seat sides (padded thigh area) out on either side ensuring the fabric under baby’s thighs reaches from knee to knee. As they get older and their hips develop, this fabric doesn’t need to stretch all the way from knee to knee and their knees can be level with their seat instead of higher.
When is my baby ready to face outwards?
Babies need to have good head and neck control to be worn facing outwards to protect their airways. Around three/four months most babies start to get a bit more interested in the world around them and might start to fuss when they go in the carrier if they want to keep looking outwards. However, all babywearing experts strongly recommend waiting until your little one has good/full head and neck control before facing outwards and their chin should also clear the carrier panel.
Every baby develops differently but this is usually around 5-6 months old. If baby is starting to show an interest in the world around them but doesn’t meet these developmental checks yet you can make sure you’re wearing the carrier nice and high on your body so they have as much of a view to the side as possible. When they are ready for outwards facing make sure to check if you need to adjust your carrier for outwards facing such as changing sliders or buttons to narrow the front panel for a good ergonomic position. And remember, in the outward-facing position, baby’s arms should never come out of the top edge of the carrier (above the neck support) and if baby gets sleepy or shows signs of overstimulation, turn them around to face you so they can rest or sleep safely.
How do I dress baby for summer weather?
No matter the season, layers are key! Your carrier or baby wrap acts as one layer of clothing, so it’s important to keep both you and your little one lightly dressed when using your carrier in warmer weather. Fabrics made of natural fibers such as bamboo or cotton are the fastest drying and are breathable, so can help keep baby cool. And don’t forget sunshades and a sunhat! If baby doesn’t like to wear their sunhat, wearing one with a wide brim yourself can help keep baby shaded too, and most Ergobaby baby carriers come with an integrated sunhood folded into a pocket on the outside of the main carrier panel. A carrier made from a mesh fabric can offer extra breathability, we love the Ergobaby Omni Breeze.
You can read our Top 5 Tips for Summer Babywearing.
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How do I dress baby for winter weather?
Dressing baby in too many layers of clothing could cause them to overheat, so start with fewer layers and add more if you feel baby is too chilly. When dressing baby, remember that your carrier counts as a layer of clothing and so do you as your body warms them up – particularly as your temperature is likely to increase as you’re carrying a baby! You can read our Top 5 Tips for Winter Babywearing here.
Can I use my carrier when pregnant?
Many women safely use their baby carrier throughout their pregnancy. However, this is very much an individual preference, and we recommend you consult your health care practitioner if you choose to continue to carry your child beyond your fifth month of pregnancy.
Can I babywear after a C-section/abdominal birth?
This is another frequently asked babywearing question, and the answer is, most people can successfully babywear after a C-section. The waistband of your carrier should sit high up on your waist to avoid any tender areas. A cosy newborn carrier such as the Ergobaby Embrace is lightweight, soft and stretchy which lots of mums find the most comfortable after a section, and do check with your healthcare professional if you have any concerns.
Can I breast/chestfeed in my carrier?
Lots of carriers allow you to breast/chestfeed in them. In your Ergobaby carrier you simply loosen the shoulder straps a bit and slightly lower baby to position on your breast/chest. For safety, we recommend staying seated when nursing in a carrier, always stay vigilant while baby is nursing, and reposition after feeding, so baby’s face is not pressed against your body. Move baby back to recommended carrying position, remove slack from straps, adjust and you’re good to go!
I can’t reach the back strap to do it up by myself – help!
We have the ultimate hack to putting your baby carrier on by yourself, so never be afraid to ask this babywearing question… Put your waistbelt on high and tight as you usually would then loosen the shoulder straps and fasten the chest buckle. Loosening the shoulder straps will give you sufficient slack in the straps to then put the carrier on like a t-shirt, put the carrier over your head then put your arms through the shoulder straps and tighten. It is critical to keep hold of baby and maintain enough tension on the shoulder straps to keep baby secure while putting your carrier on. Some baby carriers also offer the option to crisscross the straps across your back when in the front carry position so all the fastening and tightening is done on the front which is also handy for those with reduced mobility.
Perfect for adventures big or small, the Ergobaby Ergobaby Omni Range of baby carriers allows wearers and babies of all shapes and sizes to explore the world together in total comfort.
Every carrier in the range is suitable from birth (7lbs / 3.2kg) all the way through toddlerhood (up to 45lbs / 20kg), and offers all four carry positions (front inward facing, front-outward facing, hip carry and back carry) , making it the only carrier parents will ever need.
Ergonomic for both parent and baby and fully adjustable, the Omni carriers have padded, crossable shoulder straps and a lumbar support waistbelt, making hours of carrying little ones feel effortless! The deep bucket seat combined with the head and neck support pillow, and chest tabs, keep baby cuddled close and snug. And if that wasn’t enough each carrier has multiple storage options, is machine washable and is compatible with Ergobaby’s range of carrier accessories.
They are available in a number of different colourways across two luxurious fabircs. The Omni Dream’s SoftTouch™ cotton is heavenly soft and provides your baby with a soft carrying experience, while the Omni Breeze baby carrier maximizes breathability with its lightweight SoftFlex™ mesh fabric, keeping you and your baby comfortable all day long.
If you have any more babywearing questions or want to know more about Ergobaby’s range of baby carriers, head over to the Ergobaby website or social channels – @ergobabyuk.
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