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1 Make sure your baby can breathe at all times. Baby wraps allow parents to be hands-free to do other things, but you must always remain active in caring for your child. No baby wrap can ensure that your baby has an open airway.
2 Never allow a baby to be carried, held, or placed in such a way that his chin is curled against his chest. This rule applies to babies being held in arms, in baby wraps, in infant car seats, or in any other kind of seat or situation. This position can restrict the baby’s ability to breathe. Newborns lack the muscle control to open their airways when placed in these positions.
3 Never allow a baby’s head and face to be covered with fabric. Make sure you can see your baby’s face and that your baby can see you. You should place your baby’s face at or above the rim of the baby wrap so that it is visible. Check on your baby frequently.
4 Never jog, run or do any other activity that subjects your baby to similar shaking or bouncing motions. This motion can do damage to the baby’s neck, spine and/or brain.
5 Never use a baby wrap when riding in a car or while riding a bike. Baby wraps provide none of the protection that car seats or bike seats provide.
6 Only use carriers that are appropriate for your baby’s age and weight. For example, frame backpacks can be useful for hiking with older babies and toddlers, but aren’t appropriate for babies who can’t sit unassisted for extended periods. Please take into consideration your child’s own physical growth and developmental stage.
7 Inspect your carrier regularly to ensure it is sound. Check the fabric, seams, and any buckles or other fasteners. Do this every time you use it to avoid complacency. Don’t use a carrier unless it is structurally sound.
8 If you shouldn’t do it while pregnant because of an enhanced risk of falls, you shouldn’t do it while carrying a baby. For example, your risk of falling increases when you climb a ladder, ride a horse, or go skating. Your risk of falling also increases on slippery surfaces like the ones you encounter when you go bowling, sailing, or walking on snow/ice. When a baby is in his mother’s womb, he has built in protection, but a baby in arms or in a carrier does not have that protection.
9 If you need to wear protective gear while doing an activity, you shouldn’t do it while carrying a baby. Baby wraps do not provide hearing protection, eye protection, protection from projectiles such as rocks flung from a lawn mower, protection from fumes or dust that may be present while undertaking certain household cleaning tasks, or protection from falls.
10 Protect your baby from the elements. Little limbs and heads may need sun protection. Don’t dress your baby too warmly in the summer and don’t use a baby wrap under circumstances that could cause the baby to suffer heat stress. Don’t let your baby get too cold in the winter. (There are some excellent coats and ponchos designed especially for use with baby wraps.)
11 Be aware of what your baby can reach. In particular, be aware that a baby on your back can reach things you can’t see. Don’t put loose items in the carrier with your baby that can be choking hazards, that can poke your baby, or that can cover your baby’s face.
12 Baby’s nose should be, at the very least, parallel to the floor at all times. When baby falls asleep his nose should be pointed higher. Fabric or sleeping hoods should support the head and neck of all sleeping babies.
13 Be cautious when eating hot food or consuming hot beverages when your baby is in the carrier.
14 Support your baby with your arms when leaning or bending over. Always bend at your knees.
A baby wrap is not a safety device on its own, it is designed to assist you in carrying your baby. You are responsible for the safety of your child while he or she is in the carrier.
Your baby should be snug against your body, high on your chest,in the same position your arms would hold her in. Wearing your baby should not hurt your back. You may be wearing the carrier too low, too tight, or the fabric may be twisted.
The seat of the carrier should cover not just your baby’s bottom but actually reach the backside of your baby’s knee. The wider the fabric is spread, the more the support.
In the upright position, your baby’s knees should be pulled to their hip level or higher and in a frog-like position. This fills out the hip socket, aligns the pelvis, and places the spine in a natural rounded position. Do not tuck your baby’s legs under their bottoms. This places pressure on little legs and may impede blood flow or pinch a nerve.
After nursing your baby, remember to re-tighten the carrier so that your baby is snug and back high up on your chest. Make sure you can see your baby’s face and that your baby can see you. You should place the baby’s face at or above the rim of the baby wrap so that it is visible. Baby should always be close enough to you so that you can kiss her on the forehead.
After reading all of these guidelines, we kindly remind you to use common sense and your best judgment when it comes to keeping your baby safe and secure. The safest baby is with her alert, loving, intuitive mother – right next to her!