Baby wearing is the practice of carrying your baby in a cloth carrier or sling. This tradition has been practiced in many cultures for hundreds of years and has been adopted by many parents in the United States and Europe.
Advantages of baby wearing
It’s no secret that babies love to be held—and there is plenty of research showing that direct contact with your baby is good for the baby’s development and health. Moreover, a baby carrier allows busy parents to keep their hands free and reduces the strain of carrying your baby in your arms for extended periods. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends baby wearing as a way to promote your baby’s development and enhance the bond between you and your baby. Baby wearing may also facilitate breastfeeding.
Baby wearing safety tips
When performed correctly, baby wearing is a completely safe practice. Follow these guidelines when wearing your baby in a sling or carrier:
- Always make sure your baby’s face is at or above the rim of the carrier or sling. Ensure that there are no obstructions and that your baby’s face is not covered by the sling in any way.
- Position your baby away from your body. Your baby’s face should not be pressed against your clothing.
- Make sure your baby’s weight is evenly distributed.
- Do not place your baby in a curled, chin-to-chest position inside the sling or carrier. This can significantly impair breathing and may cause suffocation.
- Never wear the sling or carrier when performing an activity that can subject your baby to a rocking or shaking motion. This includes driving, biking, running and skating.
- Frequently check the carrier or sling for safety, including ripped seams, sharp edges, safety straps, buckles and fasteners.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, January 2019
- Baby wearing is the practice of carrying your baby in a cloth baby carrier or sling.
- Baby wearing offers numerous advantages, including promoting the bond between you and your baby.
- Always make sure you can see your baby’s face at all times.
- Never place your baby in a position that can restrict breathing or experience a shaking or bouncing motion.