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Baby-Carrying Safety Information

Baby-Carrying Safety Information

Baby-carrying done properly is very safe!  Always follow the carrier instructions exactly and/or learn how to safely use your carrier from a qualified baby-carrying consultant who has had expert training in babywearing safety.

In particular pay special attention to ensuring baby's airways are always totally clear and that your baby is fully and safely supported by the carrier.

All carriers are designed to be used with baby in an upright position, held securely and firmly in the upright position. Never use the cradle or lying down position with a baby carrier, as this can compromise your baby's airways.

Special care must be used when bending. Hold your baby with one or both arms if you are bending and avoid bending from the waist. Carriers are not designed for hands-free use when bending.

Carriers are not designed to be used in situations or activities where it wouldn't be safe to carry a baby in your arms. For example: running, jumping or biking.

Essential Safety Checks

While there are numerous different ways of describing how to carry safely, all the different points come down to 2 ESSENTIAL factors:

1. Airways

2. Hands-free


Can you see, feel or hear your baby is breathing?

Ensure fabric isn't over your baby's face.

Keep your baby's face above and clear of any squishable chest material - i.e. above your breasts!

With a newborn, this often means wearing a buckle carrier higher on your waist and creating a deeper seat to ensure the back panel is not over baby's face or head.

Hands free

Do you feel confident you can be totally hands free?

If you need to hold your baby, when you are standing upright, then your carrier isn't safe for hands-free carrying.

When bending forward support your baby with at least one hand.

Check you are following the instructions or get some hands-on expert help.

Baby's comfort

  • Newborn hands are up by face

  • Fabric is smooth on baby's back

  • Knee to knee support

  • Pelvis tilt - Knees higher than bottom

  • Natural shape of spine is supported

Other safety guidelines

There are many different ways of describing these key safety factors, including the well-known TICKS guidelines for babywearing:

Babywearing International ABC

More safety information from Babywearing International

Babywearing International believes that babywearing is an inherently safe activity. But as with any other baby or child product, it is important to observe a few basic safety tips.

Make sure your child’s airway remains open at all times while babywearing

The best way to do this is to keep him or her in an upright position, high enough on your body to monitor breathing and ensure that her chin is off her chest. Babywearing International recommends that infants only be held in a horizontal or cradle position while actively nursing (if desired) and return to an upright or vertical position as soon as they have finished.

It is also important that your carrier provides adequate support for your infant’s developing neck and back

Ideally baby should be held with his knees higher than his bottom with legs in a spread squat position and support from knee to knee although with older babies and toddlers full knee to knee support is not always possible or necessary. An ergonomic carrier (whether a soft structured carrier, Asian-style carrier, sling, or wrap) will provide better support for baby and will be more comfortable for the caregiver as well.

Always inspect your carrier for wear or damage before use, examining it for weak spots, loose stitching, worn fabrics, etc

BWI recommends purchasing a carrier from a reputable manufacturer to ensure that it meets all current safety, testing, and labelling standards.

Practice all carries—especially back carries–with a spotter, over a bed or couch, or low to the ground until you are completely confident

A local Babywearing library meeting is the perfect place to learn new skills with the assistance of a Volunteer Babywearing Educator. In most cases it is best to be comfortable with front carries before attempting back carries.

Always exercise common sense while babywearing

Baby carriers are not an approved child restraint or flotation device and should not be used in moving vehicles or boats. Avoid babywearing in situations where it would not be safe to carry an infant in-arms.