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Baby carrier safety

Useful advice on baby carrier safety, how to ensure your baby is correctly supported in their sling, the importance of harnesses and tips to avoid a bad back.
Using a baby sling or carrier allows you to provide your baby with all the attention they crave whilst enabling you to keep your hands free for other things. When fitted correctly, slings and carriers provide a safe support for your baby, however there are a few safety precautions you need to take.

A baby carrier or sling is only a worthwhile piece of equipment if it is comfortable for you as well as your baby. It is important to check that the sling or carrier does not put too much pressure on your back or shoulders. For this reason it is bet to chosse a sling or carrier that distributes weight evenly across your body. Slings and carriers with wide, padded straps are likely to be more comfortable on the shoulders but may be more difficult to adjust.

If both parents want to use the sling or carrier to transport baby it is important that one of a suitable size that can be easily adjusted to suit different body shapes is chosen. You should also check the sling or carrier is made of a durable, washable fabric so that it will last well.

When wearing a sling or carrier remember to bend your knees rather than your back when you go to pick something up from a low level as this will protect you from unnecessary strain. When leaning forward or bending down you should keep one hand on your baby for support. Additionally, you should only ever use a sling when travelling by foot and never when in a car or bicycle.

When using the sling you should ensure tha baby's weight is distributed evenly with support for the head and along the spine. Your baby should fit snugly against your body, however you should check that baby is not so tight against you that airflow in the carrier or sling is affected.

One of the advantages of using a sling or carrier is that baby is protected from strong sunlight in summer and kept warm during the cooler months. However, you should check that baby does not overheat when wearing lots of layers or in a place that is particularly warm and that baby is dressed appropriately in winter.

By observing these basic safety principles your baby sling or carrier will provide a safe and comfortable way for you to transport your baby.

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