There’s a reason most baby carriers have a suggested age range from seven pounds and up. It’s because that’s the average weight of a healthy newborn. So, if you’re wondering when to start baby wearing, this makes the answer super simple - you can baby wear as soon as your baby is born if both mom and baby are healthy! You might also wonder, is babywearing safe for newborns? This article will answer all of your questions so that you can feel confident as you practice babywearing with your little one.
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Is Babywearing Safe for Newborns?
Yes! Babywearing is safe for newborns, as long as the baby and the parent are both healthy. If you’re deciding when to start babywearing, it’s actually best to start right away because there are several advantages. They include:
● Skin-to-skin contact: Research shows that daily skin-to-skin contact between mothers and their babies decreases the rates of postpartum depression. Skin-to-skin also increases breastfeeding success rates. Plus, it helps regulate the infant’s body temperature, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and cortisol (stress hormone in the body) levels.
● Easier transitions: If you’ve read about the fourth trimester, you’re aware that infants experience a period during the first few months after birth where they’re going through huge physical and emotional changes. During this time, infants can become easily overstimulated. Wearing them in a baby carrier mimics their time in the womb and helps ease their transition into the outside world.
● Hands-free: If this is not your first baby, you’ll need to be up, moving about, and have both hands free to interact and care for other children, as well as yourself. Wearing baby in a carrier makes it much easier to chase a carefree toddler!
Curious about all the amazing benefits of babywearing? Click here to read more!
So - is babywearing safe for newborns? Absolutely. Still, no matter your baby’s age, there are safety rules to follow. To make the guidelines easy to remember, there’s a convenient acronym: T.I.C.K.S.
Is Babywearing Safe for Newborns in the Water?
Although there’s no definitive guideline, most physicians agree that you should wait to take your baby to a public pool or beach until they are at least two to six months old. You can use a waterproof baby carrier, like Amphiba Baby’s Neptune Carrier, in the water for babies of all ages. There are a few safety rules to follow when water-wearing. They include:
● The same safety rules apply whether you’re on dry land or in the water. The baby should be close enough to kiss, easily visible to monitor breathing, and well-supported in an upright position. Reference the ABCs of Babywearing Safety for more details.
● Infants have very sensitive skin. Apply sunscreen regularly to infants older than 6 months. Put them in hats and rash guards to protect them from sunburns and skin irritation.
● Hot tubs, spas, and pools heated to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit are off-limits to children younger than 3 years of age.
● The water temperature should not be lower than 85 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain the baby’s comfort. If your child starts shivering, it is time to get out. Most public pools tend to be unheated, so wearing your infant in a carrier will add a layer of warmth that they would not get if they were placed in a floaty.
● Waterproof baby carriers are not for use while swimming. They may be used while standing or walking in waist-deep water only. Don’t wade into any water that’s too deep to maintain firm footing.
● When traveling on a boat, your baby needs to be in a life vest, NOT in the carrier.
● It is also tempting to want to wear your baby in a front carry facing out while in the water, but keep in mind that splashing happens, a lot. Infants under two months of age are more susceptible to picking up bacteria and viruses in the water and incapable of shielding their eyes, nose, and mouth from any water splashing into their face. Infants should also not be worn in a back carry while in the water because you can’t monitor their faces and breathing.
You can read more about water wearing here.
If you’re wondering when to start babywearing, the time is now! Babywearing is safe for healthy babies of all ages, including newborns. As long as babywearing is comfortable and practical for you and your baby or toddler, you can continue the practice for as long as it works for your family!