November 20, 2014
Parents need to do their homework when it comes to choosing a carrier and deciding how to use it. Even the best baby gadget isn’t best if not used properly.
We spoke with two experts babywearing.
Dr. Heidi Renner, pediatrician, Loyola University Health System: “Whatever carrier you choose, it’s important to make sure that the infant is properly supported.
“You have to look at the development of the baby to assess their ability to maintain their own head control. In general, most infants should be carried in front of the parent for the first six months of life, and shouldn’t be carried behind the parent in a device until they are six months or older, simply because they don’t have the head control and the muscle tone to support themselves and keep them safe. When in doubt, ask your pediatrician.”
Susan Chanse, president of Baby Wearing International (babywearinginternational.org), a nonprofit that promotes babywearing: “Keep baby’s chin off chest to ensure airway is open. Be aware of how your movements affect baby and what baby can reach in a carrier. Practice over a soft, low surface in front of a mirror or with help from others until you are able to confidently secure your baby in a carrier.
“Don’t wear baby engaging in activities that would be deemed risky due to enhanced risk of falls, and don’t wear baby performing an activity that requires you to wear protective gear.” — Jane Donahue