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The practice of babywearing keeps babies in the safest place possible — a parent’s arms, with baby’s face visible to the carrying adult. Babies are vulnerable in their first four months of life. They require constant supervision, which is why babywearing is critical to the well-being of infants.

    Babywearing has been practiced for centuries and offers so many benefits for the baby and the caregiver including:
    • Bonding with baby: A mother's oxytocin increases through physical contact with an infant which leads to a more intimate maternal bond and easier breastfeeding. This helps lower the incidence of postpartum depression. A father wearing a baby can help form a paternal bond
    • Wearing your baby means the baby feels safe and that means that his primal/survival needs are met. Baby use his senses to know he's being cared for including seeing mom, hearing her heartbeat, feeling the skin, smelling and being close to a food source. Plus the movement of the caregiver is very calming to baby.
    • Decreases risk of positional plagiocephaly ("flat head syndrome") caused by extended time spent in a car seat and by sleeping on the back. Sleeping on the back is recommended to decrease the risk of SIDS. Cranial distortion resulting from non-vehicular time in car seats has shown to be more severe than in children who develop plagiocephaly from back-lying on a mattress. Concern over plagiocephaly has also led the American Academy of Pediatrics to recommend that infants “should spend minimal time in car seats (when not a passenger in a vehicle) or other seating that maintains supine positioning." None of the babywearing positions require infants to lie supine while being carried. Infants can even be worn while they sleep, also decreasing sleeping time spent in a supine position.
    • "Hands-free" care allows for caregiver to meet the needs of the infant while caring for a toddler, type at a computer, etc.

    Again, the practice of babywearing keeps babies in the safest place possible but there are important precautions every caregiver should take before, during and after wearing a baby.


    Safety Checklist

    When using any baby carrier, please keep the following safety tips in mind:

    • Read and follow all manufacturer’s instructions for use, and watch any included DVDs, if applicable.
    • Ensure you can see baby’s face at all times. Do not let baby’s face press into your body. Do not cover baby’s face with a blanket, sling fabric, nursing covers, etc.
    • Baby’s head and neck must be gently and completely supported, with chin off chest. If baby’s chin is pressed tightly to baby’s chest, this can restrict baby’s airway. Check to ensure you can slip your finger between baby’s chin and chest to check for correct positioning.
    • Consult an expert if your infant was born with a low birth weight, such as a preemie or twins, or if your infant has respiratory illness or other respiratory problems. Extra vigilance is required with these babies.
    • After nursing in a carrier, remove baby from breast and return baby to proper carrying position with head above the breasts and face free of fabric and turned away from the mother’s body.
    • Be aware of baby. Attend to and check on baby often, especially those under 4 months of age.

    Pinstripes and Polkadots offers a wide variety of baby carriers to meet your needs. Carrier types include:

    • Soft Structured Carriers - Buckle & Mei Tei
    • Stretchy Wraps
    • Woven Wraps
    • Ring Slings
    I offer a wide variety of demo carriers so that you can try on different brands with a weighted doll to see which carriers will suit you best. I believe that carriers should be tried on prior to purchase to make sure it fits you comfortably. As an instructor certified by the Center for Babywearing Studies, I can help you find a carrier that fits you comfortably and teach you how to wear baby comfortably and safely.