When it comes to using baby carriers, it is important to be informed about their safety especially when to use and when to stop using baby carriers. Having used more than 6 brands over the last 4 years, I have done extensive research and have shared a detailed guide on babywearing. This guide will assist you to know when you can start using the different types of carriers and what you should know about them before using them.
Let’s start with answering this common question;
When can I carry my baby in a carrier?
It is recommended that you can start carrying your baby in a carrier when they are between 8 and 15 pounds. They should fit well into the sling, wrap, or carrier with their legs closed around them to keep them secure during transport.
You may be able to use it for newborns, but if they’re very young, you’ll want to wait until they’re at least three weeks old. If you have had a c-section, it is recommended that you wait until the six-week mark to start using your carrier or wrap while breastfeeding.
Below are some important things to note;
- – For newborns, you should use a stretchy wrap for the first few weeks until baby’s neck muscles are strong enough
- – Infants between four and eight months can ride in soft structured carriers with their legs supported
- – For toddlers between 8 to 24 months old you can wear sling-style carriers or backpacks with support for hips and knees
- – For Kids over three years old, you can use back or front-facing carriers as long as they fit properly and are worn correctly
How long can you carry a baby in a baby carrier?
When you are first using a carrier, it’s best to keep the length of time you use it shorter. For example, try to stick to half-hour sessions with 15-minute breaks in between for the first few weeks. These limits may be moved as your baby gets older and can handle more time being worn.
How to choose the right one?
When choosing a baby carrier, it is important to consider your needs and preferences. Some factors you may want to consider include:
– The weight of your child
– Whether your child is premature or full-term
– Your child’s age
– The type of activities you will be doing while wearing the carrier
– The climate where you live
– The gender of your child (for some carriers, they are unisex so this factor will not matter)
– The size of the caregiver. For example, a person who is 5’6″ or shorter may need a carrier that comes with an extension piece to make it longer. If you plan on sharing this carrier with other people, you may want to consider one that is adjustable.
What should I know before using a baby carrier?
– The top strap should be worn snug so the baby’s weight is distributed to your hips and shoulders. However, if the strap puts too much pressure on your shoulders or feels uncomfortable, it will not matter where the weight is distributed. A good carrier will evenly distribute the weight to all of your body parts
– You should be able to adjust the straps on any carrier you use so they fit appropriately. The straps should not be too loose or tight, but snug enough that they are supporting your child’s weight
When to stop using a baby carrier
When your baby is able to hold their head up well and can walk, there is no need for them to be in a baby carrier. When your child reaches the age of three, they will be big enough that you can carry them if needed but will be old enough to walk. Of course, there may be times when you need a break from holding your child, and using a baby carrier can help to make that easier for both of you!
A happy parent makes for happy children, so try out different types of carriers until you find one that works best for you. As with anything related to parenting, babywearing is different for every family. Keep this information in mind when trying out different carriers and your babywearing experience should be trouble-free!
Practice using baby carrier before putting baby in
Make sure that you know how to use baby carrier before putting baby in. If your little one is asleep, it will be more difficult for them to adjust to a new position and they may wake up.
- Learning the first steps: Babywearing. When should you start using a baby carrier? What kind of carriers exist and which should I choose?
- Make sure that your baby is in the correct position in the carrier before putting them in it. If you are having trouble, ask someone to help you adjust properly. Don’t forget to put on the head support if the carrier has one. This will keep your child’s head stable while they are being worn.
- Make sure that the carrier you are using is designed to hold your baby’s weight. Hold your child up with one arm at a time while wearing them in the carrier to make sure it feels comfortable and safe for both of you.
- You should never leave your baby unattended or sleeping in a baby carrier, even if their eyes are open. They may not be able to support their own head and could flop over or fall out unexpectedly. If your baby is asleep, you should take them out of the carrier before going to sleep yourself.
- It is a good idea to work on developing a bond with your child while wearing them in a baby carrier, since it is a close and nurturing position. Talk to your baby, read a story or sing a song if they are old enough to listen. You can also play peek-a-boo by putting the hood of the carrier over their head for brief periods as you walk around.
- If your child resists being worn in a carrier, try different styles to see which ones they like best. Some babies are fine with being worn in a baby carrier no matter what type it is, but others are more particular about what feels comfortable for them.
- Make sure that your baby can curl up into the fetal position before putting them in some carriers. This will keep them safe and supported while they wear a baby carrier.
- If the position of your baby’s legs becomes uncomfortable, take them out. You can put them back in after a short break or switch carriers to try something new. The key is not only to find the perfect fit for your body, but also to keep your child comfortable and happy at all times.
- Make sure your baby’s comfort is a priority before getting in the carrier yourself. If you are uncomfortable, it will be much harder for you to enjoy wearing them and they may sense it too.
- Remember that you should always ask someone else to hold the baby if you need your hands free (like when cooking dinner). Small children are not able to hold themselves up well enough to be worn safely in a carrier.
When can i carry my baby on my back?
Babies should be at least three months old before they can carry them on their backs. They must also be able to hold their heads up well and be in a stable sitting position with straight legs.
When can I start carrying my baby in the front?
Your baby is ready for this type of carrier when he or she can hold his or her head up well and is able to be held in a sitting position with straight legs. When you are wearing your baby in this carrier, make sure to keep their legs crossed at the ankles. Having them sit cross-legged for too long can cause hip problems later on.
When should i use mei tai?
It takes several weeks for your baby to get used to being carried in this type of carrier. You should wait until they are three months old before doing so, when they can hold their heads up well.
when can i carry my baby using a wrap?
Your baby is ready for a wrap carrier when he or she can hold their head up well and is able to be held in a sitting position with straight legs. When you are wearing your baby in this carrier, make sure to keep their legs crossed at the ankles. Having them sit cross-legged for too long can cause hip problems later on.
when can i carry my baby using a hip seat carrier?
Hip seat carriers can cause hip development issues and you should start using them only when your baby is four months old and able to hold their head up well. You can use them until they reach 15 pounds or more.
when can i carry my baby using a front pack carrier?
Front pack carriers are only safe for babies who can hold their heads up on their own and who are at least one month old. They should also be able to fit into the carrier with their legs crossed at the ankles.
when can i carry my baby using a framed backpack carrier?
You should start using this type of baby carrier when your baby is two months old and has good head control. It’s best to wait until they are 10 pounds before doing so, but you can start using it earlier.
when can i carry my baby using a framed front pack carrier?
You should wait to use this type of carrier until your baby is able to hold their head up well and is at least four months old. The ideal weight for using this type of carrier is 20 pounds, but you can also use it sooner if the baby is getting too heavy to carry in a framed front-pack carrier or forward-facing carrier.
More on Baby carrier usage/timing and choosing the right one
Common mistakes people make when choosing a carrier:
– Wearing baby carriers for too long or with children who are too old. A good rule of thumb is to use it until your baby can support his/her own head (about four months) and not as a substitute for naps.
– Not adjusting the straps appropriately
– Not checking to see if the baby has enough room for hips and knees to make a “C” shape and bend at the knee. The child should be able to sit in a natural squat position like when they are seated on the floor .
Benefits of wearing your baby:
– Promotes bonding between parent and child
– Good for babies who have difficulty or pain with tummy time
– Allows parents to enjoy hands-free time while carrying their child around
– Makes it easier to get through daily tasks around the house
– Prevents your baby from crying due to being in an uncomfortable position or too hot/cold or hungry
Tips for getting good sleep with a baby carrier:
– Do not use the carrier immediately before bedtime. Allow your child’s natural circadian rhythms (body clock) to play out. You may wish to use the carrier an hour before bedtime, which is enough time for your child to become drowsy but not fall asleep
– Make sure you are using a comfortable carrier that fits properly and your child’s weight is evenly distributed
– Only wear your baby in a carrier or sling during naps or nighttime sleep. If you are wearing your baby during the day, make sure to take breaks where they are not in the carrier so that they can move their limbs
– Make sure your baby is not too hot when using a carrier. A good rule of thumb is to take off any extra layers including hats and socks if needed before putting on the carrier. Having some airflow is often comfortable for babies, so placing a muslin blanket over your child’s back while in the carrier can be helpful. You may also wish to consider using a fan nearby
– Make sure you are wearing your baby in a position that is comfortable for both parent and child. A good rule of thumb is to watch to see your baby’s body language. If they are making motions as if their legs are crossed, that is a good indicator that their hips are not in the correct position. You may also want to ask someone who has observed you wearing your child for feedback on how they feel about the carrier and positioning
Last but not least: always remember to wear your baby in a position that is comfortable and supportive for both parent and child. When worn properly, most babies become drowsy within minutes of being in the carrier with some falling asleep without any problems. However, if you notice your baby becoming distressed or your own body becomes uncomfortable, remove him/her from the carrier immediately.
What is a baby carrier?
A baby carrier is a piece of equipment that helps parents to carry their baby close to them. It can be used for premature babies, full-term babies, and even toddlers. There are many different types of baby carriers on the market these days, so it can be tricky to choose the right one for you.
Emily Larsen is a renowned expert in baby naming and has published various works and research on naming a baby such as the evolution of naming, the impact of baby names on a baby’s future success, the perception of middle names, among others. Emily is our baby-naming expert here at Motherhood HQ and we rely on her insight when writing guides to assist parents trying to find an appropriate baby name. Aside from publishing works on unique and creative baby names, Emily is a mother of three and a grandparent to one infant. She is trained as a Psychologist and previously worked as a Social Worker for the State of New York. Emily also runs a small personalized baby-naming consulting business and can be reached using her email, emily.larsen(at)motherhoodhq.com