Welcome to our new series: Babywearing Ages and Stages. We’re working with Babywearer’s Circle on this series. In it, we’ll take you through some of the ages and stages your little one will go through in your babywearing journey. We’ll let you know some of the problems that come up, which carriers work well and what to look out for. We love newborns here at BCD blog. We have pages of posts devoted to them. But here is a brief run-down of what it’s like to wear a baby at the 0-3 month stage.
What Works Well:
Ring slings are easy to learn and perfect for newborns. Wraps are a little harder to learn but offer perfect positioning and the best way to back carry a newborn (if you should choose to do so).
Mei tais are not ideal for newborns, but if you want to use one, you may like to cinch the base of the carrier with a hair band or ribbon so that it’s narrow enough to fit your baby. Also, you may need to roll the waist of your mei tai (if possible, the mei tai will need to have waist straps at 90 degrees to the body) so that it’s not too long. Try to tie underneath baby’s bottom so as not to push against the spine.
Some soft structured carriers can be made suitable for newborns, either through means of an additional insert, a built in insert or a cinching mechanism in the carrier. Whilst these don’t offer perfect positioning for this brief period, they work very well as a single carrier that is easy to learn and use into the toddler years.
Legs In Our Out?
There has been a lot of debate over the last few years over whether a newborn’s legs should be “froggied” up in the carrier or allowed out of the carrier. It comes down to two things: personal preference and the style of carrier.
Some SSCs require the newborns legs to be froggied. Some mei tais cannot be cinched or rolled: these are not particularly good carriers for newborns but can be used in a pinch.
Otherwise, however, feel free to allow your infants’ legs out of the carrier and just be aware that their legs are not spread uncomfortably wide.
What To Watch Out For:
The most important thing to keep in mind at this age is the TICKS safety guidelines. Ideally, the baby should be in upright carries: this makes it easier to follow the TICKS safety guidelines and helps with reflux. Clip slings and most pouches should be left until around 4 months old. Babies of this age should not be faced outwards. Babies should not be back carried in SSCs or most mei tais at this age.
Take a look at our downloadable pamphlet on wearing newborns for lots of great pictures and information on how to wear your newborn.
Finding likeminded parents is also a great way to get help. Come check out Babywearing Buy Sell Swap or Baby Carriers Downunder for help and support. You’ll be able to find a local sling group who can give you hands out support and advice.
Have you worn a newborn? What did you use? What did you find difficult? Leave a comment and let us know!