Babywearing comes with many benefits, not least emphasising the connection between parent and child, but it’s also recommended by experts as being positive for baby’s health and wellbeing, such as preventing reflux, increasing bonding and more. Read our article on five surprising advantages of wearing your baby here.
So it’s no surprise then that there’s a huge range of carriers and slings out there to assist parents in achieving these benefits. But coupled with all the different ways that you can wear them, the number of choices can often make it difficult to get the positioning of baby just right. It turns out that even if you have all the money and resources of an A-lister there’s still some key tips to wearing baby that you might need a refresher on.
Luckily there’s an easy set of guidelines to bear in mind on the subject of babywearing safety, known as the TICKS list.*
T is for ‘Tight’
Slings & carriers should be tight enough to hug your baby close to you, as this will be most comfortable for you both. Any slack/loose fabric will allow your baby to slump down in the carrier which can hinder their breathing and pull on your back
I is for ‘In View At All Times’
You should always be able to see your baby’s face by simply glancing down. The fabric of a sling or carrier should not close around them so you have to open it to check on them. In a cradle position your baby should face upwards not be turned in towards your body.
C is for ‘Close Enough to Kiss’
Your baby’s head should be as close to your chin as is comfortable. By tipping your head forward you should be able to kiss your baby on the head or forehead.
K is for ‘Keep Chin Off the Chest’
A baby should never be curled so their chin is forced onto their chest, as this can restrict their breathing. Ensure there is always a space of at least a finger width under your baby’s chin.
S is for ‘Supported Back’
In an upright carry, a baby should be held comfortably close to the wearer, so their back is supported in its natural position and their tummy and chest are against you. If a sling is too loose, they can slump which can partially close their airway.
(This can be tested by placing a hand on your baby’s back and pressing gently – they should not uncurl or move closer to you.)
N.B. A baby in a cradle carry in a pouch or ring sling should be positioned carefully with their bottom in the deepest part, so the sling does not fold them in half pressing their chin to their chest.
So what does all this actually look like in practice? We asked Sofi Chabowski, founder of eco-friendly children’s store Eggs & Soldiers and stockist of the widest selection of baby carriers in the UAE, to take a look at some of Hollywood’s most famous babywearers and give you the lowdown on how their technique compares with the TICKs recommended guidelines. Here’s what she said about each:
Read more from Baby & Child:
*TICKS list as supplied on Ergobaby.co.uk, one of the baby carrier brands stocked by Eggs & Soldiers
Photos from Rex by Shutterstock