Babywearing for Beginners

Beautiful young mother at home with her baby son in sling, stroking him gently

You can start with babywearing immediately after the baby is born. People around you might try to discourage you by claiming the baby should lie on her back, because her back muscles are not strong enough, but you don’t need to worry.

Experts confirm that fetal position is only natural for a newborn baby. Round back and flexed legs copy her position from when she was in mum’s womb. So this position is absolutely perfect also after she is born. The spine develops into S-shape gradually, during the first year of her life. Very simply, we can describe the spine development in three steps:

  1. At first, we give her a tummy time, i.e. we put the baby on her belly what helps to strengthen her neck muscles, until her head doesn’t need any support at all and she can lift it easily herself and so at first her middle spine begins to curve.
  2. In the next months, baby strengthens her chest and stomach muscles, thanks to what she starts to crawl and sit up. At that time, cervical spine curvature is completed.
  3. And finally, when the baby starts to stand up and make the first steps, her body muscles are strong enough to create a curve in hip area.

So, next time you hear somebody telling you „Just wait until she has a slouched back“, just explain them how it works and that nothing like that could happen if you keep the basic babywearing safety rules.

Some mums could find wrapping their babies too complicated. But it only seems so. After a bit of practice, it surly be as easy as a pie for you. At the very beginning, I was also worried that my little one could fell out. I have been watching various instruction videos how to wrap your baby on the Internet. I practiced according to them, but I wasn’t entirely sure that my baby sits in the correct position. I was aware how important is to keep the safe babywearing principles. To be sure, I participated in a babywearing course. I would recommend it to each mum who wants to start with babywearing. If there are such courses in your neighborhood, take a part, so you have a peace of mind not to make a mistake, as incorrect carrying you can damage your baby.

You can wrap your baby into vertical or horizontal positions. Since my son’s birth, our favorite was the front cross carry. For this vertical carry, I had to keep the following principles:

From the first week, I paid attention to fixing his head by folded fabric placed behind his neck to prevent sharp backward bend. Later, when he could hold his head himself, we put the folded fabric away. When putting the baby into the wrap, I always spread the fabric between his knees as wide as possible and covered his entire back with it (from neck to knees), so I assumed round back and knees above his bum. I have tightened up the wrap and adjusted his knees so they would be in the same height as his bum or even higher (in the shape of letter M). Such wide spread knees assure ideal position for the hip joints and their correct development. I have tightened up the wrap correctly. His back should be tightly supported from the sides as well as from the back, so the baby does not fall off the sides. Naturally, the tightness of the wrap needs to suit both, both of us need to feel and breath comfortably

If you want to wrap your baby into vertical position, i.e. cradle carry, you need to place the baby into wrap so it supports her back and head. Small baby could fit into the wrap completely, without any problems. With older kids it’s necessary to place her head, back and bum into the wrap. Legs could hang out of it. The reversed position when the head sticks out is not correct. It’s rather uncomfortable for you, as you need to support the head with your hand (although I’ve already seen it once).

Read more on how to babywear a newborn here!

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