posted with permission
This positioning applies to any carrier – ring sling, pouch, wrap, mei tai & soft structured (buckle) carriers and to babies of all ages. If the carrier does not allow for this positioning, it is not a suitable carrier. Older babies/toddlers should be carried in this same general position on your hip or your back.
We recommend ensuring that your baby is generally positioned in your carrier as follows:
~ Vertically, on your chest, with baby’s bum at or above your navel
~ Knees above bum, in a frog legged or M position
~ Spine rounded
~ Head turned to the side, with baby’s chin well above his chest to avoid closure of the airway
~ The fabric of the carrier needs to be properly tightened to support your baby in this position. Fabric should be spread from one knee to the other and must not block the baby’s mouth or nose in any way.
You may notice that the manufacturer’s instructions provided with your carrier suggest positioning that does not meet these requirements - forward facing or cradle positions specifically. We recommend against wearing your baby in either of those positions.
Research consistently shows that when babies are held vertically, skin to skin, on a parent’s chest, their heart rate, respiratory rate & temperature are regulated.* Additionally, they cry less, breastfeed more effectively, and develop quicker and more optimally.* Dr Nils Bergman, a physician and scientist who has extensively studied the beneficial practice of keeping babies in their natural habitat (vertically, between their mother's breasts), says, "The baby is in the right place and therefore has the right behavior."
The cradle and the forward facing positions continue to be taught by some manufacturers and educators, but we recommend you avoid using these positions because they make it difficult to position the baby safely for oxygen flow (respiration), are ergonomically incorrect (spinal alignment) for the baby, as well as the wearer (back pain) and appear to contribute to breastfeeding problems for some.
Babywearing is a wonderful tool that gives babies the minimum they expect - to be carried by their mother. It is also a learned skill that requires a bit of background knowledge to safely perform. For most of human history, girls learned to effectively wrap and sling their baby from all the mothers (and grandmothers) around them. Today, many new mothers in North America must learn from scratch. But practice makes perfect and babywearing soon becomes a breeze - making life much easier on mom and healthy for baby. Please be certain to learn safe wrap styles to wear your little one.
Additional Babywearing Resources Linked Here
Facebook Babywearing Safety Page
safely worn in an Ergo
safely wrapped in the Moby
-Skin contact (kangaroo care) shortly after birth on the neurobehavioral responses of the term newborn: a randomized, controlled trial. Pediatrics 113(4):858-65.
-Tessier R, M Cristo, S Velez, M Giron, JG Ruiz-Palaez, -Y Charpak and N Charpak. (1998) Kangaroo mother care and the bonding hypothesis. Pediatrics 102:e17.
-Anisfeld E, Casper V, Nozyce M, Cunningham N. (1990) Does infant carrying promote attachment? An experimental study of the effects of increased physical contact on the development of attachment. Child Dev 61:1617-1627.
-Quebec Coroner Jaques Robinson warning as reported in The Globe & Mail, Feb 05 2009
-Bergman, N.J., Linley, L.L, & Fawcus, S.R. (2004). Randomized controlled trial of skin-to-skin contact from birth versus conventional incubator for physiological stabilization in 1200- to 2199-gram newborns. Acta Paediatrica, 93, 779-785.
-Charpak, N., Ruiz-Pelaez, J.G., Figueroa, Z., & Charpak, Y. (1997). Kangaroo mother versus traditional care for newborn infants <2000 grams: A randomized, controlled trial. Pediatrics, 100(4), 682-688.
– Hunziker UA, Garr RG. (1986) Increased carrying reduces infant crying: A random-ized controlled trial. Pediatrics 77:641-648 -Durand, R., Hodges, S., LaRock, S. Lund, L., Schmid, S. Swick, D., Yates, T., & Perez, A. (1997).
-The effect of skin-to-skin breast-feeding in the immediate recovery period on newborn thermoregulation and blood glucose values. Neonatal Intensive Care, 10, 23-29.
-Messmer, P.R., Rodriguez, S., Adams, J., Gentry, J.W., Washburn, K., Zabaleta, I., & Abreu, S. (1997). Effect of Kangaroo care on sleep time for neonates. Pediatric Nursing, 23(4), 408-414.
-Christensson, K., Siles, C., Moreno, L., Belaustequi, A., de la Fuente, P., Lagercrantz, H., Puyol, P., & Winberg, J. (1992).
-Temperature, metabolic adaptation and crying in healthy full-term newborns cared for skin-to-skin or in a cot. Acta Paediatrica, 81, 488-493.
-Wahlberg, V., Affonso, D., & Persson, B. (1992). A retrospective comparative study using the kangaroo method as a complement to standard incubator care. European Journal of Public Health, 2(1), 34-37.
-Meyer, K., & Anderson, G.C. (1999). Using kangaroo care in a clinical setting with full-term infants having breastfeeding difficulties. American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, 24, 190-192.
-Gray, L., Watt, L., & Blass, E.M. (2000). Skin-to-skin contact is analgesic in healthy newborns. Pediatrics, 105, 14.
-Ludington-Hoe, S.M., Lewis, T., Morgan, K., Cong, X., Anderson, L., Reese, S. (2006). Breast-infant temperature synchrony with twins during shared Kangaroo Care. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 35, 1-9.
-Insel, T.R. (1997). A neurobiological basis of social attachment. American Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 726-735.
-Carter, S.C. (1998). Neuroendocrine perspectives on social attachment and love. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 23, 779-818.
-Lamb, M.E. (1982). Individual differences in infant sociability: Their origins and implications for cognitive development. In H.W. Reese & L. P. Lipsitt (Eds.), Advances in child development and behavior (Vol. 16, pp. 213-239). New York: Academic.