A baby carrier on your front or a baby sling are wonderful for carrying your baby in the first few months. Your baby gets to be close to you while you can move around more freely.
Help carrying your baby
Most parents love carrying their newborn baby. A baby carrier or sling can be a good investment if you want to give your arm a rest. Babies love being carried close to their parent's body. It feels comfortable and safe, and seems to be especially calming for more fretful babies.
Maintain physical contact and read the instructions
Many studies have shown that early eye contact and close physical contact between a newborn baby and its parents create a strong bond that is beneficial both to the infant's development and to family bonding. It is most important for babies to be carried during the first six months. A wide range of baby carriers and baby slings are available today. What you choose is a matter of taste. Make sure you read the instructions carefully.
At 5 to 6 months old, the baby is ready to be turned outwards to face the world. Be observant of any initial signs of anxiety, and only have the baby facing outwards for short periods to start with. Your baby can quickly become tired and overwhelmed by all the new impressions and general confusion going on around it. You can continue using a baby carrier or sling for as long as your back feels comfortable, or until your baby reaches the maximum recommended weight.
Baby carrier wrap
Most carrier wraps are made of simple jersey fabric, but they can also be made of woven cotton. Regardless of which carrier wrap you choose, read the instructions carefully before putting your baby in it.
In many cultures, a wrap is used to keep babies lying and sitting on the mother's back throughout much of the day. A baby can be carried in a wrap as soon as it is born, and the wrap can also be worn at the front. The baby is carried lying down, curled up like in the womb. Take care to position your baby so that it can breathe freely.
Make sure you tie the wrap correctly and check that your baby doesn't get too hot. When your baby is a little older, it will be able to move and change its position if necessary. Always be alert to your baby's signals. Remember to always adapt the wrap to the baby, not vice versa. When your baby gets a little older, it can sit upright and look out at the world.
A wide range of baby carriers is available on the market. Choose one that supports the baby's back and neck and allows its arms and legs to move freely. This is important for optimal body heat regulation and digestive function. Also make sure the baby carrier can be adjusted as the baby grows.
For the first 6 months, your baby should always be carried facing your tummy, and at height that allows you to kiss its head. Make sure its head is adequately supported. If you are using a baby carrier on your front, don't carry the baby in it for too long to start with.
Babies cannot change their position unassisted, and spending too long in the carrier can put strain on their back, legs and hips. Always be alert to any signs of discomfort from your baby such as increased anxiety, grimacing, crying, discontented noises or trying to change position.