If you want to have your hands free when you’re out and about with your baby, baby carriers, slings or backpacks might be options for you. A few simple precautions will help ensure your baby’s safety when you’re using this equipment.About baby carriers, slings and backpacksBaby carriers, baby slings and baby backpacks are different types of equipment for carrying your baby on your chest or back.Baby carriers are soft padded carriers that you wear on your front. Some have adjustable options so you can wear your baby on your back or hip.Baby slings are pouches or strips of fabric, usually secured over your shoulder and worn across your front in various positions.Baby backpacks usually have rigid frames. You wear them only on your back. They’re suitable for older babies and toddlers who can hold up their heads.Carrying your baby in a baby carrier, sling or backpack gives you the advantage of having your hands free, and most babies like being able to see the world from up high. If you use carriers, slings and backpacks the right way, they’re safe and practical ways to get around with your baby.Baby carriers: what to look forIf you’re interested in baby carriers, it’s important to look for one that:
Healthy hip positioningHealthy hip positioning is important to encourage normal hip development in babies and reduce the risk of developmental dysplasia of the hip.Your baby carrier should allow your baby’s hips to spread so his legs are straddling your body. Your baby’s knees should be spread apart, his thighs should be supported and his hips bent.Carrying your baby with her hips together inside a sling can increase her risk of hip dysplasia.Safe baby carriersThe following tips can help you choose a safe baby carrier:
Comfortable baby carriersThe best way to find a comfortable carrier is to try on different styles with your baby. If your spouse and other caregivers will be using the carrier, look for a style that will be comfortable for them too.Here are a few tips on choosing comfortable baby carriers:
Baby carriers, slings and backpacks: safety tipsHere’s how to secure your baby in a carrier, sling or backpack and use this equipment safely.Securing babies in carriers, slings and backpacks: general tips
Using carriers, slings and backpacks: general tips
Baby slings: extra safety informationBabies can be at risk of suffocation if they’re not correctly put into baby slings. This is because young babies can’t move if they’re in a dangerous position that is blocking their airways.The T.I.C.K.S. rule can help you remember how to position your baby safely in a baby sling:
Babies who were premature, had low birth weight, are unwell, or are under four months of age are at greater risk of suffocation in baby slings. Talk to your General Practitioner (GP) or paediatrician before using a sling.