As creator of SayBayBee baby planning and pre/postnatal dance fitness, I believe using a baby carrier or sling encourages a special bond and closeness between the child and parent. The security of carrying your child also allows for hands free time for the parent. The child safety experts at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommend parents and caregivers to learn how to properly carry their child in a carrier or sling especially for infants younger than 4 months old, preemies, and babies with respiratory problems. Without proper use, suffocation and asphyxiation can occur when babies are fully contained inside the pouch of the sling because their nose and mouth may become pressed tightly against the adult’s body.
Follow these CPSC safety guidelines (www.cpsc.gov):
1. Be vigilant about checking the positioning of the baby in a carrier or sling.
2. Make sure you can always see the baby’s face or eyes and they can see you.
3. Place their face at or above the rim of the sling so their face is visible.
4. Check the babies for the chin to chest position for this can interfere with their breathing.
5. After nursing, change the baby’s position so you can see their face and it is clear of the carrier or sling’s fabric.
6. When leaning over, bend from the knees rather than the waist to prevent the baby from falling out of the carrier.
Here is a simple tip for parents and caregivers to do before wearing a carrier or sling.
1. Warm up your body by rolling your shoulders forward and backward, circle your head slowly to the right and left, and lift your face up to the ceiling and back down. Your goal is to take a moment to stretch, relax, and help your body adjust to parenting’s very real physical demands.
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