Infant carriers or slings are pieces of cloth that support your child from your body when carrying them. It’s when used incorrectly or for extended periods that these innovative utilities cause suffocation or injury. But for how long can you carry a baby in a carrier?
While there’s no defined time limit for carrying your baby in a carrier, don’t let them spend more than two hours in the sling. It’ll also depend on the scenario, your baby’s age, carrier’s type, and your strength. Your child’s risks overheating, hip dysplasia, positional asphyxia, and container syndrome with prolonged unmonitored carriage periods.
Benefits of babywearing include strengthening the bond between you and your child. Your infant is better supported, with natural postures that enhance your tot’s cognitive, emotional, and physical growth aspects. For tips on signals to look for, positions to consider, and length of time you can carry your child for, continue reading.
What Are the Benefits of Carrying Your Baby in a Carrier?
Wearing your baby means placing your infant or toddler in a carrier, also called a sling. Globally, it’s nothing new as it’s historically known that women have worn their children for centuries. The practice fell out of favor in the west since the swinging sixties. But natural loving mums are bringing it back.
One of the obvious benefits of babywearing is convenience. You can travel or accomplish household chores with your tot safely strapped to you. With a carrier, you’ll be able to access places a stroller or pram won’t go, such as stairs, or out hiking.
But you can leverage more advantages of carrying your baby in a carrier, which includes;
Offering Breastfeeding Support
When your tot is close to your body, it’s easier to nurse than when you’ve got to pop them out of a stroller. Young babies especially have dissimilar hunger signs, and crying may not be one of them. With a carrier, your tot can nurse, build feeding awareness while the maternal and paternal bonds get strengthened.
Baby Crying Less
Infants that receive supplemental carrying won’t react with fussiness according to one study. Overall, your baby that’s carried in a carrier cry 43% less. That’s especially in evenings where researchers found that tots were 51% quieter and calmer.
Eliminating the Risk of Cranial and Spinal Deformities
Squaring of the cranium and spinal deformities are common occurrences when babies spend too much time in car seats, swings, or other equipment. These can be avoided with babywearing using a carrier for the natural development of postural, cranial, spinal bones, and muscles.
Helping Self-Regulation of Physiological Functions
By holding your baby close, their heart rate, temperature, and respiration regulating systems start to mimic yours. Self-regulation is particularly essential during a baby’s first 24 hours after birth.
Can I Avoid Adverse Effects When Carrying My Baby in a Carrier?
There’s a right and wrong way to go about babywearing, as is true with many newborn-related activities. The differences between what’s safe and what’s not being subtle.
These mainly revolve around your baby’s positioning, length of time, and offering sufficient ergonomic support.
- Immediate safety concerns consist of keeping your baby’s airways open and clear while supporting their neck and back postures. One baby-wearing community has come up with best-practice methods they collectively call TICKS. These include;
- Tight: Your baby is held tightly and upright by the carrier, which helps prevent accidental falls.
- In view at all times: Your baby’s face should be visible so that you can monitor their breathing and posture. If you can see them, it’s also easier to know when they’re uncomfortable due to elongated carrying time.
- Close enough to kiss: If you can lower your head and kiss the top of your baby’s head, they’re in the right position. When you can’t, make sure to reposition them so that kissing is effortless.
- Keep the chin off the chest: Make sure there’s a gap about two fingers width between your baby’s body and their chin. If the position is upright, their legs should be squatting and their spine slightly curved.
- Support the back: Avoid over-tightening your baby’s carrier even while seeking to keep their posture upright. Minimize any gap between your tot’s body and yours, but the sling material should allow a hand to slide in between.
When Will I Stop Using a Baby Carrier?
The focus should always be on making sure your baby is comfortable despite the amount of time you’re carrying them in a carrier. You should ensure that you’ll not give yourself back issues, soreness, or other injuries after long sessions of wearing your child. The practice is also not suitable for all babies or parents, especially if there are medical conditions involved.
Baby carriers all come with specific instructions according to the model, which include weight restrictions. With no shortage of these utilities in the market, your choice will be dependent on;
- The baby’s age and size
- Your body type or size
- Personal preferences
- Your budget
When your baby meets the maximum weight criteria set by a carrier, it’s time to switch them to the next size. For newborns, that should happen around four to six months of age. At this time, your tot has developed stellar neck and back support muscles.
Switching from Newborn
Consider the face forward position when you’re switching your newborn to a slightly larger carrier size. That will allow your baby to interact with the environment all the while securely held against your body.
From Nine to Eighteen Months
From nine to eighteen months is the next age your baby will have outgrown their carrier. Depending on their body size, you may have to try out different carriers before arriving at the most comfortable for your child. The back carrying position suits this age group since their weight has grown into a consideration.
From the Age of Two
From the age of two or four for some tiny tots, the baby carrier starts becoming a hassle. That’s an excellent sign to stop their use, such as when your kid doesn’t fit, or you can’t carry them for long periods. It’ll be difficult to keep up with your tot, leave alone get them to settle within a carrier’s confines.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babywearing as it helps encourage bonding, attachment and prevents crying. Your baby’s development is enhanced thanks to carrying them in a carrier. But comfort for both you and your tot’s paramount.
Ensure that your child’s posture is supported, and their airways unblocked. Carrying in a carrier helps to keep you child from overheating or suffocating with a baby carrier. However, two hours should be taken as the time limit your tot should be sitting or sleeping while strapped in.
I’m Cathrine and I’m a 39-year-old mother of 3 from Utica, New York. And I’m extremely happy you’ve come to visit my hide-out on the web. Here I post about everything related to family-life and usually it will involve babies and lessons I’ve learned over the years from experts, friends, and my own mistakes. So hopefully you will find what i write fun and informational!