Common questions about baby wearing - debunked and explained
Baby wearing has been practiced for thousands of years. Still, the subject raises lots of questions, quarrels and unfortunately parent shaming. No wonder parents experience confusion and hesitation when entering the world of baby wearing. Leading many to question should I get a carrier for my baby?
In this article, we will answer the most common questions about baby wearing.
“Can holding babies too much be bad?”
Every new parent has that one friend or relative who tells them that carrying your baby too much is equal to spoiling them. Cuddling and keeping your baby close has gotten somewhat of a bad reputation over the years. Older generations usually point out that it is better for your baby to "self-sooth". With the idea that they will learn to handle their emotions on their own.
Luckily for all those cuddlers out there, research actually shows the opposite. A parent’s touch, like skin-to-skin carrying, has positive effects on the baby’s physical and physiological development.
“When can I put my baby in a carrier?”
As soon as your bundle of joy is here. When your baby first gets here it's completely normal to want to stay close to them all the time. And your baby only seems to be happy in your arms - or lying on top of you. That’s probably why one of the most common questions is when you can start carrying and if it’s safe for your newborn. A baby carrier provides a comforting, secure environment for newborns, similar to the feeling of being in their mother's womb. This makes it a great choice for bringing to the hospital and using it right away.
“How to use a baby carrier for a newborn?”
When you want to start carrying your newborn baby, it's really important to make sure the baby carrier is ergonomically designed. This will ensure your baby is sitting in the correct position. Pick a baby carrier that is hip-healthy and comfortable for both you and your baby.
Babycarrying in a Najell product helps the baby to sit in the correct, ergonomic position. They are designed to support the baby’s legs to be in a frog- or m-shape, and the back to be formed as a C. That’s why our baby carriers are recommended by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as a safe product.
“Which baby carrier is most comfortable for a baby?”
A baby wrap is often seen as one of the softest and most comfortable ways to carry a newborn. Carrying a baby in a wrap gives the feeling of the baby being in a cocoon, since the baby is really close to your body. The Najell Wrap is actually used in several neonatal departments for skin-to-skin carrying. This method is called kangaroo care, allowing the baby to be close to the parents chest which helps the newborns' development.
All Najell’s baby carriers are developed to be used from birth. A soft-structured baby carrier gives a bit more support when carrying, allowing you as a parent to carry for longer periods of time. Many parents choose to have a baby wrap for those soft, cozy moments at home and a baby carrier when out and about.
“Does baby wearing really reduce crying?”
The short answer is yes. Studies have shown that carried babies cried significantly less, both during the day and night. Having that skin-to-skin contact with the parent, makes the baby feel safe and happy in your arms. So if you have a baby that just keeps on crying - try baby wearing!
“How long can a baby be in a carrier?”
Parents commonly wonder whether there’s a time or age limit to baby wearing, and when to stop using the baby carrier. But if you are using a high quality carrier with good ergonomic support, you don’t have to worry. There is then minimal risk of the baby sitting in an uncomfortable or unhealthy position. In fact newborns enjoy being cuddled up in the “frog” position.
When a baby sits in a carrier, the position is similar to how the baby slept in the womb. Supporting their natural anatomy. But when the baby wants to eat, play or need a diaper change they will of course need a carrier break. And don’t worry about it sitting in there for too long, or your baby being uncomfortable. Your little one will tell you when they’re unhappy with the position or needs a break.
“How long can you use a baby carrier?”
There’s no global age limit for baby carriers. Different carriers can be used for different ages and sizes. Some carriers, such as a baby wrap, are more suitable for when the baby is small. Yet others can be at three years or more.
When deciding which carrier suits you the best, it’s important to think about when and how you’re planning to use it. For how long do you want to be able to use the carrier? How old will the child be? Firstly make sure that the baby carrier is safety tested and approved as a hip-healthy product. Then when comparing, look at the baby carrier age limit, weight limit and most importantly TEST. Ensuring you find one that’s comfortable for you and your baby.
“When can you forward face a baby in a carrier?”
Sometimes, older babies will actively seek ways to see the world by tossing and turning their head when carrying. These movements are clues that they want to be front facing in the baby carrier. When the baby is facing outward it allows them to follow what's happening.
We don’t recommend forward facing before your baby is about six months of age. That’s usually when the baby’s neck and head control is better, making it possible to carry your baby facing the world.
“Is it safe for a baby to sleep in a carrier?”
Research shows that babies that are carried fall asleep more easily, sleep for longer periods of time and are more peaceful. By using a baby carrier, you as a parent don’t have to plan your life according to your baby’s sleep schedule. Meaning you can continue doing the things you love while having your baby close at all times. Just make sure that the baby’s airways are free and you’re good to go.