ALL THOSE INFORMATIONS ARE IMPORTANT FOR THE SAFETY AND COMFORT OF YOUR BABY.
Classic sling, wrap or Duo baby carrier, there are many options for physiological babywearing. Even backpack carriers and more besides if you prefer, depending on what you and your baby need, for as long as you need, as often as you need... But you have to be careful to do it right and follow good practice. So we've put together some ideas and advice for you to find out everything there is to know about physiological babywearing.
Physiological babywearing means carrying them in a natural position: knees higher than the buttocks thanks to a tilted pelvis, back not too straight, head-pelvis-spine aligned, hands can touch the face. Other factors add to this list, such as the fact that the child is at the right height for kissing, or that they can breathe unobstructed.
Being familiar with a newborn's physical characteristics is an essential prerequisite for understanding and implementing the rules for babywearing, especially soon after birth.
We talk about physiological position because it is the one which best respects the child's natural curvature. In the womb, the baby lies in a fetal position, with its back curled up. At birth, babies have a totally rounded back, said to be in complete kyphosis, or C-shaped. The back is not yet mature and the spine will straighten out as the back muscles grow.
At birth, babies have a totally rounded back (total kyphosis), a situation which reflects the infant's anatomy. It relieves vertical pressure on the spine and intervertebral discs.This situation will change as the infant grows. As the baby learns to hold its head up, the curvature of the spine will straighten out, and baby is able to hold their head up while lying on their tummy (cervical lordosis). By working on rolling over and getting into the four-legged position, the child straightens their back and learns to sit up unaided (dorsal kyphosis). Next, the baby tries to straighten up and discovers standing on two feet and being upright (lumbar lordosis).
So as the baby grows, the wearing position will also change - not so curled up and not so close to the carrier's body, to allow greater freedom of movement.
UP TO ABOUT THREE MONTHS: knees as wide as the pelvis, and ankles in line with the knees.
FROM ABOUT THREE MONTHS (baby can grab their feet on their own): knees can be wider apart, and they can then hug and kiss whoever is carrying them.
FROM ABOUT 4 MONTHS, the baby's back is no longer likely to curl up when awake, even when sitting properly.
BACK IS ROUNDED
PELVIS TILTED FORWARD IN A CROUCHING POSITION
BABY IS SUPPORTED ON THEIR BOTTOM AND THIGHS, NOT BETWEEN THE LEGS OR ON THEIR FEET
HEAD LINES UP WITH THE AXIS OF THE SPINE, WITHIN REACH FOR KISSING ♥
HANDS ABLE TO REACH MOUTH LEVEL
LEGS BENT, KNEES HIGHER THAN BOTTOM, NATURAL DISTANCE APART - WHICH IS TO SAY NOT FAR WHEN NEWBORN - AND GRADUALLY MORE WITH GROWTH (HIPS ARE NEVER FORCED TO OPEN WIDE )
There are two main reasons why experts don't recommend facing out. First of all, facing out is not physiological as it exerts too much pressure on baby's back and joints.
Furthermore, this position risks too much stimulation for the baby, especially visually. This way of babywearing, very common in the West, should be practised sparingly and only for short times. Alternatively, you might choose to carry baby on your back or on the hip.
1. Respect the M position of the child
Carrying must respect the physiological position of your baby, called the "M" position. It is actually the natural position that the baby takes when snuggled up against you, halfway between sitting and squatting. Their back should be rounded, their hip naturally tilted, knees bent and at navel height, thighs pointing upwards and apart so there is no force on the baby's hips. Finally, baby's head must be kept in line with their spine to rest on the carrier's chest.
2. Keep the baby's airways clear
Your child must have their face free to breathe without hindrance while in the baby carrier. You should check that baby's little nose and chin are free of obstacles.
3. Carry baby at the right height
The ideal position for their head is on the top of your chest, at kissable height.
4. Adjust the fabric properly
The fabric of your Studio Romeo baby carrier must be properly adjusted, so that the baby is securely held against you.
5. Take precautions with a newborn baby
The rules are exactly the same as for carrying a larger baby, paying particular attention to applying the above rules. Also remember to support baby's head with one of the bands until they can support themselves alone.
6. Dress baby appropriately
If it is hot, think about the fact that the baby carrier will act as clothing for the baby, so they don't need to be excessively covered. And always cover the extremities to protect baby from the cold or the sun.
7. Dressing for baby carrier
For better comfort, carry your child against you, on a T-shirt or a thin jumper, and then cover yourself (jacket, coat, scarf, etc…).
8. Protect the child from the sun
Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen; it is not worth risking baby's sensitive skin.
9. Stay alert to indications
Pay attention to the child's signals and behaviour, and be sure to adjust their position if necessary.
10. Seek support if necessary
If you want to carry your baby but don't feel confident enough to start out on your own, consider calling a professional to help you. Many midwives or babywearing instructors can provide you with valuable advice so you can familiarise yourself with babywearing. You will become an addict, as will your baby!
If you have any questions, please write to us here. Enjoy your babywearing!
To enjoy the best carrying conditions, it is important to respect a number of rules and to be attentive to the child's needs:
- When fitting the baby sling, make sure that the child's respiratory tracts are always unobstructed from the fabric, to ensure proper air flow. The baby’s face must always be visible to the carrier.
- Dress the baby according to the weather, especially if it is hot, and consider the sling fabric as a piece of clothing, in addition to your own body heat (37°). Cover the extremities (head, feet) to protect them from the sun and/or cold.
- Regularly keep the baby hydrated if it is warm outside, and be careful with exposure to the sun.
- In all positions, make sure that the baby can freely move its head. The head must be in the axis of the backbone.
- Be attentive to signals in the baby's behaviour: answer its needs and make the necessary adjustments position-wise.
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Need a little help? We propose you to sign up herefor a 20-minute consultation with Marcelle, our babywearing educator (English and French speaking). Simply choose a date and time that works best for you!
Babywearing is a convenient way of keeping your hands free and moving around more easily.
Babywearing comforts baby, soothes tears and helps with sleep.
Baby's head should always be outside the sling or wrap, with their nose and mouth clear.
Avoid baby carriers where all of baby's weight is supported between the legs.