How Long Can You Use a Baby Carrier?
The use of a baby carrier depends on your baby's weight and how comfortable they feel in their slings. Here are some guidelines about the duration you can use a baby carrier.
Carrying your baby close to you is not only what a new parent wants but also loved by the babies; they love being held close to their parent's heart. Baby wearing or carrying a baby in baby slings or baby carriers is an ancient practice. Long ago, mothers used to tie up their babies with a piece of long cotton fabric or stole on their chests.
Recently, moms have adapted baby carriers that have in fact made parenting easier. This not only frees the hands, you can do whatever you like with a happy baby on your chest. They will sleep, play or look here and there while you can perform all the chores.
Carrying babies in a baby carrier and baby sling have also revolutionised - from soft and padded structured backpack carriers to stretchable ring slings to woven wraps, there is a huge variety of baby carriers available. Considering your baby's age, weight, and growth milestones the usage may vary in position and time.
There is no hard and fast rule on how long you can use a baby carrier; it’s as per your choice and your baby’s liking. But some of the general recommendations are discussed in this article for you so you can get better guidance.
How Long Can You Carry Your Baby In a Baby Carrier?
Depending on your baby's health, age, and type of carrier you are using, the duration may vary. Although be it infants or toddlers, a baby in a baby sling or baby carrier must be limited for some hours and then they should have a break. Apart from that, the longevity of use and limited age for using baby carriers are as follows:
In Baby Slings
Baby slings are long cotton or stretchable linen fabric. You can get a tying baby sling or a ring sling which has a ring on each side to tie up the fabric properly on your shoulders while carrying the baby.
Baby slings are breathable soft fabric and are safe to use just after birth. Slings are perfect for small babies to cuddle up on their mama's chest and are good to use till 1 year of age or in the case of ring slings till 2 years.
Toddlers move a lot plus they have good weight so a sling won’t be a preferred option for further use. However, they are considered the right baby carrier for low birth weight babies. A baby spends early days easily in them.
Structured and Padded baby carriers
Structured baby carriers or backpacks available in the market are designed to provide good head, neck, and back support to the baby. These carriers are padded and have many attachments included for age-wise settings and positioning of the baby.
Although they are claimed to be safe since birth, the recommended age is 6 months onwards. You can use these carriers for 3 years or beyond if your baby weight is in the mentioned range.
Woven baby wraps
Woven wraps are specially weaved fabric wraps that have good support and strength to carry your babies or toddlers. They can be used for infants and are completely comfortable and reliable. Also, if you need a carrier for your toddler who loves to cuddle or doesn't want to walk while you are out, then these wraps are super durable and trustworthy to carry your little one.
Woven baby wraps can be used for years without any issue and there is no upper age limit until your baby is too heavy or too active to carry.
Safety Tips While Using Baby Carriers
Baby carriers may seem comfortable and intelligible but you can't carry the baby for extended hours as it may cause heating-up, hip dysplasia, suffocation, or carrier syndrome.
That is why it is always recommended to buy a baby carrier that is certified and safe for hip dysplasia. Also, these are some of the major safety guidelines you must keep in mind while using a baby carrier:
Structured baby carriers have a guidebook of baby carrying positions according to age bracket and with additional baby's head, neck support or back support attachments so that your baby is safely carried. Follow the guidelines to keep your baby safe in different baby carriers. While in slings or woven wraps this is not the case so you have to make sure the position of the baby is correct and there is no stress on their necks, backs, or hips.
Even if the baby doesn't cry or shows signs of discomfort, take regular breaks after an hour or two and let the baby stretch their legs, change diapers or feed them before putting them back in the carrier.
Pick a baby sling or carrier that is breathable and according to weather conditions. For cold weather, you can go for padded ones to keep your baby warm, while for hot weather get a light cotton sling so that the baby is well ventilated.
Proper body support and healthy hip positioning
While you carry your baby make sure your baby's hips have no pressure, the baby's legs are curled in a fetus position, and the neck is supported with all the carrying pressure on your shoulders.
Your baby's body must not get any muscle stress and any discomfort while you move, the baby's face should be maintained in the proper position, and the back is supported so that the spine gets no jerk or weight.
Avoid suffocating your baby
Especially for infants who are carried facing towards the chest make sure their nose and head are not curled inside and your neck is not blocking the baby's airway as it may cause them to suffocate.
Baby carriers and baby slings are a valuable investment for parents, especially for mothers who can soothe their crying babies and keep them calm and cozy without having to leave everything behind. But with love comes care so make sure to pay attention to your baby's safety and don't overcarry them as this may hinder their growth or cause problems. If you are thinking of using a baby carrier, Bubbable offers you a high-quality baby carrier.