Supporting you on your babywearing journey

SLING SAFETY

We LOVE baby wearing! And we want you to love it too.So wearing a sling safely and correctly is paramount.

The following 2 guides are a great checklist to follow when front or back carrying in any sling or carrier, to keep baby as safe as possible.

T.I.C.K.S

The most basic advice for safe baby wearing are the TICKS rules, designed to keep babies safe while being worn. The following T.I.C.K.S. Rules for Safe Babywearing have been put together by the UK Sling Manufacturers and Retailers Consortium, and apply to all carriers, though are particularly important when carrying young babies. 

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TIGHT – slings and carriers should be tight enough to hug your baby close to you as this will be most comfortable for you both. Any slack/loose fabric will allow your baby to slump down in the carrier which can hinder their breathing and pull on your back. 

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IN VIEW AT ALL TIMES – you should always be able to see your baby’s face by simply glancing down. The fabric of a sling or carrier should not close around them so you have to open it to check on them. In a cradle position your baby should face upwards and not be turned in towards your body. 

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CLOSE ENOUGH TO KISS – your baby’s head should be as close to your chin as is comfortable. By tipping your head forward you should be able to kiss your baby on the head or forehead. 

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KEEP THEIR CHIN OFF THEIR CHEST – a baby should never be curled so their chin is forced onto their chest as this can restrict their breathing. Ensure there is always a space of at least a finger width under your baby’s chin. 

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SUPPORTED BACK – in an upright carry a baby should be held comfortably close to the wearer so their back is supported in its natural position and their tummy and chest are against you. If a sling is too loose they can slump which can partially close their airway. (This can be tested by placing a hand on your baby’s back and pressing gently – they should not uncurl or move closer to you.) A baby in a cradle carry in a pouch or ring sling should be positioned carefully with their bottom in the deepest part so the sling does not fold them in half pressing their chin to their chest. 

DOWNLOAD THE TICKS GUIDE

Using slings is one of the safest ways to carry your baby and toddler. But, as with all aspects of child care and carriers, parents and carers need to be aware of how to use the sling to make sure that both their child and they are as comfortable and secure as possible.

The check list T.I.C.K.S covers the five key aspects of using slings in an easy to remember acronym.

You can download the TICKS guide here as well as a pdf document.

S.C.O.R.E.

When back carrying, the T.I.C.K.S. rules still apply, but some need to be implemented in a slightly different way. So here is the back carrying safety acronym S.C.O.R.E. from Susie of Helix Baby, for you to follow instead:

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SAFE POSITIONING & SUPPORT – Think about how baby is in the carrier; ideally babe is in the M position and has knee-to-knee support. Is the carrier suitable for the age of baby? Think about where babe is positioned on your back (high or low?), how high the panel comes up (ideally no lower than armpits, no higher than earlobes), if the sling is tight enough and if you have head support in case babe falls asleep.

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CONFIDENT USING THE CARRIER – You should know how your sling/carrier works and be confident using it for a front carry before attempting a back carry.

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ON/OFF – You should know how to safely get babe on AND off your back before attempting a back carry.

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RESPONSE – You can check on your baby regularly by talking or tickling to get a response or by using a mirror to see them.

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EXPERIENCE/AGE OF BABY – It is recommended that babies should be approximately 6 months old or over to back carry. They should be experiencing unaided sitting, therefore having good head control and back strength, first.

DOWNLOAD THE SCORE GUIDE

Using slings is one of the safest ways to carry your baby and toddler. But, as with all aspects of child care and carriers, parents and carers need to be aware of how to use the sling to make sure that both their child and they are as comfortable and secure as possible.

The check list S.C.O.R.E. covers the five key aspects for back carrying, in an easy to remember acronym.

You can download the SCORE guide here as a pdf document.

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