The five T.I.C.K.S rules for safe babywearing

Keep your baby close and keep your baby safe. When you’re wearing a sling or carrier, don’t forget the T.I.C.K.S. Babywearing is amazing and you will carry your baby anyway, with or without a carrier. So have faith in yourself. Does it feel good? Then it probably is. Do you have the feeling the carrier is a bit loose? Then it probably is. It is important that you carry your baby in the most natural position possible, ergonomically. Of course we have some tips you can use as an extra precaution. 

(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. .

(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 cover your baby's face at any time.

(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. KEEP CHIN OFF THE 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. 

(Keep chin off the 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. 

(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.) 

Before you Start

1. Timing

Choose a relaxed moment to try out your baby carrier for the first time, when your baby is quiet and calm (after dinner or after a nap, for instance). You could also practice with a doll. When you’re both used to the baby carrier, carrying your baby this way is an ideal way to calm him or her down. Don’t forget: A baby will pick up on your feelings; the calmer and more patient you are, the more settled your baby will be.

2. Clothing

Don;t overdress your baby! On top of being wrapped in one or more layers of fabric, your baby also gets the benefit of your body heat. In winter just a coat and a hat are enough, if you zip your coat up over the baby it’ll probably be too hot for him or her. When unnecessary. Watch out for signs your baby will give you: Red in the face, crying, sweating, warm neck, means they may be too warm!

3. Too loose or tight?

Don't tie your wrap or carrier too loose. Don't leave too much space between you and your baby. It will make carrying heavier and less comfortable for you and your baby. You will get used to wrapping soon enough and then it will come naturally.

4. Getting your baby out

Make sure your baby is safe and comfortable first. Before you unwrap the carrier, take out your baby. Make sure he or she is okay and then tidy up the carrier. 

5. Movement to settle

Babies love a little jiggle. When you start walking or moving, your baby will settle.

6. Wheel chair

If you are in a wheelchair, tie your baby carrier to the front for increased comfort.

7. Knot in front

The same goes if you have to drive your car before using the baby carrier (say, if you were to go to town or to the school of one of your older children and you’ve tied your baby carrier at home); tie the knot on your belly for increased comfort.

8. Extra support

When your baby cannot hold up his or her head yet, offer support by pulling up the fabric as high as possible over the baby’s back and neck. These bands will support your baby’s neck.

9. Facing you, always

We recommend that you carry your baby facing you always. Which means, have his or her belly to your belly, hip or back. This is the most natural and therefore ergonomic position for your baby to be in. They may over-extend their backs when the face outwards, which isn't good for a longer period of time. 5 or 10 minutes is okay, but in general.... we recommend to have them face you!