Baby-Carry - Ten important requirements

aus Tragehilfen von Jenny Grallert - Deutsche Hebammen Zeitschrift 2/2009 (215.70 Kb) pdf 
For a healthy developing child and happy parents it is important that baby-carrying devices meet the following requirements:

  1. The piece of cloth between the baby’s legs must be wide enough to reach all the way to the backs of the baby’s knees to support the physiological spread-squat-position. That means the baby’s knees will be at the same height as his/her belly button.
  2. The wrap or carrier must be sufficiently flexible and firm to provide back support. Babies are wrapped and held firmly in a rounded position that is physiologically appropriate for their age. Carriers should come with a sufficiently large or extendable back piece for older toddlers in order to properly support their entire back area between the neck and the pelvis. In a firmly tied wrap or properly adjusted carrier, the child will snuggle up to the wearer and will neither slump nor fall to the side.
  3. Using the right tying technique ensures that the baby’s head is supported properly, even if it is not always supported perfectly, e.g. when the child is sleeping in the simple hip carry position. Many modern baby carriers provide more or less adequate head support.
  4. To wear the baby beneath or over your outer clothing, the wrap must be long enough or the carrier needs to have adjustable straps. To see whether a particular carrier is suitable for or can be adjusted to your individual size, height and figure needs, please have it checked by a babywearing professional.
  5. When wearing the child in the hip or front carry, you can check that your baby is in the proper position when you are able to kiss the baby’s head when you bend your head forward.
  6. Ideally, the baby should be alternated between the front, hip or back carrying position. This gives the wearer more comfort, relieves physical stress, and the child still can be in his/her favourite position. This should not be a problem with a long enough wrap. Good baby carriers can typically only be used as front or back carriers. As such, they are inferior to wraps or slings when it comes to the hip carrying position, whereas short wraps, slings or pouches designed more for hip carry techniques are not ideal for back carrying.
  7. Wrapping or unwrapping (putting the baby on or taking it off) should be possible in a quick, safe, and easy way. Many wearers feels that baby carriers are superior to wraps when it comes to back carrying because even experienced wearers need some time to tie the wrap and it also requires some physical effort.
  8. The weight and packing dimensions of the different carriers, wraps and slings vary greatly.
  9. A good carrying device is washable and dries quickly. It should be made of organically grown material and be free of pollutants.
  10. All carriers and wraps should come with detailed and easy-to-understand instructions to inform the user of the variety of uses it serves and how to use it correctly. Good baby wearing devices can be used both for front and back carrying.