While most things can be intuitive, even for first time mothers, it’s still helpful to have a list what to do, and not to do, while babywearing. First and foremost, trust your gut. If you ever have the slightest bit of doubt or uncertainty with the safety of your carrier, readjust your baby or seek out help from a Babywearing support group or playdate. Just remember: we all have to start somewhere.
Something that may be helpful (or not if you have “mom-brain”): TICKS. This acronym was thought up by the School of Babywearing, and really helps cover the bases.
Tight: your baby should be close to your body so that they cannot slump down.
In view at all times: you should be able to glance down and see your baby face.
Close enough to kiss: your baby should be high enough, and close enough to your chin, for you to kiss them on the forehead or face. This is a bonus because baby kisses are the best!
Keep the chin off the chest: there should be at least one finger’s space between your baby’s chin and their chest to allow them to breathe easily. Also make sure their face is not pressed against your chest… again, for breathability.
Supported back: your baby’s back should be supported in a natural position, ideally with their tummy towards you in an upright position or with their bottom at the deepest part of a ring sling. Press gently on their back — they shouldn’t uncurl or move towards you.
Remember: practice makes perfect. Try your carrier a few times either with a Teddy Bear or your little squish. It may take a while before you’re 100% confident and comfortable wearing your little squish. For me, I started with a few minutes at a time, keeping my hand on the baby the entire time to make sure he was supported. Eventually I learned to let go and use my hands for other things (eating, for instance).
Great resources for getting started:
XOTell your friends!