It's hard to resist cuddles with a newborn baby. And that's a good thing because holding your new baby close to you meets so many of their needs.
- Holding your baby in a carrier can facilitate ‘Kangaroo Care’, or skin to skin contact, which has a myriad of benefits for your newborn such as: stabilizing body temperature, improved heart and lung function, and supporting breastfeeding.
- Carrying your baby can initiate the release of oxytocin, in both males and females, which strengthens bonding and emotional well-being.
- It has been shown that babies who are carried cry less.
- Babywearing allows for on the go feedings.
- Proper positioning can help promote healthy spine development.
- Positive emotional experiences with your baby, such as eye contact and talking to your little one while they are in a carrier, provide the foundation for brain development and social skills.
- The upright position and slight movement provided while your newborn is in a baby carrier can naturally massage pressure points related to digestion and assist with your baby’s digestion.
You and baby are naturally drawn to being close and you can see why from the list of babywearing benefits above. To be prepared and successful at babywearing with your newborn, we've gathered key safety points and a summary of the different carrier options we offer that can hold your new baby.
Safety Tips for Carrying Your Newborn
- In the first four months of your baby's life, it is especially important to remain vigilant about baby’s positioning when he or she is being worn. Since babies have a very delicate airway, keeping them upright and in a high carrying position on the caregiver is very important. This helps to mimic the way you would hold a new baby in your arms while giving baby enough space for you to put 1-2 adult fingers between his chin and chest to allow your little one to breathe easily. If baby’s chin is pressed down toward his chest, or his nose and mouth are resting near your body, your little one’s vulnerable airway can become restricted.
- You should also ensure that baby’s face is not covered from view at any time by any means, including blankets, carrier accessories, nursing covers, or hats. While you do want to make sure that baby’s head and neck are supported, there shouldn't be any pressure on the back of baby’s head. That pressure could force their chin downward and affect their airway. Instead, if you’d like, allow your little one to rest his or her cheek gently on your chest – it can be a comfort to hear your heart. Be aware of your child’s breathing, check on your baby often, and reposition as needed for safety and comfort.
- From a physiological standpoint, babywearing can be very helpful for your little one as he or she grows. When first born, babies have a C-shaped curve to the spine. As your little one develops strength in his neck and is able to begin to lift his head, the curve in the cervical spine begins to develop. Using a properly-sized carrier correctly can help to support this spine development. Make sure you’re your little one is placed in a position which supports the neck and back and ergonomically distributes weight through the hips and legs in order to relieve pressure from the baby’s spine as it develops.
Tula Carrier Options For Newborns
Soft-Structured (Buckle) Carrier
If you choose to use an ergonomic buckle carrier, our Explore Baby Carrier and our Free-To-Grow Carrier are two ideal options that can be used from 7-45 pounds without the use of an infant insert. The adjustable height and width of the panel on both carriers ensures a proper fit that supports baby's natural M-shaped seated position and natural c-shaped spine. The adjustable panel height on the Explore Carrier and Free-To-Grow Carrier provide back and neck support which helps suit a smaller baby as well as providing structure to support their strengthening body.
Here's a video on how to wear your newborn in a baby carrier:
Many caregivers find that a ring sling is an excellent option for carrying their new baby. Baby Tula Ring Slings are a single length of supportive woven fabric securely attached using multiple lines of stitching to a set of reinforced sling rings. They have a weight range of 8-35 lb. Ring slings are easy to use, comfortable, easily adjustable, and very quick to put baby into and take them out of, which can be especially useful for small newborns that need frequent feedings and diaper changes. They also tend to be breathable and comfortable year round, regardless of the weather. Ring Slings are wonderful newborn carriers, and can also be used into toddlerhood, and are an excellent choice for those who like to carry their bigger babies on their hip.
Here's a video on how to wear your newborn in a ring sling:
Another great option for a new baby is a woven wrap. Baby Tula Woven Wraps are lengths of fabric that have been woven specifically for the use of holding little ones. They range in length from about 2 meters long to over 5 meters long. Woven wraps can be used through toddlerhood as well, and are best known for being versatile and more supportive than a stretchy-version of a baby wrap.
A simple carry that works well for a newborn is the front wrap cross carry, shown on our instructional video. This carry is helpful for nicely keeping baby high and upright on your chest, close to your heartbeat, and for providing comfortable, secure support.
As you can see, we provide a lot of carrier options that will work for you and baby. So, select a carrier that meets your specific preferences, be mindful of our safety tips, and enjoy carrying your little one on your chest while reaping all of the benefits of babywearing!