To celebrate International Babywearing Week we’re running a series of blog posts to take you though your changing babywearing journey. Keep checking back for the next stage, taking your carrying journey from birth to toddler!
Stage 1. Arrival
- Age range: 0-4 months – the 4thtrimester
- Physical stages: Spine is soft, C-shaped curve, major organs are adapting to life outside the womb, movements are disorganised.
- Psychological stages: brain lacks connections and vision is poor – baby can only see about 30cm in front of them.
Most newborn babies love experiencing a feeling of safe containment that mimics the experience of being in the womb, and that Oxytocin-inducing skin-to-skin contact is hugely important during this time. Your baby will have minimal strength and control over their body and so will need full support for their head and spine. Position them facing you (chest to chest), with their face visible and head high on the flat part of your chest ‘close enough to kiss’. Upright positioning is often easiest to get feeling safe and supportive. Being held safely upright on your chest helps soothe symptoms of reflux or colic, and is a safer place for daytime naps than lying flat in a room on their own.
There are many slings and carriers suitable for use from newborn; some will be optimised for this stage and therefore have a more limited longevity; others may last longer, but require adaptions or inserts in order to be suitable for a newborn, which may be less convenient to use. A soft stretchy wrap or fabric sling may feel most natural as a way to facilitate skin-to skin contact.
Whatever you are using to carry your newborn, take extra care to monitor your baby at all times whilst in the sling, wrap or carrier. The following T.I.C.K.S. safety guidelines are a great checklist which use can use to check for safe, supportive, comfortable positioning in any sling or carrier.
The blog posts in this series take you through the main stages of baby development and how this may affect your child’s carrying needs and preferences.
Stage 1: Arrival – The Fourth Trimester
Stage 2: Moving Forwards (and Sideways)
Stage 3: Getting Involved
Stage 4: Onwards and Upwards