It can be a bit bewildering – so many baby carriers, all with similar weight ranges, but often looking vastly different in size
Did you know weight ranges on baby carriers are actually safety testing ranges? These are the weights a carrier has been safety tested between. This likely means your child will have outgrown it before they reach the upper weight limit (that’s the intention – they test beyond the weight it’s designed to carry, to ensure your child is held safely).
This also works at the other end of the scale too:
Just because a carrier is safety tested from, say, 7lb, doesn’t mean every 7lb baby will automatically fit it safely and, conversely, it doesn’t automatically mean a 6lb 12oz baby will always be too small
So how do you know? What checks can you do to make sure baby is safe?
Until a baby has full head control (generally around 4 months old) all the safety focus is on airways – keeping the airways clear now and ensuring they stay clear:
* Can baby breathe unobstructed?
* Is baby held as tightly as a cuddle in arms, to ensure they can’t slump?
Ideally the top edge of the carrier will rest at the nape of baby’s neck, to ensure clear air circulation around their face whilst still providing support.
Baby will be supported securely against the wearer – as tightly as if they were held in arms – with a gentle curve to their spine and, ideally, knees tucked up higher than bottom.
If you want to check your carrier is supporting baby tightly enough, rest your hand against the back of baby’s head and gently lean forwards. If their body doesn’t pull away from you, they’re held tightly enough. If their body pulls away, the carrier may need tightening.
For a newborn baby in particular, ensuring the top edge of the carrier is supportive and not loose around baby’s shoulders and neck is important to ensure baby is fully supported. This can be affected by your own build as much as the baby’s size (a more petite wearer may find it more challenging to get a snug fit on the top edge of the carrier, compared to someone with a broader frame).
If you’re not 100% sure if baby is supported correctly, there are lots of instructional videos over on my YouTube channel, with lots of clear information on checking baby yourself.
I also offer one-to one Consultations – in person or online – if you’d like more tailored help. Full details of the different ways to access my help are on the My Services page