Essential Info: Babywearing Basics
ANSWER “Hey, this is Britt Beason with Britt’s Babywearing Basics on Birthpedia. We want to give you, the new babywearer, the mom about to have her baby, the caregiver, about to start taking care of a new baby, the basic quick rundown of the most important things that you could ever need to know about baby wearing. Super fast, the hot points. So I want to introduce you to Tropical babywearing’s babywearing doll. This is baby, and for the purposes of this video we will be working with a doll babies, get a little bit noisy and we’re not going to be actually doing any wearing today. We’re going to be talking about development. So let’s get started.
First thing, airway protection. When we wear our babies, we always talk about that we want them high so that they’re close enough to kiss and that their airway is visible. So you hear me say a lot visible and kissable. That means that I can see babies, airway and I can kiss the baby without having to lean over and fold down upon myself. All right, so number 1 is airway.
Number 2 is spinal development. So when babies come out, they don’t have full head control. Most babies pick their head up the day they’re born and all the mommies go “Ohhhh! My baby has head control. They’re so advanced!” Yeah, sure. Your baby’s absolutely totally advanced but they won’t have full head control until probably somewhere between four and seven months. And it’s a very wide range because all babies develop at a different rate. So that’s great. Until your baby has full head control when you’re wearing them, you’ve got to watch out for that head. So in newborn babywearing babywearing is not completely hands free all the time.
There’s some great tips and tricks you can find in a lot of my videos to help with that factor in the newborn stages. But until then, don’t go lifting any bricks or doing heavy machinery work while you’re wearing your baby. In the newborn phase, we want to make sure that we protect their head. When they come out. They’re very curly hair, curled up in a little ball inside of us for nine entire months. And when they come out they stretch. But then most of them curl very quickly. Up into this nice round little ball, they like to keep their knees high above their hips and they typically will rest with their hands near their face. This exact position is what is ideal to wear them in in the newborn phase. It’s not our job to straighten out the curvature of the spine. The spine itself isn’t calcified, yet.
The muscles around the spine aren’t ready to support the spine. That’s still isn’t calcified, so this development happens from the top down. First your baby will get full head control and start exploring the world by looking around. Next your baby will get upper back control and they’ll start to be frustrated that they can’t see around them when you’re wearing them in the front.
Shortly after a gains head control between four and six months, so anywhere between five and eight months, we see them develop a lot of upper body control. They get very curious around about their surroundings and they want to look around a lot more. Parents come back to us, We say, “try a hip carry.” So from a center carry, to shift your baby over to your hip, their hips are now ready between five and eight months old to open a little wider and wraparound, a caregiver’s hip when you shift them to the side they can see forwards and they can also turn their self around and be able to see where you’ve been.
It gives the babies a lot more range of motion in their view. It also allows them to kind of open up with you and feel like they’re part of what you’re doing and what’s going on and whatever experience you’re having. Developmentally, this is excellent for their mental and physiological development.
So the third big thing in babywearing that we want to be aware of, and that matters big time when we’re talking about baby carriers, is hip development. So the Hip Dysplasia Institute is doing a lot of research to prove some speculated information and it’s all coming together nicely. Long story short, in the first six months of baby’s hips are still calcifying. So we want to protect and make sure that we set up an environment for healthy hip development. What you have in the hip is a socket and then a ball. So in the first six months, this socket is still soft and malleable. In fact, in the weeks before birth, it actually shallows out a little bit to help the baby’s legs come really close together as the baby slides through the birth canal. So in the first six months of life for us to keep the babies knee above the hip when we’re carrying them, especially for long periods of time, creates a very good atmosphere to have some nice healthy hydrostatic pressure of this fall into the socket. Creating a perfect environment for very healthy hip development in the first six months.
We know from the Hip Dysplasia Institute that all of that hip development does happen within the baby’s first six months. So the way in the position that we carry them regarding their hips in that first six months is absolutely important to doing our part when we can, to developing that nice healthy hip.
So we have learned, number 1 guideline for baby wearing is to keep your baby close enough to kiss and make sure we can see that airway. We don’t want baby suffocating in there, right? All right. Second role, we want to make sure to protect the curvature of the spine. It’s not your job to make your baby straight and tall. Nature will run its course. It is your job to protect the curvature while the baby’s in the process of straightening that out all on their own. And number 3, when our babies are new, especially in the first six months of life, we want to make sure that we keep their knees high above their hips when we wear them to promote wonderful and awesome healthy hip development. Thanks for watching Britt’s Babywearing Basics here on Birthpedia. You can check out all of our other tutorial videos here on birthpedia’s website, or you can follow my work at tropicalbabywearing.com or on Instagram.”