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10 Things You Shouldn’t Do While Babywearing

December 19, 2016

babywearing safety

Recently, a babywearing mama got badly burnt while carrying out an activity she would have normally been doing with her baby strapped to her. Thankfully, she believes an angel was watching over her when she chose not to wear her newborn on this occasion, and so only she was injured. Things could have been much more tragic.  

{Prefer to listen than read? Check out our podcast episode on this topic here or search The Babywearing Broadcast on iTunes!}

babywearing mum burns

Source: Facebook; Molly Landis.

This is a good opportunity for us to talk about babywearing and safety.

Because being hands free doesn’t necessarily mean you can do all the things you’d normally do without baby. It can be easy to forget there’s a little, vulnerable person strapped to you, especially when they’re quiet, content, and maybe even sleeping.

babywearing quote safety

But the fact remains that they are still a baby and certain grown-up activities should be done well away from baby. If you wouldn’t normally do an activity with baby in your arms, it’s probably best avoided.

Not sure where to draw the line? Here are some examples…

 

1. Cooking with Hot or Sharp Objects

Full disclaimer: I have cooked while babywearing. Sometimes it has been the only way to get us fed without my little dude cracking it for half an hour. However, I have always been mindful of keeping him well away from anything hot or sharp. This includes ovens, gas stoves (don’t let your wrap tails get caught!), knives, steam, boiling water, microwaves, and more. Usually, I try to back-carry while in the kitchen, but I find that I need to be careful with making sure little feet don’t bump into stuff while I’m working. In the past, these little feet have knocked a glass pyrex jug onto the floor and broken it into a million pieces!

babywearing in the kitchen

Babywearing in the kitchen. So many hazards. Grabby hands, kicky feet. Overall, not recommended unless you have to!

At the end of the day, you just don’t know what could happen while you’re cooking, so babywearing in the kitchen is best avoided unless absolutely necessary.

2. Lawn Mowing

I am quite lucky to have my husband help with mowing, so when it needs doing, I keep the munchkin indoors with me. For single parents who may be alone with their small child, getting the mowing done AND supervising a baby can be quite the challenge. Some of them may choose to babywear while mowing and/or whipper snipping. It’s best to stick with your instincts here. Your baby will need something to protect their eyes from possible rocks bouncing up, sun protection, and earmuffs to protect their hearing. Once again, if you can, babywearing while mowing the lawn is best avoided.

3. Swimming

Although you can buy some fantastic water carriers, like mesh ring slings and meh dais, these are not actually intended for use while swimming. I would probably stick with knee-deep water at the beach while babywearing, ensuring that we could easily get up if a wave knocked us over. Swimming and babywearing are not a good mix, because you need full focus on keeping both your heads above the water, which would be very difficult while your baby is in a fixed position, strapped to your body.

babywearing at the beach

Babywearing at the beach a few weeks ago! The carrier came off once we got close to the water, because this little one just wanted to play in the sand. But I wouldn't recommend going further than knee-deep in the water anyway!

4. Bike Riding

If you want to ride a bike with your baby, the safest option is to purchase a baby seat attachment and infant helmet. Toddlers may also ride in a small trailer compartment towed behind your bike. Babywearing while bike riding is illegal in Australia. If, however, you live in a culture where this is commonplace, please go ahead and make your own decision.

5. Cleaning with Harsh Chemicals

If you use harsh chemicals while cleaning, its best to keep baby out of the room while the fumes disperse. This means no babywearing. However, it might be worth switching to products that are kind to little lungs and skin. I have switched to mostly Earth’s Choice cleaning products since becoming a mama, and so I can babywear and clean with confidence, but there are plenty of other great options out there too, like Enjo and Norwex, or even just baking soda and vinegar!

6. Lifting Heavy Objects

When you’re already carrying a heavy baby (who you most likely carried inside of you for 9 months), it’s a good idea to avoid heavy lifting. If you’re moving furniture, get someone to mind the baby while you help. Not only is babywearing and heavy lifting dangerous (the potential for falling, dropping things on baby, etc.), but it would put a lot of pressure on postpartum pelvic floor and abdominals.

moving house babywearing

Babywearing came in handy when we moved house a few months back. Mainly to keep this munchkin out of the way. I was able to help move and organise small things, but avoided lifting anything heavy.

7. Climbing Ladders/Unstable Surfaces

If there is any potential for losing your footing, don’t do it while babywearing. This includes ladders, unstable surfaces, rocks, etc. Listen to your body. You know your abilities better than anyone. If you are likely to trip/fall/slip, don’t do it with your baby.

babywearing bush walking

We bushwalked up a small coastal hill/track. My husband made sure he took his time and didn't go off the path (which was pretty easy going anyway). 

9. Running

Running with your baby in a carrier can lead to something called “shaken baby syndrome”. Their little frames are just not ready for the jolting movements that come with an adult running. However, some caregivers find that toddlers and big kids are physically up to the task, and DO go jogging with their babies on their backs. Once again, you should listen to your instincts and follow your child’s cues. Ideally, they will be able to clearly communicate if they are uncomfortable or experiencing pain so that you can stop immediately. If not, go for it, you fitness queen!

10. Certain exercises

Exercising and babywearing is possible thanks to wonderful programs like Kangatraining. However, this program is designed AROUND babywearing and all exercises done are able to be completed if you had your baby in your arms too (basic steps, squats, lunges.. all doable without a carrier!).

kangatraining

Kangatraining is safe exercise, designed specifically around babywearing!

Do not try babywearing while doing crab walks, tricep dips, weight lifting, or a plank! Those four examples cannot be completed while carrying a baby in your arms and therefore are not safe to do while babywearing either.

 

Above all, use your instincts. Just because an activity IS or ISN’T listed here, doesn’t mean it’s okay or not for you. Your situation (and your cultural heritage) may tell you otherwise, and that’s fine. Try to see this list of activities as examples of what you should probably avoid, and always listen to your mum-tuition.

Happy (and safe!) babywearing!

 

Angela

Xo

 

P.S. Enjoyed this post? Please go ahead and share – safely wearing our babies is so important!

P.P.S. Brooke is a qualified babywearing consultant, so if you’re ever unsure about how to go about this babywearing business (and do it safely!), she is the perfect person to ask.

 

Copyright Brooke Maree © 2017

Being a copycat or blatantly stealing is never cool. There is a fine line between inspiration and stealing, so please be respectful, honest, and full of integrity when sharing this piece of writing or using its information. Many hours of work, planning, and editing goes into our pieces to ensure the highest quality first-hand information. Any of our work that is plagiarised will more than likely be found and brought to attention. That being said, you are ALWAYS welcome to share our content, as long as you attribute and link back to the source. xxx





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