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Safety Rules

Use Common Sense. Take good care of your baby.

When stopping to tie the cloth, be sure you are standing in a safe place. Use the same common sense about choosing a place to tie the cloth as you would about choosing a place to stop to tie your shoes. For example, you would not stop in the middle of a busy walkway or parking lot to bend over and tie your shoes. Do not tie your baby wrap there, either.

Continue to pay attention to baby's movements and breathing. Do not wear head phones while wearing baby. You need to be able to hear her if she needs you. If baby fusses, she's probably mad that you stopped moving. Try walking, singing, talking to her, doing fast tiny bounces up and down. If that doesn't settle her, she may be hot, uncomfortable or hungry. Take her down and attend to her. You can do the laundry later.

Avoid the temptation to "Show Off" your babywearing skills. You'll be distracted and much more likely to drop your baby. That's a terrible way to impress someone. Demonstrate, teach, share with others? Yes! Show how cool is this new thing you can do? "Ta da!" No.

Be sure the ends of the cloth do not go lower than your upper thighs. If the cloth is extra long, wrap it around you again. Tuck it in. Loose ends can cause you to trip. Dangling cloth, whether from a baby wrap or from a blouse, could catch on fire while you cook. So use common sense and don't let your blouse or your baby wrap dangle near open flame.

Be careful not to bump baby's head on anything. It is possible to bump baby's head whether using a sling or carrying baby in your arms. Be especially careful of doorways when carrying baby on your hip.

Trust your instincts. If you feel that the baby is not wrapped securely, try again. Read the instructions again. If you can't figure out what you are doing wrong, find other babywearers and ask for help. Get help from an experienced babywearer.

Have another adult help you when learning a new carry position or using a new wrap cloth. Have your helper double check your work to be sure you followed the instructions correctly. Have your helper inspect the finished wrap to see if there is any way for the baby to slip. If you're going to have a friend help you get baby down, be absolutely CERTAIN that the friend has a good hold of the baby before you loosen the carrier. The Diffusion of Responsibility is a dangerous thing, especially when combined with a baby and the force of gravity.

Practice each new carry with a doll or teddy bear until you are really good at it. Only then should you try it with baby. And even then, if it's a back carry, go ahead and kneel on a soft surface. And check your work when you're done. And have another adult help you the first few times. There is no shame or silliness in being a good, cautious, responsible mother/father.

Do not cover the baby's head with any cloth that shouldn't be used to cover a baby's head.

Do not leave a swaddled baby unattended unless you have become an expert in swaddling and you are absolutely certain that the baby won't wiggle loose and get the ribbon around his neck or the blanket over his face. When in doubt, keep baby with you.

Use Common Sense.

This list does not, and cannot possibly, include warnings about all the possible silly things a person might absent-mindedly do.

Be a responsible adult and think for yourself. -courtesy of Tracy Dower
Last Updated: 29 Sep 2007 18:05:26 PDT home  |  about  |  terms  |  contact
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