There are a number of safety considerations when carrying, and many of these are accessible in the Resources section, and throughout the course. But the main considerations are;
- Can the baby breathe? Could their airway become restricted?
- Can the child fall?
When we consider if baby can breathe, it is important to look at a number of factors.
- Is baby tight and upright against the wearer? If the fabric is too loose then baby could slump in the carrier, causing the chin to fall to the chest. This is when an airway restriction could occur.
- Can you see baby’s nose to see that it is not restricted? It is usually easier to see baby’s face if the baby is high on the chest of the wearer, and this is often more comfortable too.
When we consider if the child could fall we need to ask;
- Is there fabric between the legs or a deep enough seat to ensure that they cannot fall through the bottom.
- Is the carrier the right size for them? Could they fall out of the side?
- Is the carrier high enough to ensure that they cannot fling backwards and out of the carrier?
It is also important to ensure that small babies do not overheat in carriers, so dress baby in thinner layers, and layer over the sling where needed, this ensures that layers can be removed easily if baby gets too warm. Snowsuits, whilst useful in pushchairs, can be too hot for babies in slings as they are already benefiting from your body heat.
Who the course is for
There are no restrictions on who can complete the course, but it is ideal for those who want to provide basic guidance in safety and comfort, within manufacturer guidelines, for carrying children with a sling or carrier.
If you are looking to charge for your individual time and advice regarding carrying or you would like to learn and teach back carrying, if you would like to support carers and children with additional needs, or outside manufacturers guidelines, then you will need to become a Sling Consultant, and this course will not be right for you.
There are a vast range of resources available to assist with education in safe and comfortable carrying. SlingSmart has compiled a number of these to support your journey towards becoming a carrying educator, but these are available to anyone.