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Babywearing – the TICKS rule and sling safety

Carrying baby safely in a slingYou’ve just brought home your newborn baby, and all you can think of is snuggling up together forever.

Except the washing needs hanging out or getting some food into you might be a good idea or your toddler is still running around as per usual.

How do you do both? Snuggling the baby is essential but toddlers and washing and food are also important. Baby wearing is often the best solution.

Besides being convenient and comfortable, there are benefits for you and your baby.

There are different ways to wear your baby, including carriers and slings, and there are lots of different styles of carriers and sling to choose from.

What you need to remember most is to make sure your baby is positioned right so your baby is as safe as possible. Babies have suffocated in slings so it is important you’re aware of how to use them correctly.

The main positions that put a baby at risk of suffocation are:

  • having baby lying with a curved back and their chin resting on their chest.
  • the babies face is pressed up against the fabric, the sling or the wearer.

Babies who are born prematurely, have had breathing difficulties or had a low birth weight are at greater risk so chat to you doctor before you use a sling for your baby if this is the case.

The TICKS rule shows parents how to safely position their bub in a sling – because if they aren’t quite right, baby can’t move to a more comfortable position without your help, nor can they speak out when they feel restricted.

TICKS – the 5 steps to sling safety

Tight

The sling should be tight, with the baby positioned high and upright with head support. Any loose fabric may cause the baby to slump down, restricting its breathing.

In view at all times

The wearer should always be able to see the baby’s face by simply looking down. Ensure the baby’s face, nose and mouth remain uncovered.

Close enough to kiss

The baby should be close enough to the wearer’s chin that by tipping their head forward they can easily kiss the baby on top of its head.

Keep chin off the chest

The baby should never be curled so that its chin is forced onto its chest as this can restrict breathing. Regularly check the baby.

Supported back

The baby’s back should be supported in a natural position with its tummy and chest against the wearer

 

Here’s a short video about TICKS from the Office of Fair Trading QLD…

 

The TICKS Rule for carrying baby safely in a sling

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