Carrying your baby in a safe baby carrier is called ‘babywearing’.

  • Babywearing meets your baby’s need to be close to you.
  • It also frees your hands to do other things while caring for your baby.
  • Your baby can be worn skin to skin in the carrier, or with clothing on.
  • Babywearing can be done by your partner and other trusted adults, too.

There are several different kinds of baby carriers including ring slings, wraps, and structured carriers. It is important to use a carrier that supports your baby’s proper hip development. Your baby should sit in the carrier with his weight on his bum. His legs should be in a “froggy” position with his knees slightly higher than his bum. Carriers in which the baby hangs from his pelvis should be avoided. It can be helpful to practice when your baby is awake and calm.

Structured babycarriers

ring slings

Advantages of babywearing:

  • Babies are calmer and cry less.
  • A fussy or unhappy baby can be comforted.
  • The movement and distraction allows you to calm yourself.
  • Bonding is strengthened.
    ~Baby and parent can look into each other's eyes.
    ~Babies enjoy this social interaction with their parents and caregivers.
  • Babies find the new sounds and constantly changing views entertaining.
    ~This stimulates your baby’s brain development as he accompanies you throughout your day.
  • When your baby is sleepy, your movements lull him gently to sleep.
  • Mothers who wear their babies tend to breastfeed longer.
  • You can do many things without straining your arms:
    ~go for a walk,
    ~make yourself something to eat,
    ~do chores,
    ~go shopping,
    ~work at a computer and
    ~simply hold your baby.
  • You can learn to nurse your baby in the carrier, perhaps even while walking!
    ~This may be done more easily in some carrier designs than in others.
  • It is easier to move through crowded busy places.
  • Older babies and young children can be in a carrier as well.
    ~This is particularly helpful when your toddler is able to walk but maybe not as far as you can.
  • Babywearing can help you care for older children while also caring for a new baby.

How to position your baby safely in a carrier
Your baby is upright, with a supported, straight back. Her feet are free to move.
Your baby’s chin is off her chest so that she can breathe easily. You should be able to put your finger between your baby’s chin and chest.
You can see your baby’s face.
You can kiss your baby’s head.
The carrier is tight and your baby is held snugly.
incorrect baby wearing

Safety tips when babywearing

  • Monitor your baby’s temperature when in the carrier. Check your baby’s head and feet. Your body will keep your baby warm.
  • Be aware of possible unsafe situations: cooking on a stove, drinking or carrying a hot beverage, carrying a sharp knife.
  • Bend at your knees if you have to pick up an object. Support your baby as you bend down.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for babywearing safely.


Health Canada (Oct 2023). Baby sling and carrier safety. 

International Hip Dysplasia Institute. Baby wearing.

Pisacane, A., Continisio, P., Filosa, C., Tagliamonte, V., & Continisio, G. I. (2012). Use of baby carriers to increase breastfeeding duration among term infants: the effects of an educational intervention in Italy. Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992), 101(10), e434–e438.