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Babywearing Basics

Short of a free babysitter, a carrier is the best thing to help you get out of the house, do the laundry, or use both hands to eat a sandwich. Most young babies love being toted around, but could there be too much of a good thing?

There's no harm in holding (and holding) your very little one if it makes you both happy. As she gets to about 3 months, however, give her ample time out of the carrier, including some tummy time each day to strengthen her neck and back.

And keep the following safety advice in mind:

  • Put her down when cooking, or eating or drinking anything hot, to prevent burns.
  • Avoid falls: Don't bend at the waist.
  • Watch her head and limbs as you approach doorways.
  • Let her face forward once she has head support.

Which carrier is right for you?

Front carrier: Newborns should face mom; older guys can look out at the world. A front that opens helps you lay down a snoozer.

Sling: Ideal for newborn nursing, a sling lets a baby lie down and gives you privacy. Look for padded shoulders and a pull-on style.

Backpack: Only for babies who can sit up. Wide, thick waist belts are best for your back. Soft models are lighter and more compact.

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