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How to Use a Baby Carrier

Baby carriers are ideal for moms (free hands!) and babies (they love being close to you). Just keep in mind:

Infants who can't support their head should face inward and need a sturdy support flap on the back of the carrier.

Openings should be large enough to let legs kick freely but snug enough that your baby can't slump downward or to one side.

Most carriers fit infants up to 20 or 25 pounds (check the label), and many models allow older babies to face outward once they can hold their head up. (Open-backed side or hip carriers are best only for babies who can sit upright.)

Other things to consider when your baby's in a carrier:
* Is she hot? Periodically feel her back and tummy for sweat. If she's warm, take her out and let her cool down.
* Is she happy? Your baby can't tell you if her arm is asleep or whether her hip's
at an uncomfortable angle. If her limbs are pale or mottled, reposition her.
* Are you happy? Save your back by reading instructions carefully to make sure the carrier fits and that you're wearing it properly. Your baby's weight should be evenly distributed.

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