Babywearing can be life changing for a new parent, but only when your baby decides to start liking the baby carrier. Babies don’t always love being in the carrier at first, but if you give him some time, he will grow to love it. I promise you.
When your baby is really young (under 3 months) he can still be worn in most baby carriers however, he must be facing you with his neck well supported. In this position, some babies really don’t enjoy the carrier.
The majority of babies start loving the baby carrier once they can be placed facing out. This can vary from baby to baby and carrier to carrier but it’s usually somewhere between 3 and 5 months of age. AT this point your baby will be able to hold and control his neck very well.
So now your baby loves the carrier, but what are the do’s and don’ts of babywearing? Which activities can you actually do while babywearing?
We asked a number of mom’s and dad’s what their favorite activities are and the questions they had before babywearing and answered them below to help you keep your baby happy in the carrier.
Before doing any of the activities suggested below, you must make sure that your baby is correctly attached to your carrier. The key is to be well supported enough that there isn’t much sliding around but not so much that it may squeeze any body parts while you are moving. Always check that your baby is comfortable and happy in every position before trying any of the following.
None of the advice in this article is medical advice so please consult your physician if you have any concerns or questions.
Can you sit while babywearing?
Yes, sitting while babywearing is safe as long as your baby’s legs and feet are clear from the sitting surface and no other body parts are being squeezed or pinched by the carrier. I like to hold my son’s feet together and slightly lift them before sitting down.
Sitting is not really an activity, but you may find your baby is very happy in this position for a while. Also, depending on how long your baby’s legs are he may be able to partially support his body weight with his feet down on the chair or couch while you are sitting. He will love to jump up and down as if he’s in an exersaucer.
Can you pee while babywearing?
For moms; the same as sitting applies (see above). Yes you can pee while babywearing as long as you can sit comfortably and your baby’s airways and limbs are clear from being pinched. If these check out, go right ahead and pee away.
For dads; this will depend on your baby carrier, the type of pants or shorts you’re wearing and the size of your baby. If your baby sits nice and high above your waist the path should be clear for the stream. But don’t forget about the flailing legs, they could catch you by surprise.
If you’re wearing pants with a zipper, you’re golden. If they do not have an escape hatch and you need to pull down your trousers, just make sure they are not caught on the waist belt of the carrier.
Can you run while babywearing?
No! I would strongly suggest no running with a baby in the carrier for mainly 2 reasons; the impact and the risk of tripping and falling. Have you ever run with a backpack full of books after the fleeing bus? The books just fly up and come crashing down on your lower back. Now imagine that’s your baby.
If your baby is in a phase where he likes to be in the carrier, this means he is likely not fully developed for walking and running yet. The impact from running would be too much for their little bodies so avoid it at all costs.
Additionally, the risk of losing balance, tripping and falling are much more elevated when running. Especially when you have added weight pulling your whole upper body forward.
Can you workout while babywearing?
There are plenty of very safe exercises you can do at home or at the gym while babywearing, but you should be very careful in choosing the exercises and type of workout you plan on doing. I’m a huge advocate for working out while babywearing. This is how I entertained our son for months after getting home from work.
In some of my other posts I talk in details about safe exercises to do while babywearing as well as some fun workouts you can do at home as well.
Check out this great guide for exercising while babywearing and my YouTube channel where I show you a plenty of fun workouts you can do.
Can you feed your baby while babywearing?
I won’t go into breastfeeding and will leave that for moms who have actual experience with it.
Feeding with a bottle or solids is very doable while babywearing. However, I would suggest trying to find another way to feed the little one for one simple reason; it can get messy!
Whether you’re giving him a bottle or solids, it’s very hard to avoid a spill, spit up, drool of simply your baby rejecting whatever food you’re trying to give him.
If you’re trying to do this yourself while he’s in front of you facing away, it’s going to be tough.
With this in mind, I think clean snacks are the best option. Anything you can give your baby that is dry, in small bite-size pieces and delivered straight to his mouth will work just fine. And it will buy you some time until you can put him down on a chair to give a proper meal.
Can you baby wear during take off and landing?
No, you cannot babywear during take off and landing. Most if not all airlines require you to hold your infant baby facing you during take off and landing. I asked this question the last few times we travelled and the answer was always the same.
For safety reasons, you must be able to hold your baby, pass him around or even put an air mask on him in case of depressurization of the cabin.
So, the baby carrier is a No-No as long as the seat belt sign is on. Once you are able to stand up and walk up and down the aisles, you may be allowed to babywear but make sure to ask the flight attendants first.
Can you go through airport security while babywearing?
Most airports will allow you to babywear through airport security with any carrier that is made of soft materials only. There are some carriers that have solid structural pieces of metal or plastic (also known as bucket carriers) that are usually not allowed.
Each country and airport are different so always be ready to have to remove the carrier before going through the scanner if needed.
Can you cook while babywearing?
Yes and no. This will really depend on what kind of cooking you are doing. If you are warming something in the microwave, preparing a slow cooker meal, making rice in the rice makers, go right ahead. Common sense will indicate that you should stay far away from anything without the risk of steaming, spilling hot liquid, splashing, or even sharp objects like cutting knives.
Don’t fry anything, boil water, open a pressure cooker, open up a hot oven, or do anything to put your baby in danger. Since he’s in front of you, he will likely get it before you so be extra extra careful.
With this in mind, I would suggest that the majority of cooking activities are banned and you are left mostly with “prepping” and warming activities as the safe ones for babywearing.
Can you babywear outside in the winter?
Yes, you can babywear outside in the cold winter if and only if:
- You are 100% sure your baby is properly dressed and warm enough for the weather.
- The walking area is not iced and causes danger for slipping.
Coming from someone who lives in very cold climate and loves to go for walks, I can confirm it is possible to do it safely but it is not always easy. Because cold weather can be tricky, I must warn that as the parent you need be extra vigilant for your little one.
As for the clothing, I would suggest to ensure as much of the skin is covered as possible. Use multiple layers for the legs and torso as well as a warm hat and gloves. The added bonus is that if mom was pregnant in the winter, it’s possible that you have a winter jacket extender lying around. If so, feel free to pop it onto your jacket and add another layer of protection for your baby.
When it comes to the weather and the walking conditions, I suggest avoiding icy and frozen sidewalks like the plague. Walking on soft snow is not slippery but it can be tiring so be aware that you may not be able to go as far as you’d like. If it’s a cold AND windy day just stay inside. The cold wind can really cut through the clothing and actually damage the baby’s sensitive skin.
Our son just loved being outside on those chilly days. So, take all the precautions necessary, find the perfect sunny winter day and go out for a nice family walk.
Paul is a passionate dad who founded Upside Dad to share his parenting journey with other new parents. He graduated from Concordia University and worked as a test engineer for over a decade. Paul loves dad jokes and craft beer.
Learn more about Paul and Upside Dad here.