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Understanding the TICKS Rules of Babywearing

April 3, 2024

Keeping Your Baby Close and Safe: Understanding the TICKS Rules of Babywearing

Babywearing offers a multitude of benefits for both parents and babies. It fosters closeness, promotes bonding, and allows for easier carrying while keeping your little one happy and content. But with the joy of babywearing comes the responsibility of ensuring your baby’s safety and comfort. This is where the TICKS acronym comes in – a simple set of guidelines to remember when using a sling or carrier.

What Does TICKS Stand For?

Each letter in TICKS represents a crucial safety check you should perform before and during every babywearing session:

TICKS rules for baby wearing from Parenting Expert

  • T – Tight: The carrier or sling should be snug but not constricting. You should be able to slip two fingers between the fabric and your baby’s chest. A loose carrier can sag, putting strain on your back and compromising your baby’s position.
  • I – In View at All Times: Always be able to see your baby’s face without having to move the fabric. This allows you to monitor their breathing and ensure their airway is clear.
  • C – Close Enough to Kiss: When in a carrier, your baby’s head should be positioned close enough for you to comfortably kiss their forehead. This ensures proper head and neck support, especially for newborns.
  • K – Keep Chin Off Chest: Your baby’s chin should not be tucked into their chest. This could restrict their breathing and airway. Make sure there’s enough space for them to turn their head comfortably.
  • S – Supported Back: A good carrier or sling should offer proper back support for your baby. Their spine should be curved in a natural C-shape, with their bottom positioned in a “froggy” position (knees bent and slightly wider than hips).

Why are TICKS Rules of Babywearing Important?

Following the TICKS guidelines helps prevent potential safety hazards for your baby. Here’s why each point matters:

  • Proper positioning: The TICKS checks ensure your baby is positioned correctly in the carrier for optimal comfort and support.
  • Reduced risk of positional asphyxia: Ensuring an open airway and proper head and chin positioning is crucial for preventing breathing difficulties.
  • Improved safety: A snug carrier minimises the risk of falls or your baby slipping out.
  • Enhanced comfort: Correct positioning promotes a healthy posture for both you and your baby, making the experience enjoyable for everyone.

Additional Tips for Safe Babywearing

Choose the Right Carrier: Select a carrier or sling appropriate for your baby’s age and size. Read our reviews.

Read the Manual: Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use and safety warnings.

Start Slow: Begin with short wearing sessions and gradually increase the duration as your baby gets comfortable.

Listen to Your Baby: Pay attention to your baby’s cues for discomfort or overheating. Take breaks as needed.

Enjoy the Journey: Babywearing should be a positive experience for both you and your little one. Relax, bond, and enjoy the closeness!

By understanding and following the TICKS guidelines, you can ensure a safe and comfortable babywearing experience for your precious little one. Remember, happy baby, happy parent! If you are unsure, check out you local sling library as they are there to help and support parents along the way.


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