The TICKS Rule for Safe Babywearing – not the loveliest name, but a good way to remember some basic principles. Keep your baby close and keep your baby safe. When you’re wearing a sling or carrier, don’t forget the T.I.C.K.S.
IN VIEW AT ALL TIMES
CLOSE ENOUGH TO KISS
KEEP CHIN OFF THE CHEST
TIGHT – slings and carriers should be tight enough to hug your baby close
to you as this will be most comfortable for you both. Any slack/loose fabric
will allow your baby to slump down in the carrier which can hinder their
breathing and pull on your back.
IN VIEW AT ALL TIMES – you should always be able to see your baby’s face
by simply glancing down. The fabric of a sling or carrier should not close
around them so you have to open it to check on them. In a cradle position
your baby should face upwards not be turned in towards your body.
CLOSE ENOUGH TO KISS – your baby’s head should be as close to your
chin as is comfortable. By tipping your head forward you should be able
to kiss your baby on the head or forehead.
KEEP CHIN OFF THE CHEST – a baby should never be curled so their chin
is forced onto their chest as this can restrict their breathing. Ensure there is
always a space of at least a finger width under your baby’s chin.
SUPPORTED BACK – in an upright carry a baby should be held comfortably
close to the wearer so their back is supported in its natural position and
their tummy and chest are against you. If a sling is too loose they can slump
which can partially close their airway. (This can be tested by placing a hand on your
baby’s back and pressing gently – they should not uncurl or move closer to you.)
A baby in a cradle carry in a pouch or ring sling should be positioned carefully with their bottom in the deepest part so the sling does not fold them in half pressing their chin to their chest.
If you like the above graphic, you can download a PDF of it for printing or sending to others.