If you have a buckle carrier and are struggling to make it feel good, then keep reading.
Below I will explain some of the common issues people have, and then there will be videos showing how to fix it.
If your problem isn't listed here, or you're still struggling with anything at all, please book in for a £5 fit check at a sling library session (or via video call) and I will be able to help you personally.
1.Sizing the carrier to your baby
A lot of carriers now have the ability to change the size. Sometimes in width and height, others just in the width.
Always refer to the manufacturers instructions on how to adjust your particular carrier, but this video gives a little insight into why it's important.
2.Placement of your waistband
One of the most common issues I see in person and online is where the waistband is.
If it's too low, or too high! It impacts the fit of the carrier hugely.
Its more common that the waist is placed too low, so I'll start with that.
Where ever your waistband is, is where your baby's bum sits. If your waistband is low on your torso, and you have a small baby, their head will end up too low to be safe - likely in your squishy bits (if you have them)
By lifting the waist to baby's bum level (when their head is safe and up on the firm part of your chest) it will feel so much more comfortable and will be so much safer.
Waistband too high.
This isn't as common, but it is something I am seeing more in Facebook groups.
People are posting for a fit check with waistbands in a good place, and being told - by untrained folk- to get the waistband higher.
They don't know why they're saying it, I assume they're just copying something that has been said 100 times before. But it's not helpful.
My number one tip!!
Find a trained professional, like myself, if you want to check your carrier. Online forums/groups are great for general support and sharing lovely stories, but not with the safety of your child!!
Here's a good video with all of the above info consolidated. It also explains about how to position baby's bottom in the carrier.
3.Tightening your carrier
How you tighten your shoulder straps can make a big difference to your comfort and how safe you feel baby is.
This video helps to explain it.
4. Placement of the dreaded back strap!!
This one is a big one. So many people are wearing this too high, and don't realise how much more comfortable they could be if it was moved a little.
Watch the two videos below and hopefully you'll be in a world of comfort!
If you're struggling to get the chest strap clipped up now its lower on your body, this may help:
Or watch these Instagram highlights:
5. Making sure the height of your carrier is safe
This is another issue that many people don't realise is unsafe.
Most people assume that the fabric should cover part of baby's head as support.
But we want to keep the back of their head completely clear of fabric so they can move their head freely. This keeps their airways clearer and more visible (safe) It also encourages them to not keep their head only facing one side (good for their muscle development)
A baby's head/neck support comes from their pelvic tilt, if their pelvis is scooped towards you with their knees higher than bum and soles of feet parallel with the floor, this will create a gentle curve to their spine and they will naturally rest their head on your chest.
If their knees have dropped and pelvis has untucked then their spine will straighten and they will be able to flop their head back.
So we want to encourage that pelvic tilt at all times. See pic below.
Here's a good infographic on how high you want your carrier.
General guidance is:
Need their neck supported up to the bottom of their ears.
A baby with head control (4/5m +)
Fabric doesn't need to come as high, it can stop at the bottom of neck/top of shoulder
A baby/child able to sit (6-8m+)
Fabric can be as low as the armpits. This is the lowest it can ever go for safety. If the fabric comes lower than this your baby is at risk of falling/throwing themselves backwards from the carrier.
Some babies prefer their arms out and some don't, so it's up to you and your child whether you support their shoulders with the fabric or not.
I hope you found this useful, as \i mentioned at the start, please book in for a fit check if you still don't feel right. Click button at top of page, or contact me via the socials links at the bottom.
Enjoy your snuggles,