The most important rule to remember when looking after a new baby is that they need to be able to breathe. Sounds so obvious, doesn’t it? But it is so easy to take it for granted that your baby is breathing and will continue to do so. Small babies (under about 4 months) have very narrow airways and they usually do not have the neck strength to move their heads to a better position if they slump to one side or forwards into a chin to chest position.
So the FIRST rule of babywearing, and in fact baby care, is that you need to keep your baby’s face within view. If you can see the baby you can watch to check that they are not slumping. If you are wearing them too you can also feel their breathing in time with you.
Breastfeeding in a carrier should only happen when the baby has the neck strength to support their head. Your baby should be able to pull away from the breast as needed. With small babies you might choose to use your sling/wrap/carrier to support the baby’s weight, but you will need to ensure that the head is entirely free and that the carrier does not restrict movement. This does mean that you will need to keep one hand free to support the head while feeding. Older babies can breastfeed in an upright position, just wriggle the bottom of the carrier lower so that your baby is in a good position to reach.
If you feel the need to cover up while breastfeeding you can cover in such a way that the babies face is still visible to you but not to the people around you. If you are keen to cover the front of the pram to eliminate distractions for your sleeping baby, make sure you have a viewing window that you can use to check the baby’s face. In the car use a mirror so that you can glance back and check periodically that your baby has not slumped. Remember that no monitoring device will keep your baby as safe as you can by being able to see her/him.
Please, keep your baby within sight. Visible. Always.