Wearing a newborn is a pretty sweet experience. It’s so easy to forget just how small babies are when they are newborns. When creating your seat, you can froggy baby’s legs in if the baby prefers, but it’s OK to do legs out if baby doesn’t mind. The two most important things to keep in mind are to get the baby up nice and high (always close enough to kiss) and to make sure the baby’s airway is unrestricted (two fingers should fit under baby’s chin).

Using a ring sling is a great option for wearing a newborn because there is not too much fabric with which to deal. You should keep the ring sling very tight. There should hardly be enough room to slip the baby in; less adjusting will make for a quicker carry and a happier baby. If the rings get too close to baby, you can wrap the tail of the sling around the rings, protecting baby’s head and it also looks fancy!

[Image Description: Tired looking Mama wears a 2 day old infant in a ring sling. Rings are positioned high in the corsage position. Baby is alert and his head rests near Mama's collarbone, close enough to kiss. Baby is completely upright.]

If you prefer to skip the rings, but still want less fabric to mess with, you can use a traditional sling carry with a slipknot. This carry is similar in position to using a ring sling, as the baby will be snug and secure and you’ll be able to get the baby in and out quickly.

I really enjoy using a ring sling or traditional sling carry for a very small baby also because it protects baby and gives you privacy. When I take the baby out in public, if he is sleeping or nursing, I can flip the tail up over him to shield him from prying eyes and hands!

Traditional Sling Carry knot is featured, while newborn baby is alert, resting near Mama's collarbone, close enough to kiss.]

Another favorite way to carry a newborn is the tried and true front wrap cross carry. I particularly like this carry because the cross passes make the baby feel nice and secure and can be used to stabilize that wobbly newborn head when baby falls asleep. Keep the baby close to you and high enough to breathe in that wonderful new baby smell!

[Image Description: newborn infant and Mama gaze adoringly at each other. Baby is snuggled in a front wrap cross carry]

If you are an experienced babywearer and confident in your skills, you can put a new born up on your back. I don’t prefer this usually, unless I have something specific I need to do, as the baby will probably want down fairly quickly to be fed and that’s just easier if baby is on my front. Usually you will want to wait for back carries until baby has some neck control, but if you choose to back carry earlier, make sure baby’s face is able to rest right on the back of your neck; this ensures you will be able to feel baby breathing. Another thing to remember is to make sure the top rail is nice and tight to support baby’s head.

Mama smiles up at camera, as newborn infant is peacefully asleep on her back. Baby's head is resting on the nape of Mama's neck, so she can feel him breathing.

There are many soft structured carriers (SSC) and bei dais or meh dais (previously referred to as “mei tais” or “MTs”) that are either designed for newborns or can easily be used with newborns with minor adjustments.  The size (both seat width and back panel height) can be adjusted or some have an infant insert to make the fit more appropriate for such a small baby.  

Baby looks at the camera while comfortably resting in a soft structured carrier. Mama is seated at a desk, doing some work.

Your newborn will feel confident and secure being right with you. He will regulate his breathing and temperature to you. You can enjoy all those snuggles and still go about some of your regular activities or chase your other kids. There’s no reason to wait to start wearing. It’s awesome for both caregiver and baby!

Mama has eyes closed with a sleeping newborn baby snuggled up high on her chest in a  yellow and light blue woven wrap front carry.

Blog post written by Christi H. Adapted by Stephanie S.

This blog post is adapted from BWI South Metro Minneapolis blog post: https://bwisouthmetrominneapolis.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/babywearing-a-newborn/

If you have any questions about babywearing, we encourage you to contact us and/or come learn in person at one of our meetings! Wear on!

Check out our Instagram @Babywearing.Twin.Cities and our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Babywearingtwincities/).

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