Babywearing in Hospital
Often, we seem to visit doctors and medical services more frequently now that we have children than any other time in our lives.
This week we look at Babywearing in Hospital and a few simple tips on how to wear safely in hospital and how to use babywearing to make your hospital visit go a bit more smoothly.
N.B. In all these instances, it is important to remember that the medical professionals know that your child’s medical needs are the most important at this time. If they seem concerned about babywearing try discussing how you can wear your child with your medical professional.
- Hospitals can be cramped places full of lots of monitors. It is perhaps not the best choice to use a woven wrap in this situation. The space required to wrap is often not available and you may find that tails are accidentally trodden on or run over by rolling carts, monitors and/or beds. If you must use a woven wrap, a short wrap is our preference with an easy to access carry like the Kangaroo Carry being our preference.
- If the worn child is the patient, it is important to ensure that whatever carrier, wrap or sling you use allows easy access for the staff. It should not put any pressure on any tubes or monitors that are being used at the time. It is also important that whatever ‘babywearing device’ you choose is able to be removed quickly and easily in case of emergency. Our number one choice in this situation is a ring sling. This is also a nice, compact choice and is one of the quickest solutions.
- If you are using a buckle carrier, ensure that you watch where the loops and excess straps are at all times so they do not get caught on equipment, chairs or beds as you are moving around the hospital.
- The long straps or a meh dai or half buckle carrier are perhaps also not the best choice for a cramped space like a hospital. You could try tucking the ends into your clothing to avoid the long tails dragging.
- If you are the patient, it is important to consider your medical needs as well and discuss these with your medical professionals. We cannot pour from an empty cup! The staff may need to remove the carrier without your assistance in case of emergency. In this instance, a buckled carrier is a nice, easy option.
- For those parents who are wearing younger children whilst looking after older siblings who are patients in hospital, it is easiest to use whichever wrap, carrier or sling you are most comfortable with and that gives you complete freedom of your two hands to look after your other child. If your child is able to be worn on your back, this is preferable as it will allow you lots of handsfree access for providing assistance to your older child.