the art of a successful transfer
As much as we all enjoy snuggly, Babywearing cuddles, sometimes it is necessary or convenient to transfer a sleeping child either to or from a wrap, sling or carrier.
But how does that even work? We’ve always been told to ‘never wake a sleeping baby’ so how can we manage to transfer a child without waking them?
1. Move slowly. When attempting any transfer it is essential to remove yourselves and the wrap as slowly as possible in order to avoid startling your child and waking them.
2. Use some background noise to mask the sounds of your unbuckling or creaky floorboards. White noise apps are invaluable or, even humming gently can help sooth your child. Just be sure to start the noise for a few minutes prior to attempting the transfer.
3. Move in a slow, rhythmic swaying motion to simulate the movement that the child was in when they fell asleep whilst untying the wrap, sling or carrier. Sometimes going straight to a static surface can cause your child to stir so this can help make the transition smooth.
4. Maintain body contact until the very last second or when they have settled in their new position. After undoing the wrap, sling or carrier, continue to hold your child in the same position as much as possible. This way your child will remain asleep as you slowly lower them onto their sleeping surface. You can also lay a hand on their back or torso as you slowly ease yourself off the surface.
5. Some older children may be soothed by having the wrap, sling or carrier close by as it will still smell like their caregiver. If this is the case, always ensure that it is placed in a safe position that will not compromise safety or block airways.
6. As a general rule, single layer carries are the preferred option as there is less ‘untying’ to do before transferring your child. A Kangaroo Carry is a nice, ‘poppable’ choice if you are looking for an easy option.
7. Remember that babies are born expecting to be carried. If your baby wakes immediately on transferring then try not to get disheartened and simply enjoy the sleepy cuddles for a little while longer. They will not always want to be cuddled to sleep and these cuddles will not last forever.