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Can you let your baby sleep in a baby carrier?

Can you let your baby sleep in a baby carrier?

There is no topic during the baby period that is talked about, written about, and worried about more than sleeping. While some babies fall asleep easily, many parents have trouble putting their child to sleep. The advice given varies from "never let your baby out of your sight" to "let your baby cry in its crib until it falls asleep."

Many people who struggle with a baby that won't fall asleep easily and cries a lot find that it can help to let their baby fall asleep in a carrier or wrap. There are enough children who can only fall asleep this way. For these parents, a wrap or carrier is an absolute lifesaver because it brings some peace to the family and helps the child reduce sleep deprivation, resulting in less crying. Children with reflux, who sometimes need to be held upright for a longer period after each feeding, can also benefit from a carrier or wrap to fall asleep.

However, not everyone is a fan of babies sleeping in carriers. The guidelines to minimize the risk of sudden infant death syndrome state that the safest sleep environment is a flat mattress in a safe crib, where the baby lies on its back.

Some people are also against sleeping in a carrier because the child gets used to falling asleep this way and may not be able to fall asleep on its own. But, the whole problem for many parents is that the baby does not fall asleep on its own in the first place.

Our advice is: if your child does not have (major) sleeping problems, limit sleeping in the carrier to one nap per day. And if your child does have sleeping problems, it is okay to use the carrier or wrap as a sleeping place for a while to bring peace to your family and let your baby rest well. Entire populations (literally) have done this before. Then, after a while, try to wean your child off of it: try to have the "easiest" nap (often the first one in the morning) in the crib, and gradually build up sleeping in the crib or stroller.

And the most important advice for safe sleeping in a carrier or wrap: make sure your baby's mouth and nose are always free to breathe and that you can see them. (No, do not cover them with a diaper cloth!). Make sure your baby is not too warm and do not let your baby breastfeed while you are walking with them in the carrier. You can keep the carrier or wrap loosely around your baby while sitting down to breastfeed.

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