I have been teaching people to use carriers for over thirteen years now, and in that time, much of the advice regarding safely using baby carriers has changed significantly. 

A few years ago TICKS was published which became the standard for baby carrier safety. However, as a baby carrying consultant and running a busy retail store I have found parents get confused by this, and struggle to remember it. On this basis, in our shop and at my own personal baby carrying consultations for the last twelve months, I have preferred to use what I call the HANDS Baby Carrier Safety Guide.

This very simple graphic and acronym is easily explained and easily remembered by parents, as baby carriers do what it states, lets them be hands free.

hands baby carrier safety checklist

H = Hands free. You should have both hands and arms free when using a baby carrier. If you feel the need to use your hands to support baby, then double check it is fastened correctly and safely.

A = Airway. Always, once you have fastened baby into the baby carrier, check their airway is clear and unrestricted.

N = Knee to Knee. Check the fabric is knee to knee supporting baby, but that baby can still move their knees and lower legs freely.

D = Deep seat. Run your hand along their bum and check it is a nice deep seat position, with a nice gentle 'j' curve running from bottom of the bum up the back.

S =  Supported. Ensure your baby is supported, with a nice tight carry and the chin is off the chest. I get parents to gently lean forward and ensure baby does not 'move', any movement then double check your tension and retighten.

Feedback from parents in our shop and in my private consultations, when using the above method, has been excellent. They find this much much easier to remember and run through after they have put baby into their carrier. It is also suitable and relevant for all carries, including back carries. I hope you like it and I look forward to your feedback!

Feel free to use and share this graphic if you find it useful, please just credit this article if you do :-) If you would like a hi res version of this graphic, or a different size then please just email me for this.