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We have a Mutsy Carry Me and although it says it is for newborns we are not sure what is the safe duration/time limit for carrying them around. Is there any specific guidelines as to this?

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I frequently front-carried my children (from newborn through toddlerhood) for hours at a time. However, we had a sling and so they were more curled up: no dangling legs until they were older (around the time they had neck control and wanted to be looking around all the time). I'm therefore making some guesses when I say it should be safe.

I did read over the Mutsy user manual, however, and it includes nearly a full page of warnings, including ones about neck safety, potential smothering positions, and monitoring body temperature. If an infant could suffer harm from being carried in that position for two hours (just as an example) then that should be mentioned in the instructions.

Most newborns tend to need feeding or changing every couple hours anyway, so you are likely to be taking him out regularly anyway!

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    A sling was so helpful to me with mine... whether on the bus, walking, or in class she was comfortable, could sleep, could face me, could look outward and I was comfortable the whole time (even carrying a backpack!) – Sylas Seabrook Nov 9 '14 at 3:04
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    @JeremyMiller - you took your baby to class? I am in awe of you! – anongoodnurse Nov 9 '14 at 3:08
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    @anongoodnurse With permission of the instructors, sat in the back nearest the door so I could exit rapidly, and carried a ton of everything she might need. Oh, the joys of being a single father in college! – Sylas Seabrook Nov 9 '14 at 3:17
  • My middle child went to class with me in a sling occasionally, but only in fairly desperate circumstances :) – Acire Nov 9 '14 at 12:47
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I think there are two aspects to your question which need to be considered:

  1. Carrying a baby in general (using any type of carrier)
  2. Your particular baby carrier

Regarding point 1, carrying a baby using a baby carrier is thought to be good for the baby in many ways, especially for a newborn. It is especially popular in attachment parenting and often referred to as babywearing. Articles on sites such as kellymom (http://kellymom.com/parenting/parenting-faq/sling/) or other attachment parenting proponents such as William Sears (http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/fussy-baby/baby-wearing/benefits-babywearing) suggest that baby wearing can reduce crying and fussing, improve learning, help with bonding and is helpful for breastfeeding. It seems that such sites suggest carrying your baby as much as possible and I don't think they suggest there is a limit to this in terms of safety. Also, whether you are into attachment parenting or not, carrying your baby can have big advantages for convenience as other people have mentioned allowing you to get on with other things.

For point 2, I don't know your particular baby carrier but from pictures it looks similar to the Baby Bjorn which is something I know better. People who know more about carrying babies than I do, tend to dislike this type of baby carrier, saying it can be bad for babies' hips and can put excessive pressure on the crotch area. It is recommended that babies should be carried with their knees above their hip level and I think this is especially important for newborns.

I've tried to find a good source for this information but I don't know something that's reasonably 'official' or well regarded. From a Google search you can find out lots more if you are interested. But it seems to me that there may be better options if you are planning to carry your baby regularly. You mention you have a sling and that sounds like it could be better.

Having said this, I carried my baby in a Baby Bjorn carrier to start with and I think many new parents do. But once I found out about the potential problems with this type of carrier and tried other styles, I found these to be more comfortable not only for the baby but also for me.

So in summary, I think you can carry your baby as much as you both enjoy it but it may be worth reconsidering the type of carrier you use, especially if you are using it for long periods.

Finally, there are specific guidelines for safe baby wearing here in the UK called 'TICKS' which you can follow to reduce risks when carrying a baby for extended periods. You can find these guidelines here: http://www.nct.org.uk/parenting/sling-safety

  • Great answer! OP, for expert advice on slings, try this forum: naturalmamas.co.uk/forum/forumdisplay.php?5-General-Babywearing It's where the experts hang out (here in the UK at least). You might also want to find your local 'sling library', which is where you can borrow different types of sling to see which one suits you and your baby the best. – A E Nov 9 '14 at 19:22
  • Terrific answer, particularly for finding evidence instead of just anecdote :) – Acire Nov 9 '14 at 21:38

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