The word “ergonomic” comes up very often in discussions involving baby carriers, wraps and babywearing. However, not many parents actually understand what it means. Very simply, an ergonomic baby carrier designed to provide the best support and comfort to both the wearer and the baby.

For the baby, an ergonomic baby carrier must properly and safely support the baby. It should support the natural baby posture (which changes throughout the first year) – the hips, spine and pelvis.

In an upright carry, the baby should sit in an M-shaped position whereby the baby’s bottom is lower than the knees and the hips are spread open. An ergonomic carrier should support your baby’s legs from the back of one knee all the way through to the back of other knee, keeping the legs from dangling (pls see images below). This wide-leg, spread-squat position benefits baby’s comfort and proper hip development. However, the legs should not also be over-extended such they cannot move freely.

When wearing a baby, the T.I.C.K.S. abbreviation can help us remember how to achieve an ergonomic and safe position:



Your carriers should be tight enough to hug your baby close to you as this will be most comfortable for you both. Any slack/loose fabric will allow your baby to slump down in the carrier which can hinder their breathing and pull on your shoulders and/or back.



You should always be able to see your baby’s face by simply glancing down. The fabric of a sling or carrier should not close around them so you have to open it to check on them. In a cradle position, your baby should face upwards not be turned in towards your body.



Your baby’s head should be as close to your chin as is comfortable. By mildly tipping your head forward, you should be able to kiss your baby on the head.



A baby should never be in a curled position such that their chin is forced onto their chest as this can restrict their breathing. Ensure there is always a space of at least a finger width under your baby’s chin.



In an upright carry, a baby should be held comfortably close to the wearer so their back is supported in its natural position and their tummy and chest are against you. A baby below 6months will have a natural “C”-shaped back.

If a carrier is too loose, your baby could slump which can partially close the airway. You can test whether the back support is ideal by placing a hand on your baby’s back and pressing gently – baby should not uncurl nor move closer to you.

A baby in a cradle carry in a pouch or ring sling should be positioned carefully with their bottom in the deepest part, so the sling does not fold them in half pressing their chin to their chest.


Hope this post has helped clarify what you need to look out for when adjusting your carrier! Please feel free to reach out to us to see how best you can use the carrier you have, or if you’d like to try some ergonomic carriers before deciding whether you want to buy any. We also have listed all the places you can meet with babywearing educators and/or try on different carriers in this other post, where you can also learn how to choose a baby carrier.

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