One of the questions we are frequently asked about Connectas is: are they suitable from birth? The answer, as long as your baby weighs over 3.5 kg, is a resounding yes* – though as with every aspect of care for tiny babies you must make sure you are following all of the recommended guidelines to keep them safe.
The instructions for using a Connecta with a newborn are clearly set out in our user guide. Essentially the principles are the same as for any front carry, but for the first ten weeks or so (depending on your baby’s size) you will need to use the accessory strap that comes with your Connecta to create a narrower seat. The accessory strap is fully adjustable, so as your baby grows you can widen the seat until it is no longer needed – making sure each time you use it that your baby is well supported.
As long as you fasten your Connecta high up around your waist (see image above) then you should find that it fits your newborn perfectly. Ensure that the fabric panel is snug across their back, and use the sleep hood to create additional support. If you follow the guidelines you should find that your baby is nice and high on your chest and ‘close enough to kiss’. It is very important that you can see your baby’s face clearly, that their chin is not resting on their chest, and that their airways are always clear. It sounds like a lot to remember, but it will soon become second nature.
If you can find a sling library or consultant nearby to help guide your positioning then they can help you get the hang of it even sooner – these libraries all have at least one Connecta for hire so you can try before you buy, and get some expert advice at the same time!
Whilst babywearing can be daunting for a new parent it is definitely worth persevering – the positive impact, especially for newborns, is well-documented. The close contact afforded by wearing a baby in a sling can help with physiological regulation of breathing and heart rates, improve temperature control, help to establish breastfeeding and promote more rapid growth. There are emotional rewards too for both baby and caregiver, with the proximity increasing the release of oxytocin and supporting the formation of a deeper bond. As well as all that the freedom afforded by the ability to be ‘hands free’ and engaging with normal life can make a real difference to a family’s experience of those precious first few weeks and months.
With a little bit of practice your Connecta will become one of your most valued pieces of kit as a new parent, helping you to keep your baby close and safe as they grow whilst they enjoy the myriad of benefits that babywearing brings.
*If your baby is under medical care please check with your healthcare team before using any sling or carrier.