An infant back carrier can make it easier to go shopping, walking, or hiking with a baby. However, framed back carriers should not be used before a baby is four to five months old. By then the baby's neck is able to withstand jolts and not sustain an injury.

Bicycle carriers should not be used before a baby is one year old. Developmentally, children are just learning to sit unsupported around 9 months of age. It is not until this age that infants have developed sufficient bone mass and muscle tone to enable them to sit unsupported with their backs straight.

If You Are Buying a New Back Carrier

1. Buy one to match the baby's size and weight. Try it on with the baby in it and check for:

[] enough depth to support the baby's back.

[] leg openings small enough to prevent the baby from slipping out.

[] leg openings big enough to avoid chafing the baby's legs.

2. Look for sturdy materials with strong stitching or large, heavy duty fasteners to prevent the baby from slipping out.

3. Look for a back carrier with padded covering over the metal frame near the baby's face to protect the baby from bumps.

Safety Tips

1. A child may stand up or try to climb out of the carrier. If the back carrier has restraining straps, be sure to use the restraining straps at all times.

2. Be sure the child's fingers are clear of the frame joints when folding the carrier. Check frames for sharp points, edges or rough surfaces.

3. Check the carrier periodically for ripped seams, missing or loose fasteners, frayed seats, or straps. Repair them promptly or discard the carrier.

4. If leaning over or stooping, bend from the knees rather than the waist to prevent the baby from falling out of the back carrier.


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