Not only can you do it, but it also suggested. It is a way for both the mother and the baby to enjoy the deep contact which has been brutally ended by the premature birth. The child can enjoy the mother’s heat and a containment feeling, important for his/her psycho-physical growth. The skin-to-skin contact is particularly important for the ponderal growth of the baby, for the steady management of vital parameters- body temperature, regular breathing and heart activity- and for the neurological development of the newborn.
If the baby is correctly positioned his/her head will naturally lie on the carrier breast. We suggest supporting the head with a part of fabric while the baby is sleeping or when you bow; when the baby is awake let him/her free to look around, developing the neck muscles. Be very careful when the baby is not able to support his/her head autonomously.
Front positions, belly-to-belly, are ideal for the first period. When the baby is autonomously able to support his/her head, and if he/she likes it, it is possible to try other bindings: on the hips or on the back. There are no strict rules: the only important thing is that both the carrier and the baby feel comfortable with the new position.
Not necessarily, it often happens that a baby cries at the beginning because the parent feels insecure in his/her movements. Once the binding is ready and the parent relaxes, also the baby will calm down. The first ten minutes in the sling are important for the baby’s adjustment: he/she needs to find a comfortable position and find his/her new dimension in the space created around him/her. As a consequence it is normal if the baby pushes against his/her parent’s body. Walking rhythmically can help the baby find the best position.
A baby’s thermoregulation depends on the constant contact with the parent’s body. It is a good habit to opt for a clothing which is suitable for the season, considering that the baby will always receive a part of heat from your body. In winter, or when it is cold, the best idea is to put the sling under your coat, leaving the baby not too covered, and making sure his/her extremities are well protected and he/she can breathe easily. In summer the clothing must be very light but remember to protect your baby’s delicate skin from the sun.
There is not a time limit, it is important that the position is right and the weight well distributed.