T.I.C.K.S Rules

TICKS is a set of rules created to help parents babywear safely.

T.I.C.K.S. stands for:

  • Tight
  • In view at all times
  • Close enough to kiss
  • Keep chin off chest
  • Supported back

T is for tight

Your sling or baby carrier should be tight, with your baby held close against your body. Loose fabric or buckles can allow your baby to slump, which can make it difficult for him to breathe. A loose sling or carrier can also strain your back.

I is for in view at all times

You should be able to see your baby's face by glancing down. Make sure that the fabric of your sling or baby carrier is clear from his head and face. You shouldn't need to move any fabric to be able to see him.

C is for close enough to kiss

Your baby should be positioned as high on your chest as you find comfortable. If you tip your head forward, you should be able to kiss the top of their head.

K is for keep chin off the chest

Your baby should not be in a position where his chin is forced onto his chest as this can restrict his breathing. Make sure you can put at least one finger between his chin and his chest to keep him safe.

S is for supported back

Your baby's back should be supported in its natural position so it isn't bent or twisted. Place a hand on his back and gently press. He should not uncurl or move closer to you.

Hip-healthy position

For a healthy hip position, make sure that the pouch or base of your carrier is wide, with your baby's legs supported to the knees. This will create an M shape, where his bottom is the middle trough and his knees rest above his hips as the peaks. This position is particularly important if you have a newborn, or if your baby has hip dysplasia or other hip problems. In these cases, your baby's legs should never hang straight down.