Have you seen these pictures of singer Beyonce, ostensibly wearing her daughter, Ivy Blue, in some type of carrier? I say ostensibly, because in all the many photographs that claim to show Beyonce carrying her baby around town, I can’t spot the baby. I understand her conundrum, of course: she is one of the most famous people in the world and paparazzi follow her everywhere trying to snap pictures of everything she does. Photos of her daughter would probably fetch a pretty penny from the celebrity magazines. I’m sure it’s bad enough when they’re in your face trying to catch you without any makeup on the way to bikram yoga or whatever. When it’s your infant daughter they are chasing down, I understand that your instinct would be to shield your baby from this intrusion. But as a parent who uses baby carriers and a manufacturer of baby carriers, I cringe every time I see these photos. One thing we know very well about safety for infants—not just in baby carriers, but always—is that we should never be covering baby’s face with cloth close around the mouth or nose. A baby’s face should always be uncovered with no fabric covering it, so that the fabric is not pressed against the mouth or nose in a way that could obstruct breathing and so that we can observe the baby at all times, particularly in the first 4 months. We must be able to see baby’s face so we can know that everything is ok in terms of breathing.
So, take all the fashion cues you want from Beyonce, but don’t follow her cue when it comes to babywearing: when you use a baby carrier, never cover up your baby’s face with a blanket, coat, or other fabric. Keep baby’s mouth and nose completely free and clear, both to ensure s/he can breathe easily and so that you can observe your baby and know instantly if anything is amiss.