An otherwise picture-perfect Instagram post by actress Blake Lively has stirred parental outrage online.
The photo shows her husband, Ryan Reynolds, holding their young daughter in a baby carrier, with only the tot’s feet sticking straight out from the bottom of the carrier.
Lively posted the picture to mark her husband’s first Father’s Day since the birth of their daughter, James, last December. The photo garnered more than 336,000 likes, but it also fueled concern over whether the baby was being held properly in an apparatus that any new parent will agree has as many straps and buckles as a straightjacket.
“Poor baby looks so uncomfortable and unsafe. Please have hot hubby read the instruction manual,” wrote one fan in a comment that has since been deleted.
Most first-time parents already feel overwhelmed by the onslaught of instructions and rules that come with a newborn, but experts say there's any easy trick to remembering how to use a baby carrier or sling: T.I.C.K.S. That stands for:
- Tight: Hold baby close
- In view at all times
- Close enough to kiss
- Keep the chin off chest – ensure at least a finger width under the baby’s chin.
- Supported back
NBC News medical contributor Dr. Natalie Azar said that the most important thing is to remember to keep the baby's airway clear. And she pointed out that we don't know how long Reynolds was carrying baby James like this — it may only have been for a few minutes.
So let's not rush to judgment! But it never hurts to get a little more safety information.
Parents should also remember to allow the baby's legs to spread wide like a frog, which is the most natural.
“Baby automatically pulls his legs up into the perfect spread squatting position when being picked up,” according to guidance from the Baby Wearing Institute.
Lively appears to have deleted many of the original negative comments. Among those still visible Wednesday showed a round of support for her situation.
"Perfect parents out there raise your hands! No hands? That’s what I thought!” one person wrote in the comments. "The 1st time I baby wore I had no freaking clue what I was doing. You live and you learn! Keep up the good work @blakelively.“
That served as a good reminder about original purpose of the photo — and the humor Lively expressed in her caption.
"Happy Fathers Day!!! @vancityreynolds Since the day our baby was born, I've felt so strongly in my heart that you were most likely the father."
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