Babywearing is becoming a trend seen everywhere you go; shopping malls, grocery stores, and parks. Many new parents and expectant couples are curious about the practice, and once they research it, many will choose to embrace babywearing, as it’s better for the baby, better for the mother, and easier on everyone!
Dr. Sears reports that in 1986, a team of pediatricians in Montreal did a study on ninety-nine mother-infant pairs. The first group of parents were given a baby carrier and were required to carry their babies for at least three hours a day. In the control group, parents were not given any specific instructions about carrying. After six weeks, the infants who were in the carried group cried and fussed 43 percent less than the non-carried group.
There are many types of baby carriers. Sling carriers, wraps, or backpack style carriers. Whichever carrier is chosen, using it quickly becomes the favorite way to carry the baby-dads included!
Babywearing has been around for ages; even today, cultures around the world employ baby carrying as the norm. From infancy, babywearing has benefits we’re still discovering today.
Babies are incredibly observant from the start. Babywearing allows the child to take in the outside world from the comfort of its mother’s chest. This proximity lets the child experience things without being fearful. While being worn, the baby observes conversations, hears your voice, and sees things from an open perspective-not face to the sky laying in a car seat. Putting a child in a wrap will also remind them of being in the womb, which is proven to help calm fussy babies. The movement the infant experiences while the mother walks, the heartbeat, and body sounds are all still present when a baby is being worn, allowing the infant to adjust to their outside environment while still experiencing the comfort of the womb.
Babies who are carried are also able to learn more through observation. In the safe environment of the baby carrier, infants are able to take in the environment around them, and observe the parent from a first-hand view. Infants will spend the first few months of life worn facing in, allowing them to selectively block out stimuli.
Babywearing helps regulate the baby’s body temperature and respiration rate. Studies are also beginning to show that babies who have been worn are more independent than their non-carried counterparts. Babywearing leads to more content, smarter, independent children.
For parents, the benefits are immense. Babywearing enables the parent to perform tasks with both hands free. It also allows the parents to keep the child close to them, discouraging strangers from touching the child. Strollers are bulky and inconvenient, but baby carriers fit in small bags-even a diaper bag!
Going to a grocery store or a hike is much easier when a parent chooses to wear their baby instead of using a stroller or carrying a car seat.
Keeping the baby close to mother is also shown to decrease the instance and severity of post-partum depression.
Having the father wear the baby is a wonderful way to solidify the father-child bond.
Babywearing is the best choice for both parents and babies-and the benefits are incredible!