It's International Babywearing Week! In honor of this I thought I would put together a list of my favorite benefits of babywearing! Babies love to be held and touched, and babywearing lets you achieve this and so much more.
Especially if you have more than one child, you will realize how much more you can get done while wearing your baby. Once you are wearing your baby hands free you can cook, clean, do other tasks around the house, help other children, you get the idea. Baby wearing is convenient for sure.
Not only did I wear both of my babies around the house and many times while working (only way to keep them calm so I could focus), but I also wore my second baby for every errand I ran with both children until he was big enough to sit up in the cart himself. Even then I still wore him sometimes and even now I still wear him to the zoo or farm. At 21 months he will not tolerate a stroller for long, but sometimes wants to be held or up high.
Babies cry less when worn
I know my babies are happier and calmer when worn. It has been said that cultures who wear babies around the clock do not have the witching hour (evening fussiness) that we experience. It has been proven that babies who are worn cry less.
Promotes bonding and development
It's good for babies health to be worn. It is an extension of skin to skin or kangaroo care for your baby to be against you, and they are happier this way. This promotes bonding and development. Babies who are worn can easily see the world around them and interact at our level.
Great for breastfeeding
When we wear our babies we are more attentive to their hunger queues since they are right there at our face level. It makes breastfeeding easier as well. I was able to breastfeed my babies in my carriers which makes it convenient and easy to feed when around people or groups. And the carrier acts as a cover so there is plenty of privacy. I actually fed my son in my Ergo in a crowded airport bar when he was four months old!
Babies sleep better while being worn
I don't know about you but neither of my infants enjoyed sleeping on a big flat surface in those early weeks and months. Sure they would sometimes, but it was guaranteed that they would fall asleep right away in a baby carrier. Why? Because they love being against a warm body, our breathing calms them and they sleep best this way.
Makes traveling easier
A baby carrier is a must when traveling. For flying it makes things much easier to be hands free and wear your baby through the airport and onto the plane. There is much less to pack if you do not need a stroller. It is also easier to run quick errands without all the extra gear. I do use strollers and have ones I love, but baby wearing is my preference when I can.
Baby wearing is easier on the back than carrying
I have had multiple back issues over the years. Babywearing can hurt if it's not done correctly but when it is done correctly it can take the load off and actually help with back pain.
So which carrier is for you? Well there are so many to choose from and if you are like me you will probably want more than one type. I personally love a soft wrap in the early days, a sling all the time, and a soft structure carrier such as an Ergo for sturdy feeling support once my baby is over 12 pounds or so. There are so many to choose from it's hard to pick just one!
Remember to always wear your baby safely. It can take a little practice to get the hang of it. This infographic from Babywearing International has some tips:
Saturday 17th of October 2015
Agree with all these! Love it! Another benefit is for alternating sleep position and sides for motor, cognitive and cranial development. Really!? Yep. Our littlest is suuuuuch a good eater and sleeper that with "back is best," advice he was quickly becoming a flathead. Wearing him was an alternate sleep arrangement to relieve his poor coconut. It also has allowed me to casually change the direction of his head since he preferred looking to the left since the hospital and will choose to look and "point" that way even when I alternate his sides on the changing table and in the crib. May sound a bit helicopter-esque, but my PT-aware pediatrician noticed his head mobility and pointing by one month (while we noticed his flat nut!) and assured us that since knowing "back is best," and the carseat travel system plus many other creative recline sitting arrangements, American babies' heads have been getting wider, flatter and mobility has decreased a bit; So much so that a little flatness is the new normal among the medcare, though we do see more treatment for it. No shame in helmets for a bit of phlaigeocephaly, but why not try to avoid that discomfort, inconvenience and cost with more baby wearing!