Babywearing and How to Make a Sling

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Babywearing

"babywearing"
Here at Natural Mothers Network, we are passionate advocates of babywearing. Carrie and I between us, have spent nearly 15 years carrying our children. Both of us found it to be a vital part of the bonding process with our offspring. For most women in the developing world, babywearing is a necessity, as it frees up their hands to deal with the daily manual tasks that are critical to survival. Although not bound by the same necessity, many western women are also discovering that babywearing is a fun, convenient and safe way to care for their babies and are ditching strollers in their droves for something that feels natural, kind, and well- just right.

Babywearing: 6 fabulous reasons why we believe it’s the best option!

Wearing baby is just so convenient! As many mothers have found the world over, wearing baby frees up hands to get on with everyday tasks, chase after siblings or give big cuddles. Baby can even be discreetly nursed if the situation requires it, and all the while baby remains safe, happy and secure.

Babies carried in slings are more content. Research has shown that the more babies are held, the less they cry. Continual crying is highly distressing both for mother and baby, and is obviously best avoided if at all possible! Babies that are worn by their parents feel connected, warm and secure. Babies held securely in slings, are able to view the world  as others do- at eye level. This allows baby to feel included in what’s happening around her, leading to an ‘active alert’ state, which is said to promote an optimum state for learning.

Babywearing is great for dads too! It’s a wonderful, safe, way for a father or other members of your family to bond with baby. Fathers miss out on the benefit of the bonding attachment with mama, that occurs during gestation. Carrying baby in a sling, on the other hand gives dad an opportunity to form a stronger bond with his new-born.

Carrying baby keeps you fit! As long as you are careful not to strain your back (watch those soft post-partum ligaments!) then to carry baby  provides a daily health benefit of weightlifting and aerobic activity. Now that can’t be bad, can it ladies?

Baby wearing is cheap! Slings cost much less than backpacks, strollers or prams. You can even make your own!  (*see the pdf link below!)

Babywearing mums are more confident! Mothers have found they are far more attuned to observing the cues and needs of their baby. This in turn, gives mums confidence. A babywearing mother enjoys regular positive interactions  with her baby that assures and enhances their mutual attachment.

How to find the perfect sling:  A brand of sling that suits your friend, may not necessarily be the perfect fit for you. Most slings come in a variety of different sizes and you will need to pick one that feels really comfortable. This is an item we would not recommend buying over the internet, without first trying it out. Carefully examine the quality of the sling, stitching and material. Are the adjustments easy to adapt as baby grows? Do you want a sling with padding or not? Each person has their own preferences for optimal comfort. Take your time to choose just the right sling for your needs and wellbeing.

* WearYourBaby.Com have this great pdf on how to Make A Baby Carrier In 5 Minutes!

Suggested reading in the Natural Mothers Store via your Amazon account.

Babywearing: The Benefits and Beauty of this Ancient Tradition- Dr. Maria Blois
Attachment parenting: Instinctive Care for Your Baby and Young Child-  Katie Allison
The Vital Touch: How Intimate Contact with your Baby Leads to Happier, Healthier Development – Sharon Heller

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Photo credit: ailatan

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About Author

Profile photo of Rebecca Watkins

Rebecca Watkins worked as a professional photo journalist and travelled the world with her husband John, before settling down as a stay at home mother to their three daughters. They have recently moved back from the French Alps to an old cottage in Devon, England. Rebecca's days are filled with visits to the beach, animated discussions and in the best moments, happiness and creativity in her family home of five. The other moments are filled with craziness and chaos and she loves those too.

6 Comments

  1. Profile photo of NMNadmin

    I have had at least one child slung every day since 2005! I couldn’t do anything when my oldest daughter was a baby because she had bad reflux and needed to be upright or she threw up, so I got a sling, and it solved both our problems. She was comfortable and happy, I could actually make a sandwich…lol… Fast forward six years and I’ve worn babies from newborn to preschool age, sometimes both at once, in town, camping, on tubes, during medical procedures, you name it. My sling is my best tool for parenting apart from the mummy milk! If I’d known then what I know now, I would have made the effort to get to a slingmeet, however tricky it seemed, and I would have invested in a good sling after trying theirs. If I were buying a coat to wear every day for winter, I’d spend a reasonable sum…buying a sling I wear every day for years should be the same! The other lovely thing is the slinging community – slinging mamas online are always happy to help with tips, video demos of ties you can’t quite work, ways to make slinging work in awkward situations etc… I am wearing my youngest baby at the moment, just been at a school maths development session where she made faces at me and giggled and kissed me the whole time. That kind of face to face interaction throughout the day is something I’m hooked on, regardless of how she is benefiting…it just says ‘mothering’ to me in a way that few other things can…

  2. I love wearing my babies in a sling! With my first, we didn’t even have a stroller, ha! And he loved every moment of it. With my second, my mom made an adjustable sling. It was beautiful!

    Thank you for your post!

  3. Karen on

    My son has always loved being worn. Now at 2 years and 32 ponds we do it much less than before but it is still an everyday thing. A stroller makes me feel so separated from him, he’s never been a fan of the stroller either. Some people make comments about feeling sorry for me having to carry my kid. They don’t know what they are missing. And although he can walk now, and does plenty, I love being able to snatch him up easily in a store. I still have 2 hands to shop and I know he’s not about to knock over any displays or wander away.

  4. Ally on

    Great article! I learned alot about Babies carried in slings are more likely to stay content. This is the first time I’ve heard this info.
    Warm Regards Ally