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
Photo credit: ailatan