Hey, guys! Happy International Baby Wearing Week!
It’s an annual outreach event sponsored by Babywearing International. International Babywearing Week (IBW) is a week-long opportunity to promote, celebrate, educate, and focus on many benefits of babywearing. This year, International Babywearing Week is from September 30 to October 9, 2019.
So, in honor of all the baby wearers out there and others who are keen to know about babywearing, this article is for Mothers to learn about babywearing benefits for you and your newborn. I have personally shared my favorite reasons for babywearing here.
Babywearing has been around for generations in many cultures, but it has only recently adopted across the world. These days’ babies are being carried in all sorts of carriers, slings, wraps, backpacks and so on. What we know about babywearing is that it keeps the baby attached to you. But there a lot of other benefits that babywearing can provide to both you and your child.
I have seen many people, especially Africans wearing their babies and in those times when I knew nothing about it, I considered it dangerous for the baby. You see, baby hanging on your back for hours in typical position. It was then when I got pregnant and did my extensive research on babywearing. I realized it is so important for both mother and child, that I can now highly recommend it to other mothers as well.
I know babywearing truly saved my sanity, during the first year of my life. It’s even more like a lifesaver during those crazy toddler years as well. So if you are convinced by all this, here are a few reasons why I love babywearing so much.
BENEFITS OF BABYWEARING FOR MOM
Builds a stronger bond between you and your child
When you and your baby remain constantly with each other throughout the day, you create a special bonding with him. When my babies cried a lot, I used to wear them. This way they felt snuggled and carried. The more time I spent with them, the more they got attached t me. Thanks to babywearing, gone are the days I had to keep them away from me to do some errands. When going out, I used to carry my baby in a carrier, while holding groceries. There were a bond, closeness and a positive touch between both of us that relaxed and connected us together.
This physical closeness is essential for a parent and child. The baby is able to sense your emotions and hear your voice. You can talk to him all the time and this helps in the early development of his language skills as well.
You get more done in less time
Babywearing, definitely, makes your life easier. Tell me, what is better than having a baby close to you while you do all your errands without fail? Babywearing allows you to be ‘hand-free’ which means you can do anything like washing dishes, preparing food for your family, doing laundry to going shopping. The list never ends. This gives us more time and we can efficiently do our tasks while snuggling with our baby.
Babywearing gives you the extra advantage of enjoying your daily adventures together, having your hands free. You simply don’t have to have any excuses to get away from your child to do your work. Simply enjoy having your work done on time or simply can sit down at a café or home and enjoy your much-needed coffee, all while cuddling with your baby. You can also travel more easily with your child since he isn’t limited by the terrain and certain modes of transport. Plus, you’ll save more money, because a good carrier is better and cheaper than a high-end stroller. It’s a win-win.
It gives you easy access to Breastfeeding
This is seriously the most important reason why I love babywearing so much. All of us must agree to the fact, that having your favorite meal on-demand 24/7 would be a dream come true. You can grant this wish to your baby with babywearing, by allowing them to have easy access to their favorite food source. Babywearing makes life so much easier by aiding in nursing publicly. You don’t have to find a breastfeeding station to nurse your baby. Simply, pull out the cover and you can nurse while walking outside or cooking at home. No one will know, but your baby will be satisfied!
By feeding on demand you are also saving the energy the baby wastes crying for hunger. This means this energy will be left over to enjoy playtime and giggles with mom and dad.
Babywearing helps you stay in shape
Ok! Here I cannot guarantee you’ll probably get abs of steel through babywearing. However, I can guarantee an increase in muscle strength, better circulation and better fitness in general. Wearing a baby is a fantastic way to get out and get active, whether is simply a light walk or a mountain hike together. As long as you have your baby attached to you, you’re participating in a daily fitness routine while being a mom.
If you make a habit of working out with your baby, this extra amount of weight will keep you fit while doing laundry, walking up and down the stairs or doing squats throughout the day. This will surely help you burn extra calories.
BENEFITS OF BABYWEARING FOR BABY
The baby cries less
Babywearing not just helps you to get your things done but also provides physical and emotional comfort to the baby. When the baby is worn, rather than placed into a swing or a bouncy chair, he is more socially engaged with the environment and will learn soon. The physical attachment of the baby with his mother makes him more comfortable, allowing him to have cried less.
Babies, who are worn, have been reported to cry 51% less than the babies that aren’t. This helps the baby to sleep more and everyone else as well. Babywearing helps in colic reduction and doesn’t make a baby fussy. It is easier to calm a baby while he is fussing when you are wearing him.
Decreases the risk of SIDS and Flat Head Syndrome
This is another important reason to love babywearing. When you are holding your baby close to your chest, the constant rise and fall as you breathe in and out, help the baby to breathe as well. It reminds him of being in his safe place and this calms him down. The baby is on you, chest to chest helps avoid the direct pressure on their heads. This happens typically when they are in bouncers, car seats or strollers. All of that laying back puts direct pressure on their heads and increases flat head syndrome. Babywearing helps to decrease it.
It is safe and contributes to positive growth
When the baby is close to you, you know he is safe from any extra hands coming in contact with your little one. This means fewer germs, which is equal to healthy babies. You know your baby is breathing conveniently, which is the major concern of moms.
The baby being close to you will help boost breast milk production. This means when the baby cries, there will be enough milk to suffice him. This means, the shorter the time between feedings, the higher the fat content in mama’s breast milk. This helps in the healthy growth of a baby.
It helps develop early language skills
You can seriously try this out, you’ll see what I mean. I baby wore both of my kids and chatted with them all day long. I did this pretty much when my kids were just in the womb as well. During those days they simply used to kick back as a response. But, as they were carried all day and were chatted along with doing work, they were exposed to words, expressions and hearing my voice. This really helped develop their language skills. My daughter was just 11 months when she started forming sentences and my son when he was a year old.
When babies watch our faces and expressions they’re more likely to have their language skills developed. They learn when they see us using our facial expressions and hearing our voice flections as we talk throughout the day. Babywearing aids in baby’s developments, respiratory and gastrointestinal health, and aids in balance.
A happy baby, a happy mom
Carrying your baby around your house for hours will not just make your baby happy, it actually makes you happy. Parents are able to tend to their babies more quickly and successfully when they babywear. With less crying and whining, the baby is happy which makes parents happy. Less hectic hours of crying and fussing, you can relax and enjoy parenting. This is the ultimate benefit of babywearing.
So, for all those people who think holding baby all the time will spoil him- this couldn’t be farther from the truth. I mean, it may actually help your baby cry less.
According to La Leche League International (LLLI), a study conducted in North America shows that babies cried less when their parents wear them for an extra hour a day. LLLI says, “These findings confirm what our mothering instincts tell us – that plenty of loving contact does not ‘spoil’ the baby or make him more demanding, but instead makes him feel more comfortable and happy in his new world.” (The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding). This is my favorite reason for babywearing.
MY MOST FAVORITE BABY CARRIERS
Now that you know about a few benefits of babywearing, I will share some of my baby carriers with you all. I seriously, couldn’t imagine my mommy’s life without my favorite carriers. They have helped me even when I was home or out with family or shopping. Not to mention, my husband wore them as well. This gave a good bonding time to my husband with our kids.
Please note that these are my take on baby carriers. I have other mommy friends whose number one pick is different than mine. What I have learned and what I mean is, there is no one-size-fits-all for baby carriers. There are different choices and you really have to go out there, try it out, and see what works for you and your baby.
I really like Tula because it comes in standard a toddler size. It has a good height to the baby can lean back and it provides extra security and comfort to the baby. It is really important for the baby to fit comfortably inside without much wiggling. This will help prevent strain on the neck, back, and shoulders.
Tula baby carrier helps achieve a better “M” shape position. This is the ideal position for babies in the carrier. The strap and padding are also thick so the baby and you both are comfortable.
Boba is a close runner-up to the Tula. It is almost the same height as Tula, but with slightly narrowest seat width, if you have a slimmer waist Boba can be your choice. On the other hand, if you aren’t slimmer, the shoulder padding is little and can be an uncomfortable
There are different sling carriers, as I mentioned you need to search one for yourself. There are ring slings, pocket slings, and even wrap around slings. I basically started with wrap around sling. These all slings are not bulky, so it’s easy to bring them around with you due to lighter weight. They are easier to clean and handle to bring your baby when running a quick errand.
Moms that babywear, are also less exposed to postpartum depression as they have more time to bond with the baby, exercise and spend time with their older children.
So, do you babywear? What are your opinions about babywearing? Share in the comments below.