Benefits of Babywearing
The physical and emotional benefits of babywearing
There are so many benefits of babywearing that it’s no wonder it’s a tradition that’s stood the test of time. For centuries, mothers, families and other caregivers have carried their newborns, babies and toddlers in cloth carriers, keeping them warm, safe and close, while freeing arms and hands for other essential tasks.
Here’s a look at exactly what babywearing is, and how it can benefit both mother and baby for the first few years of little one’s life.
What is babywearing?
Babywearing is simply the act of carrying your baby or young child in a sling-like piece of cloth or carrier. Nomadic tribes and cultures all over the world have traditionally used beautifully decorated fabrics to fashion into sling carriers – and over recent years, babywearing has gained in popularity in western cultures too… and for good reason.
Babywearing gives you the best of both worlds because you and your baby are always snuggled closely together, while leaving you ‘hands free’ for other children, carrying shopping, cooking or just relaxing with a cup of tea and flicking through the TV in those rare moments of quiet!
For the first nine months of their lives, babies live in their mother’s womb. They’re used to the mother’s heartbeat, motion, voice, and breathing… but then they emerge into this bright, loud and strange world.
Babywearing brings baby right back close to its mother or father, in a more familiar and comforting environment, offering lots of benefits to the baby both physically and emotionally.
The physical benefits of babywearing
There are physical benefits of babywearing for both the baby and the carrier, some of them more a matter of practicality, but other much more important in terms of the development of your baby.
Physical benefits include:
- Boosts breast milk production due to close contact with baby
- Reduces flat head syndrome
- Promotes neural development, respiratory and gastrointestinal health
- Helps reduce colic
- Parents hands are free to help with other children
- Less bulky than carrying a pram in the car
- Easier to get on and off public transport and around busy shops
Emotional benefits of babywearing
We all know how powerful a long hug with someone you love can be. Imagine having that feeling – and sharing it with your baby or toddler – as often as you want!
There are so many emotional benefits to babywearing, including:
- A smoother transition from the womb and into the fourth trimester
- Improved bonding – for dad and other carers too
- Helps baby to feel safe and comforted, even when you’re busy
- Helps the parents to learn how to respond to baby’s needs and see the world from their level
- Keeps babies calmer
- Allows discreet, stress-free breastfeeding
There are lots of different types of babywearing slings such as the Bei Dai or Mei Tai carrier, a baby pouch/toddler sling and the Sa-be stretchy baby carrier for newborns. Most baby slings and carriers are very versatile, fitting any size adult and continuing to be serviceable as your baby grows.