Families have practiced Babywearing for generations. We all know that it is convenient for the caregiver, but there are so many benefits for mom and baby! It is still practiced and adored by so many today all over the world that there is even International Babywearing Week, a week-long opportunity to “celebrate, promote, advocate for, and focus attention on the many benefits of babywearing.” We love babywearing and are sharing its benefits so that more families discover the ease, advantages, and the joy of wearing their babies.
Benefits of Babywearing
1. Building a stronger bond between parent and baby.
When you wear your baby, you remain close to one another throughout the day. During the fourth trimester (the postpartum period), you are learning about one another, and this closeness strengthens your bond. With baby close, your child can hear your voice and sense your emotions. She is secure. Even when mom is busy with other things, a baby who is held — either in mom’s arms or in a carrier or sling — is reassured by the physical contact.
2. Some people think that wearing or holding a baby all of the time will spoil him — this could not be farther from the truth. It may actually mean baby cries less.
According to La Leche League International (LLLI), a study conducted in North America shows that babies cried less when their parents were instructed to wear or carry them for several extra hours a day. LLLI says, “These findings confirm what our mothering instincts tell us — that plenty of loving contact does not ‘spoil’ a 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 one of my favorite benefits of babywearing. A happy baby is quiet, alert, and ready to interact with the people in his world.
3. Babywearing helps baby develop emotionally and socially, but also helps to meet the baby’s physical needs.
She wasn’t motionless in the womb; why would she want to be outside in this strange, new world? Movement soothes baby. Don’t believe us? Try putting a sleeping baby down in her crib at nap time. You’ll find she much prefers snoozing in the arms of mom and dad — right next to your heartbeat. This is her happy place. This is home. So free your arms and bring baby close.
4. Babywearing makes mom’s life easier.
Babywearing allows the caregiver to be “hand-free.” She can wash dishes, prepare food for the family, pack backpacks and lunches, and even complete a load of laundry with both of her hands. This gives her more time, and she is more efficient! Babywearing makes mom’s life easier because she can get everything she needs to get done while still snuggling with baby.
5. An infant in a sling or carrier is a heck of a lot easier to lug around than a heavy, infant car seat.
Ergonomically speaking, it’s a better choice for mom. No matter how light a car seat is, there is nothing lighter than wearing your child. You have your whole back to distribute the weight so that you are more comfortable when carrying baby. And let’s face it, there are some places that a stroller is just impossible to push. Babywearing makes things easier to get around and keep baby happy.
6. When baby is happy, mommy is happy.
Parents can tend to their babies more quickly and successfully when babywearing. With less crying, baby is happy, which makes mommy happy. It also makes mommy feel more confident and competent as a parent. The more empowered you feel, the more you can relax and enjoy parenting—the ultimate benefit of babywearing.
7. Babywearing can help contribute to baby’s positive growth.
Truth: the shorter the time between feedings, the higher the fat content in mama’s breast milk. Babywearing makes discreetly breastfeeding hands-free at home or on the go a breeze. Not only that, due to being close to baby, but it also helps boost your breast milk production–something that every new mother can appreciate!
8. Babywearing keeps baby safe — from younger siblings and awkward strangers in the grocery store.
You can be sure that baby is breathing — regularly — which we all know is a major source of comfort (especially for new moms). And when baby is close to you, it minimizes extra hands from coming in contact with your little one. This means fewer germs which equal healthy babies!
9. Wearing baby helps you stay fit!
Especially if you make a habit of working out with baby, having that extra weight around you as you squat down to lift the laundry basket and walk up and down the stairs throughout the day helps you burn more calories, all while still bonding with your little one.
10. It decreases the risk of SIDS and flat head syndrome.
By feeling your chest rise and fall as you breathe in and out, it reminds the baby to breathe as well. While they are on you, chest to chest, it also avoids direct pressure on their heads. They are often in car seats and strollers and cribs and other contraptions. All of that laying back puts direct pressure on their heads and increases flat head syndrome. Babywearing helps decrease it.
11. Babywearing is a great way to help develop early language skills.
Try it out and see what I mean. Do you find yourself chatting and narrating to baby as your day progresses? I know I do. Our babies learn by watching our faces, and they LOVE to hear our voices. This promotes early language development because they learn so much by watching our facial expressions and hearing our voice flections as we talk throughout the day and converse with others. Babywearing aids in baby’s development. Both physically and emotionally, including neural development, respiratory and gastrointestinal health, and aids in balance.
12. Finally, in our opinion, babywearing is beautiful.
Have you seen all of the pretty carriers and wraps available nowadays? There are so many that are beautiful. We are obsessed. And isn’t it the sweetest when you see a parent or grandparent wearing a little one?
Babywearing is the best. And babywearing isn’t just for “babies.” Babywearing is also useful for toddlers. A ride in the sling or carrier with mom (or dad) can help to soothe and settle down a fussy toddler. Try it this week. You won’t regret it.