12 Benefits of Babywearing
International Babywearing Week is an annual outreach event sponsored by Babywearing International. It is a week-long opportunity to “celebrate, promote, advocate for, and focus media attention on the many benefits of babywearing.” This year’s theme was “Best Seat in the House.” This year’s celebration took place October 5 through 10. We wanted to join the discussion; we thought it would be fun to start the week by sharing a few of our favorite reasons for babywearing…
1. When you wear your baby, you move through your day in unison.
You are able to see the world around you through similar points of view. You are literally and figuratively, in each other’s worlds. Your baby is able to 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 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) 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 baby’s physical needs.
She wasn’t motionless in the womb; why would she want to be outside in this strange, new world? The motion 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.
4. Babywearing makes mom’s life easier.
She can wash dishes, prepare food for the rest of the family, pack backpacks and lunches, and even complete a load of laundry. She can snuggle with baby, and still do #almostallthethings. Take that, life!
5. An infant in a sling or carrier is a heck of a lot easier to lug around than a heavy, infant carseat.
Ergonomically speaking, it’s a better choice for mom. And let’s face it, there are some places that a stroller is just impossible to push.
6. When baby is happy, mommy is happy.
And feels more confident and competent. What’s not to love? The more empowered you feel, the more you can relax and enjoy parenting.
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 milk. Babywearing makes discreetly breastfeeding hands free in public a breeze.
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).
9. Wearing baby helps you stay fit!
Especially if you make a habit of working out with baby.
10. Babywearing is one of the best ways to bond with your little one.
Trust me, they are only this little for so long. Soak up every single moment that you can.
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 it. Our babies LOVE to hear our voices. This is much more easily achieved in our arms, rather than across the room. Make baby part of the action!
12. Finally, let me just be “silly” for a second here. Babywearing is beautiful.
Have you seen all of the pretty carriers and wraps available nowadays? We are basically obsessed. And I’m pretty sure I want one of everything. #yesplease
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, and make sure to snap a cute photo.
What’s your favorite reason for babywearing? We’d love to hear!