International Babywearing Week is a wonderful annual outreach event sponsored by Babywearing International. It’s a week-long event meant to raise awareness about babywearing and all of its wonderful benefits. This year, the week runs from September 28-October 5, and I’d love to share with you 7 great reasons why all parents should practice babywearing.
1. It’s super convenient.
I didn’t realize just how amazing it is to have baby in a sling until I tried it. When you do so, you can walk around with your arms and hands-free. Plus, it’s so much easier to navigate crowds, staircases, and curbs when you’re wearing your little one instead of using a stroller. Not to mention that certain slings can allow for discreet breastfeeding.
2. It’s good exercise
Carrying a 10+ pound baby around makes for a great workout without even trying. I think it’s a great way to get back in shape after you give birth, plus it’s hard to find time to get away and exercise once your little one has joined the family.
3. Reduces the risk of plagiocephaly
Baby’s skulls are soft and malleable, and this can lead to a condition called plagiocephaly or “flat head syndrome.” This happens when the baby’s head is rested against a hard surface all the time. If you carry your little one, this eliminates a lot of the risk of developing plagiocephaly because they won’t be resting the back of their head against the car seat or stroller.
4. It’s much safer than the alternatives.
Of course, there are risks to babywearing; you need to be much more careful around staircases and hot liquids, for example. But all things considered, having your baby strapped to you is safer than having them in a stroller. Plus, if your child is already mobile on their own, having them strapped to you is, for obvious reasons, a lot safer than having them freely running around on their own.
5. Allows dad to bond with baby.
As a mom, you have a lot more opportunity to spend time and bond with baby. Plus, those 9 months spent carrying baby gives you a big head start on bonding as well. Letting dad wear baby gives him a great opportunity. I bet he’ll be surprised at how he feels after trying it; in my opinion, there’s no better way for dad and baby to develop their bond.
6. It helps baby develop.
A big but not-well-known advantage of babywearing in the front-facing position is that it allows baby to get a great view of all the action happening around them in their environment. Being exposed to all of the different faces, sounds, and voices helps them develop speech and language skills and exercise their vestibular system, which is responsible for balance.
7. They’re cheap!
Let’s face it: strollers are expensive. Of course, some backpack carriers, but a good quality sling or wrap can be found for only around $25. Considering all of the other expenses you’ll have for your little one, it’s nice to be able to save a little money!
Read next: Learn how babywearing can help you breastfeed HERE!