Benefits of Baby Wearing: Creating Connection & Convenience
Benefits of Baby Wearing: Creating Connection and Comfort
Most of us carry our babies within our womb for approximately 38-42 weeks. As the baby grows and gets heavier, our body adjusts, our centre of gravity changes and our ligaments soften and relax from hormones preparing us for birth.
A baby’s whole world in utero is a soothing, rocking motion in the amniotic fluids for the entire time. They are hearing your constant heart beat, gurgles and all the wonders that go on inside your body.
It’s no wonder, when they arrive on the outside, they would simply expect the rocking, soothing motions and the familiar sound of the heart beat.
We’re actually designed to carry our baby, as we are carrying mammals, as opposed to cache animals, such as horses or cows etc that birth and then leave their foal/calf in a safe place until they are ready to stand on their own legs. Their baby is usually standing within minutes.
Baby wearing has been around for many centuries in many cultures, and started to trickle in to Western culture in the 1970’s but has only really become more popular in the last 20 years or so.
The convenience of wearing baby in a sling is so good, having hands free to do other things is a definite bonus. (Try pushing a pram one handed, with a baby in your arms!).
Some other wonderful benefits of carrying our baby close to us every day, in a comfortable sling/carrier are:
- Regulates baby’s temperature (Make sure in summer if you’re in a hot place to not overdress baby if they’re in a woven sling)
- Regulates baby’s heart rate and respiratory system
- Helps with their social learning
- You can respond to their feeding needs quickly
- The connection and close contact releases oxytocin in the mother, which assists with bonding and breastmilk production
- The movement of the adult wearing the baby helps baby feels settled and secure
- Wearing a sling firmly and up high is better for your back
- As a baby grows and gets heavier, a sling / baby carrier will help take the weight so your arm doesn’t get tired, or give you hip/pelvic/back pain from carrying them on your hip
There are many different baby carriers available today – and the fabrics – oh the gorgeous fabrics! It can quickly become a fetish (speaking from experience, and one who used to sell a few varieties of slings!).
My suggestion is, talk to others you see wearing them, find out the names of the slings and have a little search on Google. Make sure the carrier comes with clear wearing instructions. Safety is always a priority.
After giving birth, it’s important to listen to your body and avoid overexertion. Fitting a sling correctly will ensure your baby is safe, and so is your back/body.
Familiarise yourself with safe positions for your baby in any carrier, (these should be with the instructions of a good carrier) and make sure their chin is not tucked onto their chest, which could obstruct breathing.
You can also contact a baby carrier organisation and maybe there is a consultant near you.
- Your partner may need a specific/different sling for their body type
- Are you having a summer or winter baby? Choose a fabric suitable for the first few months of carrying a new born is helpful
- Determine what you want the slings for – walks, shopping, around the house , a quick pop into a store/building etc and again
- New borns will need a different sling/carry style to an older baby
- After having a baby your ligaments will still be soft, so don’t over do it. Listen to your body, and when you’re ready begin carrying baby for 10 minutes. Build it up.
- It’s a good idea to carry them daily, or at least a few times a week as they gain weight quickly and it won’t be a shock each time you carry them as opposed to leaving it weeks in between
Trusted family members or friends can take baby for a quiet walk while you rest, shower or have some quality time with your partner or other children. Request they don’t wear commercial perfume / spray deodorants as your baby will be close to that.
When your baby is 5 months+ you might like to carry them on your back. I used to do light gardening work, or cooking, washing dishes, hang out laundry and more with my little one securely on my back.
Most of all, make sure it’s enjoyable and comfortable for you both.
If you have any questions, reach out to me!