Why Carry My Baby?
There will be many reasons why babywearing may appeal to you but on the most basic level it offers you freedom with your hands free, keeps your baby happy, and it’s just simply lovely to have a snuggly baby on your chest.
Beyond the day to day practical solutions using a sling brings, the advantages to carrying your baby are enormous for babies and parents for raising securely attached and physically and emotionally healthy children.
We are a carrying species: human babies are born expecting to be carried. Normal physical and emotional development depends on it. When carried a baby feels right. A comfortable sling or carrier makes carrying your baby easier, allowing your baby to be held on your body in an upright physiologically normal position, mimicking the 'in arms' position. You can carry your baby for longer periods of time and bear a heavier weight than without a sling.
Your baby is involved in your world so there is no need to put them down anywhere and you can get on with your life without baby care being a burden. They are immersed in your conversations with others, as well as nurturing their early communication skills as you respond to each other.
Babywearing can increase your confidence in your parenting and ability to tend to your child’s needs. When they are on your chest you know that they are ‘just right’ so parents and their baby can relax. In the early months constant vigilance of your baby is paramount to ensure the well-being of your baby, when they are at their most needy and vulnerable.
For dads it is a way to bond with their newborn and share the child care. For mums it can help to regain core strength and posture after birth, help avoid back injuries when most vulnerable in the early months (with the hormone relaxin still in the body), and reduce the incidence of post natal depression. The closeness helps to release the hormones (oxytocin) for bonding with their newborn and stimulating their milk supply (prolactin) when breastfeeding. Babywearing allows parents to become tuned in to their baby’s cues so they can respond quickly to their needs.
Babies benefit by crying less. They are being held which is a need in itself, as well as having their other needs interpreted and met promptly. They are comforted by the warmth and movement of a body and hearing their parent’s voice. The upright position helps to strengthen neck and chest muscles that ‘tummy time’ aims to achieve, and is great for their digestion, easing colic, wind and reflux. The gentle movement helps to tone muscles and develop the balance (vestibular) system in the brain.
Being seated upright with their knees drawn up, their bottom curved with legs straight down from the knee, in the M position is important for healthy spine and hip development. Human touch, warmth and the heartbeat helps to regulate the baby’s own temperature, breathing and heart rate. Carried babies grow better and spend more time in quiet alertness which is when they are absorbing their environment and learning.
Carry your baby! Get help to be able to carry your baby for as long as you choose to, so your baby is safe and you are both comfortable.