We are often asked the question “What is babywearing?”
Babywearing is simply the art of keeping baby close to your body in a soft cloth carrier.
Why should we wear our babies?
Human babies are born without fully developed brains, much like a kangaroo joey. Their survival depends on their mother (or primary caregiver) because they are completely helpless. It takes 6-9 months for their brains to grow& develop to a state much like the young of other mammals at birth. This time, known as the 4th trimester, should be spent in a womb-like environment for proper development to occur.
What are the benefits of babywearing?
Babies who are carried in close contact with their primary caregiver cry an average of 40-50% less than babies who are not carried. Scientists and experienced parents know this is because babies feel more secure when they can smell, hear & feel all the familiar scents, sounds, touches & movements. This lowers babies stress level, and, as an added bonus, parents’ stress levels as well! The less your baby cries, the less you feel stressed! Babies who are carried more also spend more time in the quiet/alert state, which is the ideal state for learning to occur. Instead of his energy going towards trying to get your attention, he can spend that energy learning about his world. Babywearing also encourages breastfeeding. Mothers who wear their babies tend to pick up on their hunger cues quicker and feed more frequently. Frequent breastfeeding is normal infant behavior and ensures a plentiful milk supply.
Does babywearing make sense in our modern world?
Mothers have worn their babies since the beginning of time, and many other cultures still naturally wear their babies. Our society has tried to teach us to go against our instincts and to distance ourselves from our babies at a young age to prevent spoiling our babies or being manipulated by them. Babies cannot be spoiled by love, but they can fail to thrive without enough physical contact. Wearing your baby ensures a strong connection, while allowing you to carry on with life on the go.
Is it safe?
Just like any practice that involves your baby, there are safe & unsafe ways to wear your baby. Certain carriers, called “bag slings,” have been known to be unsafe by design. Ring slings, pouch slings, mei tai carriers & wraps are perfectly safe babywearing carriers. No matter which carrier you choose, you should follow these safety precautions:
Baby should be close enough to kiss.
Baby should not be curled into a position with chin to chest.
Baby’s face should not be covered with fabric or pressed into the wearer’s body.