The Benefits of Babywearing
Here at Babipur we love everything about baby wearing, and as it is European Babywearing Week it’s a great opportunity to share the many benefits of babywearing for both baby and caregiver. Babywearing is the act of carrying your baby or toddler close to you, using a baby carrier. There are lots of different types of carrier available from stretchy wraps, ring slings, and ergonomic soft structured buckle carriers – all of which provide the close physical and emotional support that babies and toddlers need to thrive.
Kangaroo Care and the 4Th Trimester
The transition from womb to babe-in-arms is a life-changing experience for both mother and baby. The 4th Trimester covers that transition period where newborns still need help to stabilise their temperature, heart and lung function and support during breastfeeding. This can be greatly facilitated by Kangaroo care in those first hours and days, with lots of skin-to-skin contact with their caregiver using a sling to hold baby close.
Oxytocin, that magical love hormone, is released when you carry your baby. This close contact and the beautiful smell of your baby’s head will cause the release of this special hormone in all caregivers helping form a close bond and provide emotional well-being for caregiver and baby. As babies feel safe and secure in their carrier, they form a strong attachment to their caregiver. This secure attachment helps children develop into confident and independent individuals as they get older. This bonding time helps caregivers to interact and learn baby’s signals and become more responsive to their needs.
All babies cry, it is their way of communicating to their caregiver that something is not quite right. Crying is both physically and emotionally exhausting for everyone, but there is no doubt that *carried babies cry less and for shorter durations. Many caregivers remark that their carrier came with sleepy dust – the soothing motion and close contact will often lull baby to sleep. Baby wearing gives a welcome relief to baby and caregiver. A quick walk around the block or even the garden will help baby quietly observe and learn about the world around them, and the caregiver have a change of scenery.
Reflux and Colic
Anyone who has had a baby with reflux or cholic will know how traumatic and exhausting this time can be. Baby wearing will reduce the symptoms of reflux and cholic, by holding baby in an upright position, with the gentle motion aiding digestive movement. Going for a walk in a carrier will gently distract baby from the discomfort from cholic and reflux and feel safe and secure.
Eye to eye contact and talking and singing to your baby from the very beginning gives positive emotional experiences, crucial for brain development and social skills. By carrying your baby close to you they can study your expressions and sound of your voice when you are talking to other people in a secure, safe environment. From this vantage point they can study the world around them and be involved in conversations. These early experiences form the foundation of social development and language skills.
Good positioning in an ergonomic baby carrier will help the healthy development of the spine and core muscle strength. While babies are being carried, they are using and developing their muscles to stabilise their body while you are moving, making baby carrying great for developing balance. Baby wearing is great for reducing the chance of Plagiocephaly, or “flat head syndrome” which tends to occur when babies spend a lot of time in the same position in a cot or car seat.
Hands Free Caregiving
If you are looking after more than one child, baby wearing comes into its own. Preparing snacks, cleaning up and playing with a toddler is a lot easier when you are wearing your newborn. If you are breastfeeding it also gives you the opportunity to feed on the go, and the close skin to skin contact can help maintain a good breastmilk supply.
If you love to get out and explore, then baby wearing will help you get to those more difficult to access places. Narrow or rough tracks that are difficult with a buggy can be navigated, trips to the beach and even shopping trips are made easier without having to take a pram. Leaving you free to hold little siblings’ hands or take the dog for a walk, baby wearing gives you the freedom to get out and about again.
At Babipur we believe babywearing is something to be cherished, natural and universal. Holding your baby close helps them to feel safe and secure, strengthening the bond between parent and child. If you need help and advice choosing the right baby carrier for you do give our Customer Service a call or message – we have trained sling consultants on the team to help. Always follow the TICKS guidelines for safe baby wearing.