Babywearing is a fairly new word to a practice that parents have been doing for centuries in many different cultures and places around the world. It provides the best of both worlds – a loving way to hold your baby and the convenience of being hands-free.
Wearing your baby has so many benefits for you and your baby, physically and emotionally and it can even help with your breastfeeding. It is one of the best things that you can have in your toolbox.
Here are 7 Wonderful Benefits to Baby Wearing?
1.Your baby will sleep better and be more settled:
If you haven’t read my blog on the ‘Importance of the 4th Trimester’ I really encourage you to do so, so that you have a really good understanding of the transition that your baby has to make from the womb to this new world. https://babybliss.kiwi.nz/4th-trimester-time-nurturing/ Understanding this stage in your baby’s development and managing your baby as if they are still in the womb is key and will make life so much easier for you.
Newborns instinctively want to be close to you – they will feel the safest and the most secure when they are near you and wearing your baby in a baby wrap or carrier is the closest that you can get to placing your baby back into the womb environment with all the familiar sounds, smells and movement. So your baby will be calmer and feel less stress.
2. Your baby will fuss and cry less and it is a great way to bond with your baby:
Wearing your baby can help to build a strong bond and connection and can also make it easier for you to become more in-tune with your baby’s needs which will help to build your confidence with managing your baby’s cares. Instead of waiting for your baby to start crying – their way of communicating their needs to you, you will start to pick up all their subtle signals before it reaches that point. If you wear your baby in the first few months of their life, evidence has shown that a baby cries up to 43% less.
It is also good for your baby’s cognitive and social development. When babies spend less time crying, they spend more time learning and interacting with their environment. When babies are worn by their parents, they see and hear what their parents do so are more involved in their parents everyday lives.
3. It promotes your baby’s overall Health and Wellbeing:
It can help your baby to gain weight and thrive. Human touch is a very powerful thing. Having your baby close to you, particularly skin-to-skin has incredible benefits. https://babybliss.kiwi.nz/skin-to-skin-contact/ When parents think about Skin-to-skin contact, they often only think about the ‘Magical hour’ following their baby’s delivery but it can be experienced at anytime during your baby’s first few months. It plays an important role in the bonding process, is an integral part of successful breastfeeding and assists your baby in their transition to their new life, both physiologically and emotionally. So wearing your baby in a baby wrap or carrier skin-to-skin is a fantastic way to achieve this.
It will regulate and stabilize your baby’s heart rate, respiratory rate and temperature and can strengthen your baby’s immune system so it has powerful physiological effects.
There is also some research that shows that baby wearing can help babies keep their hips in a position that promotes strong, healthy hips. All the baby wraps and carriers that I sell have been certified by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as ‘Hip Healthy’.
4. It gives you Freedom:
Though our first priority is caring for our babies, things still need to be done right so this is an awesome way to manage during those times when your baby is unsettled and needs a little bit more nurturing. It will give you your arms back so that you can still get things done. Mums love to multi-task so this is an awesome way to achieve that. You can throw some washing in/out, make a meal, tidy up, vacuum/clean the house all while your baby is feeling comfortable and secure in their baby wrap or carrier.
Babies are also surprisingly heavy so carrying your baby around for extended periods of time trying to settle them can take a toll on your body – sore neck, shoulders, arms or back.
When you have a toddler or older child, time management can be a challenge so wearing your baby can give you the ability to still be able to focus on spending time with your other child/children too.
It’s also a great way for travelling with your baby hands free and allows you to go places where you can’t take a buggy or would be easier without a buggy. It’s a great way of connecting socially by making it easier to take a walk or meet up with friends or family.
5. It Promotes Breastfeeding:
By wearing your baby, particularly skin-to-skin, your milk supply can increase naturally. It is also possible to breastfeed your baby while they are in their wrap or carrier which makes feeding on demand much easier and with frequent breastfeeding, it will help to build and maintain a really strong milk supply.
6. It can Decrease your risk of Postpartum Depression:
Research shows that the boost in confidence that can be achieved by wearing your baby can help a new mum to transition into motherhood a little easier and this can enhance a new mums overall mental wellbeing. Baby wearing also increases the amount of time that your baby spends skin-to-skin and this has been connected to decreased rates of postpartum depression.
7. It is a great way for Dads and other family members to connect with your baby too:
Baby wearing is not only for mums. It is a fabulous way to get Dad’s involved in calming or settling your baby if they are struggling to ‘switch off’ to sleep and need more support or nurturing.
Are Baby Wraps and Carriers Safe?
Common sense is the key here and as with baby-related activity there are safer ways to do things so it is no different when it comes to baby wearing. The most important points are to make sure that your baby’s airway remains clear and that their back and neck is supported.
The baby wearing community refer to some simple safety checks as T.I.C.K.S
T: Tight. Baby should be upright and tight enough in a carrier that they’re held safely against whoever is wearing them. His helps prevent accidental falls.
I: In view at all times. Baby’s face should be visible to you so you can monitor their breathing. You can also keep a better eye on your baby’s mood if you can see them.
C: Close enough to kiss. Can you lower your head and kiss the top of your baby’s head? If not, you should reposition them in your carrier until you can do so with little effort.
K: Keep chin off chest. Look at your baby to ensure there’s a gap of about 2 fingers wide under their chin. If they’re in a good upright position with their spine curved and legs squatting, it’s less likely that their chin will drop.
S: Supported back. While you want your baby to be secure, resist over-tightening the carrier over their back. You should have your carrier tight enough that there’s no gap between your baby and your body, but loose enough that you can slide your hand into the carrier.
While it is important that your baby is comfortable, make sure that your baby wrap, or carrier is comfortable for you too. If it is improperly positioned it can give you a sore back, neck or shoulders, especially if you are using it a lot.
Please feel free to ask me any questions about Baby Wearing or any Baby Wearing products. I am also more than happy to check that you are wearing your wrap or carrier safely.