Did you know it's International Baby Wearing week?! And whilst some parents love the concept of babywearing, there are others who are unsure if it is for them or are unaware of the benefits of carrying their little one. So this week we've teamed up with BabyBjorn in a guest blog feature to tell you about the benefits of babywearing to you and your little one, and to answer any common concerns parents have.
If you are unsure about babywearing and want to know how it can benefit you and your baby, keep reading!
As babies like to be kept close a baby carrier is an incredibly useful ‘tool’ for parents. A correctly fitted baby carrier replicates an ‘in arms’ carrying position and enables the parent to keep their baby close, whilst having their hands free.
Before they’re born, all babies have known is being in their mum’s belly; they are used to hearing their heartbeat and their voice making them feel safe and warm. The world is a big scary place for your little one and coming into it is a huge change from their previous cosy and safe environment.
So how does this all relate to babywearing?
Well, by keeping your baby close, particularly in the early days, you’re helping to develop a sense of security that their parents are there for them. This enables them to sleep more easily; secure in the knowledge that their parents will still be there when they wake. They will also be reassured by the familiar heartbeat, voice and smell. Also a newborn baby cannot regulate their own temperature - by being kept close, their temperature is regulated by the wearer. Research also shows babies that are carried tend to cry less, as a result of having reduced reflux and colic1. Additionally if you are breastfeeding your baby, carrying them can help to stimulate milk production2.
Ok that all sounds great, but I’m not really ‘that type’ of parent...
There honestly isn’t a ‘type’! Anyone who has a baby and carries them in their arms can benefit from doing so hands-free. A well-fitting carrier distributes baby’s weight comfortably over the wearer’s shoulders and back, supporting the baby comfortably and safely.
Isn’t it all about tying yourself in long bits of fabric?
Not at all! There are so many different options out there - from long pieces of material to structured buckle carriers and everything in between. There honestly is a baby carrier out there for everyone.
Why would I want to babywear?
Anything that can help make life easier for you as a parent, with no downside for the baby, has to be a good thing! Using a baby carrier enables you to meet your baby’s needs, whilst still allowing you to get on with your day-to-day activities; whether that’s going for a walk, putting the washing on or simply sitting down and eating your dinner while it’s hot!
Will it make my baby clingy?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions and the short answer is, no! All the research suggests that babies carried during the fourth trimester (the first 3-6 months after birth) tend to be more confident and independent as they grow up, than those children predominantly placed separate to their care givers.
I tend to get really hot... won’t my baby get too warm?
Your body will adapt to regulate your baby’s temperature. So you will keep them warm when it’s cold and cool them down when it’s warm. Dress yourself and baby appropriately for the temperature; remember it’s easier to add layers to you/baby once they’re in a carrier than it is to overdress yourself and then have to take layers off. Many carriers have an option for a cooler, mesh panel on the front, which are popular for warmer weather or if the wearer tends to be hot.
Credit: Roamy Hunt, Baby Carrying Consultant at South East Slings