What Is Babywearing: Benefits, Safety Tips, and How-To
If you’ve recently become a parent, you are probably overwhelmed by all the baby products on the market — some of the most popular ones being baby carriers . Are they that convenient, though? How do you use them, and most importantly — are they safe? Read on to find out.
Brief History of Babywearing
As modern as it may sound, babywearing has been around for centuries . It is an inseparable part of the African, European, and Asian culture and has been widely practiced in almost all regions of the globe.
However, this ancient practice has only recently gained popularity in the industrialized world as part of parenting philosophies, such as attachment parenting .
In a nutshell, supporters of babywearing believe it helps create a stronger parent-child bond , thus benefiting both the infant and its parents.
Benefits of Babywearing
There are a number of benefits associated with babywearing, but we’ve tried to list the most important ones :
Helps the Baby
Infants naturally seek close contact with their mothers. They need it because the mother is the first person they become familiar with. She provides comfort and assurance. Babywearing helps create a strong maternal bond, which in turn enforces correct child development.
Furthermore, when carried close to the mother’s body, the baby can feel her skin, sense her presence, motions, and heartbeat — everything it loves and is familiar with. All those factors calm the newborn and make it feel safe and loved.
Helps the Mother
The constant close contact with the baby also helps the mother in numerous ways. It increases her oxytocin levels, leading to an overall more intimate mother-child bond, easier breastfeeding, and decreased chance of developing postpartum depression, which can also be helpful using CBD oil.
Helps the Father
Fathers can also suffer from postpartum depression — a fact that may surprise many. While the condition is more common among women, men are definitely not immune to it.
Establishing close contact with the baby can have a positive effect on the father’s emotional levels. It also allows them to participate in the childcare process, which doesn’t let them feel left out.
Promotes Healthy Development
Babies learn by observing their surroundings. But if you constantly leave your child at home, there is not a whole lot to observe, right? Therefore, take your newborn out with you!
And no, you don’t have to visit museums, attend theatre events, or opera plays… Your infant needs social interactions. Things, like going to the supermarket and seeing all the bright colors there or meeting your bubbly friends, will feed your baby’s curiosity and boost its social development.
Is It Safe?
The short answer is, yes! Babywearing is absolutely safe. It is even encouraged by a number of pediatricians.
However, as with virtually everything, there is a right and wrong way to go about it. The most important thing is to keep the baby secure without tightening the carrier too much.
Now, let’s take a look at the different types of carriers and how to use each of them.
Types of Baby Carriers
There are three common types of carriers to choose from — slings, wraps, and structured carriers. The latter are the ones we recommend, as they are the most convenient and easy to use.
Slings are the smallest of all carriers. Just put the sling on and place your infant inside the pocket, between your body and the fabric. Always make sure the bottom part of the sling is securely tucked. Move it accordingly so that your arms are free, and the baby is in a natural position.
Slings We Recommend
- Kangaroobaby Sling ($)
- Cuby Sling ($$)
- Hip Baby Wrap Ring Sling ($$$)
Wraps are another great option. Though they might look a tad daunting at first (because they are essentially a long piece of fabric), you’ll be amazed at how easy they are to put on once you get the hang of it.
Start by unwrapping the fabric and finding its center point. Most wraps will have a logo right in the middle, so you don’t have to guess. Wrap the fabric around your torso, making an “X” at the back. Then, put the two ends over your shoulders and make another “X” that goes through the loop at the front.
That is basically your carrier! Now, just wrap the hanging ends around your waist and tie them in a knot.
Once that’s done, pull the two “straps” that go over your shoulders to create the pocket for your baby. Unwrap some of the fabric and bring the baby to you. As the material of the wrap carrier is stretchy, you can manipulate it to go around your infant.
Take one of the straps and bring it around your child’s leg. Then, unfolding it completely, make sure it goes under your angel’s bottom and over its shoulder. Repeat with the other strap.
Now, bring the loop you made first up and around your baby. It will hold all the fabric in place. That’s it — you just made a baby carrier!
Wraps We Recommend
- StrollerTrotter Baby Wrap ($)
- Boba Wrap ($$)
- Moby Baby Wrap ($$$)
Structured carriers have a pocket for the infant to sit inside of, two straps for your arms, and a strap for around your body.
Always start by securing the carrier onto your body. The bottom strap goes around the waist, distributing any additional pressure to your hip bones as opposed to your torso. Once the carrier is set, unfasten/unclip the top and slowly guide your baby’s body into the pocket, making sure it sits comfortably. Then, fasten the top straps, and you’re all done.
Structured Carriers We Recommend
- Infantino Flip 4-in-1 ($)
- Baby Tula ($$)
- Ergobaby Carrier ($$$)
Babywearing has been around for hundreds of years, and there is a good reason for that. It’s safe , practical , cost-effective , and, most importantly, beneficial both for you and your infant.
We hope this article imparted some useful knowledge to you. Don’t forget — the more time you spend with your angel, the better. Therefore, consider trying a baby carrier, and you’ll see why so many people love it!