For those of you new to baby wearing, BW is a practice that has been around for ages. Almost all cultures believe that the most comfortable, safe, natural place for a new baby to be is snuggled next to its mother (or father). Being snuggled so close allows the warmth and noises of the womb to continue. Snuggled up high, a baby has a great view of the world, more opportunities to interact with people, and much more ability to communicate. This actually leads to happier babies.
There are so many beneifts to baby wearing.
Baby Wearing is great for you:
- Cook dinner during the “arsenic hour” and soothe your baby at the same time
- Do the gardening, chores, socialise, even dance, while providing a stimulating learning environment for your baby
- Breastfeed hands-free while on the phone or shopping
- Keep your baby close and happy while playing with your toddler
- Get some exercise (walking) while your baby sleeps
- No need to lug around an awkward, heavy car-seat, or battle getting a stroller into your car, onto a bus or up stairs.
It’s also great for your baby:
- Babies cry less. Research has shown that babies who are carried cry (on average) 43% less overall and 54% less during the evening hours (1). In cultures where babies are carried almost continuously, babies cry much less than those in non-carrying cultures (2-6).
- Good for baby’s mental development. Babies spend more time in a “quiet, alert state” when carried – the ideal state for learning. Their senses are stimulated while being carried (yet there is a place to retreat too). When carried, your baby sees the world from where you do, instead of the ceiling above his crib or people’s knees from a stroller. And the extra stimulation benefits brain development.
- Good for baby’s emotional development. Babies are quickly able to develop a sense of security and trust when they are carried. They are more likely to be securely attached to their care-giver/s (7) and often become independent at an earlier age (8).
- Good for baby’s physical development. By being so close to your body’s rhythms, your newborn “gets in rhythm” much more quickly. Your heartbeat, breathing, voice and warmth are all familiar. Research has shown how this helps newborns (especially premature babies) to adapt to life outside the womb (9).
- Good for babies whose mums are depressed. Babies who are not held need more verbal interaction and eye contact, just to be reassured that you’re there. Carrying your baby is a great way to connect with her (and provide stimulation too) without the “burden” of having to interact (10). Of course your baby is “right there” to enjoy whenever you feel like snuggling, kissing or talking.
I am just in love with our Moby wrap that a dear bought for us while I was pregnant. I can’t get over how good it feels to have my son that close to me and know that he enjoys it also. Even my husband enjoys wrapping our baby up and snuggling him nice and close.
I just want to point out that not only is he wearing our baby, skin-to-skin, but he is also in the kitchen helping to cook up some breakfast. I love this man!