Babywearing is getting popular among new moms as it offers multiple benefits to both baby and mother.
It is almost impossible for moms to do domestic chores, work on your laptop or go shopping while carrying baby in hands.
If you are using a stroller to keep your baby by your side while doing some work, you have to keep an eye on your baby. The consistent watching won’t allow you to focus on your work.
Whereas babywearing keeps your hands free to do desired works more freely without much concern of carrying your baby safely.
If you are planning to buy a suitable baby carrier, then continue reading to know about the benefits of babywearing, along with important tips on babywearing.
11 Benefits of Babywearing
#1. Freedom and Convenience
Moms are the best multitaskers on earth. Especially, when you have a newborn baby, you always give priority to your toddler but you can’t compromise other chores.
Babywearing gives you the freedom to do whatever you want without worrying about your baby because the baby stays connected with you and gives you the convenience of doing your regular work. Your hands remain free to help you do multitasking more efficiently.
Frankly, it is nearly impossible to carry your baby all the time. Babywearing offers you the much-needed flexibility to do regular work along with the safety.
#2. Go Anywhere
Strollers are good but you have to engage your hands to push it wherever you go. If you are visiting crowded places like shopping malls and restaurants you might have to climb stairs and your stroller will become a headache in such situations.
Whereas babywearing gives you the freedom of mobility in all types of situations. Of course, you won’t have to worry about your stroller.
The best thing is that your baby remains closer to you to enjoy your playful company. You are free to go anywhere, climb stairs and go to the supermarket or commute in a tube without any worries.
#3. Strengthen Bonding
Your newborn needs your company to feel safe and babywearing gives you an opportunity to strengthen the natural bonding. Because it keeps your baby in regular physical touch. You can talk and play while your little angel is connected with your chest.
Being so close, you can easily feel the feeding and cleaning needs of your baby.
Not just moms, fathers, or grandparents can also use babywearing and strengthen bonds with the baby and make him/her feel safe.
#4. Reduces Postpartum Depression
Childbirth leads to postpartum depression due to lots of hormonal changes occuring in the body. Some physical issues like low thyroid levels, deprived sleep, use of alcohol or inadequate diet exaggerate the condition.
You may feel sad all the time, or even start crying without any reason. Heavy mood swings or low libido are also the symptoms of postnatal depression.
But there’s good news for you.
According to research, babywearing helps you come out of depression much faster. Your baby’s innocent face would give you extreme happiness and peace.
You can easily do light exercises to battle the depression as babywearing gives you the freedom from the worry of keeping an eye on your baby.
Babywearing offers you more comfort while going for a walk, as compared to pushing a heavy stroller.
#5. Good for Cognitive and Social Development
Babies are great observers, they observe you, your actions, your words, and keep on learning from whatever activity you do.
Parents who interact more with their babies or spend more time with their toddlers, those kids are more social than those kids who don’t spend enough time with their parents.
When you wear your baby, they are more closely attached to you and you can understand their cues and respond to them quickly. You can even touch them more frequently.
All these factors enhance not only their cognitive development but also their social behavioral growth.
#6. Easy Breastfeeding
If you are carrying a ring-sling or a wrap, you can easily set your baby in the right position to nurse your baby and the wrap would help you cover your child during the feed.
You might need some practice initially but once you have done it a couple of times, you can easily breastfeed your baby without worrying about the privacy in the public.
#7. Babywearing Can Help Fight Colic
Colics are painful for babies and make parents restless. But babywearing is a solution if your baby usually suffers from colic problems.
Since your toddler stays in an upright position while you wear her, this position helps the milk (food) go down the stomach and helps in reducing colic problems in babies. Upright position also helps babies pass the gas which is also troublesome to some infants.
Babywearing for longer times (at least 3-hours per day) gives a relief from colics and your baby gets a sound sleep in the night. Let’s discuss sleeping benefits in the next one.
#8. Your Baby Will Get Better Sleep
Babies always feel better when closer to their mother. When you babywear, your touch relaxes the baby and lets her sleep easily.
Adequate sleep is very important for the right growth of your baby because various mental and physical developments happen while your infant is sleeping.
Myelin (an essential layer of fat) grows around nerve fibers during sleep. Other cognitive and brain development activities happen in the brain when your kid catches Zz.
Not only neurodevelopment, but physical growth also accelerates during sleep, muscles receive more blood, tissue growth, and repair also happens when your baby is in sleep.
#9. Soothes Baby
As per the study published in Pediatric Journal, a 3-hour babywearing reduces infant crying to approx. 40% than if you don’t babywear your kid.
Babywearing lets your baby remain more in the quiet alert state. Quiet alert state helps infants observe her surroundings and get used to her environment.
Being close to you, not only your baby remains stress-free, but you too. Because your baby remains next to you always and you can see or feel her all the time.
#10. Prevents Flat Head Syndrome
Flathead syndrome is common in those infants that keep on lying on their back which results in a flatten head skull from the backside.
You can easily prevent flathead syndrome by avoiding long periods of lying on one side. The best way out is to babywear her with you.
Flathead syndrome is not dangerous and most of the babies recover as their skull grows. But flathead syndrome may also cause a stiff neck that may hinder a baby’s learning growth.
#11. Prohibit Others to Touch Your Baby
Generally, people love babies and want to touch the innocent creatures. These unwanted hands may bring germs to your baby.
On the other hand, if you have cocooned your baby in a baby wrap or baby-career, there are fewer chances that people will approach to touch your little cutie. Because it’s quite easier to approach a baby in a stroller than a baby stuck with the parent’s chest.
Baby Wearing Tips
#1. Follow T.I.C.K.S. Rule
Remember the TICKS rule to safely weary your baby. You can make a checklist of T.I.C.K.S. to make sure that you have correctly worn your baby.
- Tight – If you are using a baby carrier, you should fit it tightly to provide enough support to your baby for a safe ride.
If you are wearing a wrap, make sure you have pulled the fabric properly. Because, if you won’t pull the fabric tight enough, your baby can move and slide down, which may either affect her breathing or you may get unnecessary strain on your back.
- In view always – Always make sure that you can see your baby while wearing her. If you have to move the wrap aside to see your infant’s face, that means something is wrong there and your baby’s getting enough air.
- Close enough to kiss – Confirm that your baby’s head is near your chin, and you can easily kiss your baby by leaning your head. This position protects your baby’s head and neck as you can provide enough support when you wear her this way.
- Keep the chin off the chest – Keep checking that your baby’s chin is off her chest, because bending her neck may cause her difficulty in breathing.You can check the gap by placing your hand between her chin and chest. There should be a gap of at least 1 finger.
- Supported back – Your kid should be tucked up against you. She should never be swagging away or leaning on her back. It may cause breathing problems to the child. Make sure their chest and tummy is touching you and back is straight.
#2. Prevent Chances of Fall
Falling from a baby carrier can be risky to your child because a sudden fall can give neck injuries which can be dangerous especially for an infant below age 4 months.
So be careful while wearing your baby by following the above said TICKS rule.
Also, make sure you are bending on knees if you have to bend while carrying your baby, not at your hip. Because there are chances your kid may slide from the carrier or wrap.
#5. Support Hips
Hip Dysplasia is a common hip deformity problem in kids and you can avoid that with correct posture while wearing your baby. Make sure your baby’s hips are properly supported and legs are properly placed, not hanging down.
See the image below, you can understand the correct position of your baby while carrying her along to support your baby’s hips.
Also read – How to use a baby carrier
Best Ways To Babywearing
#1. Baby Wrap
You can use the most basic style of babywearing that is ‘Baby Wrap’. You just need a piece of cloth around 13 feet to 15 feet and you can DIY wrap at home.
A baby wrap is more convenient for small infants. You can use cotton, wool, or silk cloth depending on the weather. Cotton can be used in all seasons while wool will keep your baby warm in the winter season. Silk has cooling effects that make it comfortable baby wrap fabric for summers.
#2. Ring Sling
A ring sling is just like a baby wrap having two rings that help in wrapping your baby safely. You need not do any crazy knots to secure everything in place.
The rings make it easy to bind the wrap. Ring sling is the best choice if your baby is below 35 pounds.
A major benefit of the sling is that you can easily nurse your baby while wearing the sling.
Make sure your baby is rightly positioned and you have fit it tight for your baby’s safer ride.
#3. Pouch Sling
Pouch slings are ideal for a quick carry. A pouch sling is a tube shaped baby carrier made of fabric.
If you have to carry and put down your baby a lot then pouches are a good choice for you. Because pouch slings are very convenient to put in and out the baby without any adjustments.
Since there’s no option to make adjustments, it is only for a single caregiver. You can’t share your pouch sling with your partner or other person if there’s a size difference.
People who have back or shoulder problems should avoid slings, rather go for baby carriers that adjust the weight on both shoulders.
#4. Soft Structured Carrier
Soft structured carriers are a great choice for first time parents because you would be worried about your infant’s safety. You can ensure your baby’s safety by pulling and clicking the buckles on the carrier.
This gives you confidence in wearing a baby without any worry.
Secondly, these are manufactured with extra padding that gives cushion to your baby on the ride.
Since SSCs can carry weight up to 45 lbs, you can use it for many years.
#5. Meh Dai / Bei Dai Baby Carriers
Looks like soft structured carriers, Meh Dai carriers are more versatile than other carriers.
These are also called “Strap Carriers” because they have different straps and knots to adjust different bodies.
If you have different sized family members to carry the child or if you have to carry two kids of different sizes, then you need a Meh Dai baby carrier.
When To Stop Baby Wearing
Nobody knows your child better than you. So it’s totally up to your satisfaction to take the decision of discontinuing babywearing.
However, we recommend that you can continue babywearing up to the age of 3 years. You can keep your baby on your chest up to 1 year of age, after that you can start wearing your baby on the back. As your child grows, she would prefer to move freely rather than getting packed.
Another reason is that as your baby puts on more weight, it would be difficult for you to carry her along. The maximum comfortable weight of the baby for babywearing that experts consider is 40lbs, however that totally depends on your capacity and physical strength.
Babywearing is a bliss to newly mothers because it not only gives you freedom to work while carrying your baby, but it also deepens your bond with your baby.
Your baby feels more relaxed and enjoys your touch for more time than if you keep her on the bed or in a stroller.
But you should be a little cautious about the type of babywear. If you have to hike or go outside a lot with a baby, then go for a soft structured carrier. Or you need extra cushioning for your baby then also SSC is the best option.
If you need a quick carry then go for a ring sling, which is also comfortable if you have to breastfeed your baby in the sling.