My babywearing journey started in 2009 when I was 6 months pregnant. I started researching about types of ergonomic carriers (which were not available in India that time) After going through endless options, I finally made a ring sling and that is when my babywearing adventure began. I got lot of curious stares and appreciative gestures. I wore my daughter extensively from the time she was 9 days old until she was 5.5 years. But babywearing is not a new concept as people popularly believe. Babywearing has been around since ancient civilization. Caregivers carried the little ones close to keep them safe, content and fulfill their needs.
So is babywearing limited to just this or is there something more to it? Keep reading to know more about why Moms, Dads, Caregivers and Extended family members world over are getting back to the practice of Babywearing.
So What is Babywearing?
In simple terms, Babywearing is carrying your baby in a long piece of cloth tied to your body or a sling or any other form of carrier. It keeps the baby content and helps build a strong bond between the baby and the mother/caregiver.
What are the Benefits of Babywearing?
Apart from hands-free convenience, well designed baby carriers serve a greater purpose.
- Easing in the fourth trimester: “Babywearing provides a gentle way of transition from the calm environmnt of the womb to that of the outside world. Babies continue to be rocked by their mothers’ movements and listen to their mothers’ heart beats. This helps them regulate their own systems” La Leche League
- Carried babies are happier: Did you know that carried babies are relaxed, calmer and happier? Closeness to the mother helps calm the little one.
- Parent-child bonding: Babywearing helps caregiver/mother to be aware of the baby’s needs and when these are fulfilled, this helps baby to develop trust with the caregiver, be a secure and confident person as he/she grows up.
- Aids digestion: Have you heard about gravity assisted positioning for digestion? Holding baby for 30 to 40 minutes in upright position eases the discomfort of reflux and aids digestion and reduces colic, which reduces crying in babies.
- Peaceful sleep: Carried babies have an organized sleep cycle.
- Supports baby’s positioning: Ergonomic baby carrier supports a baby’s appropriate development of head, spine and hips when carried in positions recommended. Premature babies also benefit greatly. When held close they gain weight faster and become healthier sooner. Baby wearing also decreases the risks of positional plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, in babies which can be caused by lying flat on their back for extended periods of time.
- Smart babies: Do you know that the baby’s brain is still developing even after the baby is born? Carried babies are in a quiet alert state which is the optimal state for learning, resulting in enhanced visual, auditory and speech development, which in turn makes synaptic connections in the brain. This aids brain stimulation and development long after birth.
Now let’s talk about benefits for the mother.
- Back to being Fit: Frequent carrying can improve core muscles which in turn aids in better posture. Increased mobility also burns more calories.
- Breastfeeding: Moms who routinely babywear are twice likely to breastfeed following baby’s early cues. This leads to release of Oxytocin which is also known as the feel good hormone. Oxytocin, also known for its anti anxiety effect, greatly reduces occurrence of PPD (post partum depression).
Nothing compares to the sweet smell of a newborn baby resting against your chest. It is a bliss to hold and cuddle a newborn squishy.
So spread the Babywearing Love!!!
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