Babies spend the first 9 months of their lives tucked snugly in the warm, dark, and safe environment of the womb. They become accustomed to their mother’s breathing, her heartbeat and her breathing patterns. As a baby makes the stressful journey from this safe haven to the outside world, it makes sense that midwives, doctors and nurses recommend that he or she is placed on mother’s chest for optimal bonding for both mum and baby. This bonding doesn’t end after the designated “skin-to-skin” contact session after the birth, which is why ‘baby wearing’ as often as possible is such an important part of a baby’s first year.
Baby wearing, or using a sling type device to “wear” the baby close to your body, has many benefits for both mum and baby. It allows the mother to get things done around the house since both hands are free, and allows the baby to spend the day in the spot that is most natural and comfortable for them. Here are some of the key benefits of baby wearing:
1. Baby Wearing Creates Smarter Babies
When held in your wrap the baby experiences “quiet alertness” and can see and take in the environment surrounding them. This is very important for a baby’s brain development. Dr. Nils Bergman has unearthed a great deal of information to support this during his research into sensory-supportive developmental care and the benefits of skin to skin contact in a child’s progress.
2. Baby Wearing Creates Happier Babies
Babies who are held more tend to cry less because they feel safe and secure. In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that baby wearing for 3 hours a day reduced infant crying by 43|% overall and 54% during evening hours
3. Baby Wearing Is Convenient
Once you have recovered from the birth and you are ready to get back in the swing of things, wearing your baby will allow you to move around and get things done that will get you back in the groove of normal life. Baby wearing allows you to do chores or care for older children without frequent interruptions from a crying baby. This can also help to reduce sibling rivalry.
When you’re ready to venture out of the house, wearing your baby gives you the freedom to go where baby buggies and prams can’t …… Going for a walk in the country, climbing stairs or navigating through a large crowd is really easy!
4. Baby Wearing Allows Others To Bond
Fathers, partners, siblings, grandparents, and other family members can bond with the baby by wearing them. Being this close to the baby allows people other than the mother to connect on a deep, emotional level with the baby.
5. Baby Wearing Creates Confident Parents
Wearing your baby allows you to be close enough to your child that you are able to distinguish their needs and wants much sooner than if you were just waiting to hear them cry from a swing across the room. Having your baby at your chest allows you to respond to whimpers, movements, and facial expressions in a timely manner, which will build your baby’s trust that his or her needs will always be met quickly. As this trust builds, so does the confidence in the parent, creating a cycle of trust and confidence that enables deep bonds to form from the start. Click
Always ensure you follow the simple rules: ‘TICKS’ to make sure you carry or ‘wear’ your baby safely
TIGHT – The KangaWrap should always be tight enough to hug your baby close to your body so that the baby does not slump down (which could hinder it’s breathing)
IN VIEW AT ALL TIMES – You should always be able to see your baby’s face by simply glancing down
CLOSE ENOUGH TO KISS – Your baby’s head should be as close to your chin as is comfortable. By tipping your head forward you should be able to kiss the top of your baby’s head or forehead
KEEP CHIN OFF CHEST – A baby should never be curled so his or her chin is forced onto the chest as this can restrict breathing. Ensure there is always space of at least a finger width under your baby’s chin at all times
SUPPORTED BACK – Your baby should be held comfortably close to the wearer so his or her back is well supported in it’s natural position and tummy and chest are against you.
If you’re interested in trying baby wearing, have a look at our soft, organic baby sling for newborns.