Babywearing has always been practiced in eastern cultures and across the world from Africa to Mexico for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years. Women used to carry their babies onto their back or at the front on their tummy while caring for siblings or working. From an evolutionary perspective, humans are designed to be “carrying” species—meaning we have always kept our babies close, taking them along to forage for food for instance.
Nowadays we observe the trend to increase in western countries with mothers carrying their babies in slings, wrapped around their back and waste. Nowadays, options are almost limitless from the traditional kangaroo, to fancier and brighter coloured or printed backpack-like carriers to wraps and slings.
Beyond its fashionable and practical side of this modern yet ancient technique, babywearing can make new mom’s life much easier in the fourth trimester and further.
By easing the every day’s life of a new mom, it can also help to cope with motherhood and the changes it involves for the mothers suffering from postpartumdepression. Not to mention that wearing a baby make it easier to go about other activities and daily duties having both arms and hands free as well as soothing a grumpy baby who just want to be held.
A mom can for instance cook, eat, get some work done on her laptop, read a book to an older sibling, or even go out for a walk without the need to put her baby down and waking her/him up. Opting for the baby wearing lifestyle will also become such a time-saver with the logistics and all it involves without the chore to have to fold and unfold heavy strollers. The possibilities of life improvement are almost endless.
It is good to know for new parents that a simple act just like holding a baby or ‘wearing babies’ are well- known to strengthen the mother and baby’s bond and connection with one another. This can be a great early first step toward developing a solid and healthy relationship with a child based on trust and love. Being close to and touched by her baby, a mother as well as her child will both produce more oxytocin. Oxytocin being that amazing love hormone that contributes to maintain and/or increase milk production while helping the uterus contract back to its original size soon after birth.
It is also possible to breastfeed while having a baby in a sling or any other carrier. It will however depends on the type used and how is the baby positioned inside, towards or outwards the carrier’s tummy for instance. Another time-saver that can make it easier to feed baby on the go or to practice and favour demand-feeding.
It can also reduce crying and fussing helping the mother to comfort and soothe her baby. This has been observed when comparing babies carried by their mothers and those who weren’t. Additionally, carrying babies for 3 hours a day was seen to reduce crying and fussing by up to 51 percent during the evening hours
It also provides additional health benefits with the growing evidence about skin-to-skin contact and what it can do to babies, especially those born prematurely. Premature babies may indeed gain amazing benefits from a wearing practice called kangaroo care or being held in an age appropriate sling. Indeed, wearing baby close, particularly with a special carrier designed for skin-to-skin contact, may help regulate baby’s heartbeat, temperature, and breathing patterns. Definitely a must-try for premature babies while they’re in the neonatal intensive care unit and even when released to go home.
By being loser and more available to be touched, looked at or talked to it build strong foundation to learn to know a baby’s cues it gives more confidence to a mother to care for the baby and notice certain movements or noises that help to understand whether a baby is tired, hungry, or needs a diaper change. This connection might also be extended to any other family member such as the father, older siblings and even the nanny. This deep connection built throughout the years from Birth to toddlerhood might also favour the parent-children bond into teen years and adulthood as well!
About the Author:
Anne, Bloom Your Birth founder, is a happy mother of 3 children and a passionate advocate of hypnobirthing and decided to share it with all women willing to take control over their pregnancy and birth. This is when she founded Bloom your Birth. To educate, enrich, and empower future parents. Check our partners page for more