"Why would you want to wear your child?"
"Does it hurt the baby?"
"What are the benefits to doing this?"
These are just a few of the questions moms who wear their babies hear almost every day.
In the last few years a new trend in parenting styles has emerged. Attachment parenting has become all the rage in circles of moms all over the world. From cloth diapering to extended breastfeeding these "crunchy moms" are showing their culture everywhere. One particular method of attachment parenting is babywearing and it has exploded in America.
If you just look around you will probably see one parent wearing their child. In fact there is so many people taking this up that there are baby-wearing chapters all over the country and probably one in your hometown. Baby-wearing is a norm in some societies and cultures. Some cultures there is not another method of transporting your child and in fact it may be the only way you can survive.
Babywearing can potentially be the difference between life and death for not only you, but your baby as well. Babywearing is not only healthy for the child, but also for you as the parent and caregiver. Studies show how babywearing benefits outweigh the cultural norms, and that the good reasons to wear outweigh the bad and the cost to do it.
Even though it is becoming very normal in our society it is still looked down upon, as some do not understand the benefits to doing it. There are several key reasons why you should wear your baby:
8 The th Trimester is Rough
Picture this, you are lying in this dark room all comfy and then BAM suddenly you are yanked into this cold bright room and have no idea what to do. This is birth, and your child is terrified and has no idea how to handle it. All he wants is to be in your arms warm and eat all the time. That’s it.
They're scared and as parents it's our job to help create a peaceful and easy environment for them to live in. Having a newborn can be hard on everyone involved. As a mom you are going through a thousand emotions while establishing a routine and trying to function on a miniscule amount of sleep.
As a dad you are trying to help your partner while working and trying to create this connection with this infant. Parenting is hard there is no doubt about it.
This Is a Natural Way to Nurture Your Child
The fourth trimester is defined as the first three months in a baby's life. In these months all they want to do is be snuggled with mom or dad and have food readily available to them. Babywearing accomplishes this. With whatever your carrier of choice is, having your baby up close against your chest is comforting to the infant.
Babywearing relaxes your child and calms them. Creating a womb like environment it gives your baby a feeling that they are back there. Strapped to your chest it mimics it and the familiar feelings of walking and hearing you speak is soothing to them.
It also allows for you to interact with other children if you have it during this time. Keeps the baby happy and the toddlers at peace because you can play with them!
Encourage a Stronger Connection
If you as a parent can get through the first three months you will feel like you can tackle anything. Parents will tell you after the fourth trimester is over, it will get a bit easier. Your baby will start to connect with you, start cooing, and start rolling around.
The fourth trimester may feel never ending but you will look back and realize how short of a time it actually was. Babywearing will help you get through that short time period; it can make your life somewhat easier.
7 Premature Babies Benefit from Kangaroo Care
Kangaroo care is growing in Neonatal units all across our country. Doctors are now advising that parents of babies born prematurely take up kangaroo care to help their newborn.
Kangaroo care is when the baby is placed directly on the chest of the parent or loved one. This helps them regulate their body temperature and establish healthy breathing pattern. This not only allows the mom to cuddle but dad and grandparents to feel apart of the newborn experience even inside the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Babywearing can help usher this along. With a woven or knit wrap it is simple to wrap up these babies and wear them against your skin. This provides comfort to the infants and allows parents and loved ones to help be apart of their children’s recovery process.
Being Close to You Makes Your Baby Feel Safe
Babywearing allows your infant to relax and calm down leaving them to be able to grow and develop. Having a baby in the NICU can be a stressful time for parents. Having to divide your time between children, whether it be with multiples or having big kids at home, can be taxing on parents.
This can give you the opportunity to wear one or two small babies with certain carriers and holds. If you have multiples they're used to being up close with one another inside the womb and being able to translate that by babywearing can be comforting to them.
Babywearing can benefit all caregivers involved. Health care professionals are encouraged to recommend kangaroo care not only to premature infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, but to all infants. Kangaroo care helps transition these infants from the comfort of the womb to being able to enjoy the outside world.
The transition takes time, but babywearing can make it an easy one. Imagine going through a huge process just minutes to hours after birth. Birth is traumatic for an infant and being able to be cuddled against their mom’s chest makes this a little less stressful than it has to be.
6 Skin to Skin Encourages Milk Production
For some moms breastfeeding can be a stressful experience. Worrying about weight gaining and milk production is the last thing a new, sleep deprived mom needs to think about. There are several different methods you can try to usher in your milk supply, a tried and true way is by having skin to skin time with your baby.
By stripping off the clothes that form a barrier between you and your child (you can keep a diaper on to avoid some messes!) and placing them on your chest this stimulates hormones in you and helps the colostrum, the thick liquid that comes in before your actual milk supply start up.
Hospitals all over the country are now implementing skin to skin not only in the delivery room but in the c-section room as well. If you're comfortable you can bring your carrier of choice to the hospital and wrap up your baby skin to skin almost immediately after birth.
Skin to Skin Provides Safety and Comfort
For c-section moms it may be a week or two before you feel up to baby-wearing. Nursing is not only a great benefit to babies but to mom as well, releasing hormones that are needed to recover from birth. Babywearing can help those hormones release faster and help you start feeling your old self sooner.
Babywearing can greatly improve your nursing relationship with your infant. Being up close to the girls and having them almost readily available in a sling can keep a steady milk supply up. The best way to keep up a milk supply is to let your infant constantly have access. This may seem torturous to some, especially if you have sore nipples or have to use a shield.
Even if you don't feel comfortable nursing in a sling (it's possible) just having your infant against your chest can be a great benefit as well. If you do take the plunge and nurse while wearing your baby, there's a trial and error phase; it can eventually become hands free providing you freedom to do other things throughout the day.
5 Baby-Wear Your Colicky Baby
If you've never experienced a colic baby, count your blessings. The evenings that come with colic can leave parents feeling helpless and frustrated. Colic is defined as an intense, inconsolable crying at a predictable period of time, usually in the evenings. It can be hard for a parent when you have exhausted all your options and still have no idea what is wrong.
The good news is that colic usually resolves itself around the third month of the baby’s life. There are things that you can do to help ease the pain of colic from dancing to rubbing the tummy to massages. Babywearing is one helpful solution that may benefit your baby during this fussy period.
Babywearing may not cure all the problems for colic, but it may help get you through a few hours of it. Wearing the baby allows them to relax and this may help open up and let gas that may be trapped be expelled thus causing your infant to start to feel better.
Help Your Colicky Baby Break Up Their Gas
If your infant is just nonstop crying, put them in a sling and take a walk outside. There is something about being outdoors that can instantly calm your baby. Just going outside can be a game changer for you and your baby. It can relax you and give you a break so that you can be able to continue to care for your child.
Sometimes moms need that break, and if you can't get away from your infant, wearing them while they sleep or look around can be a good substitute. We've all experienced inconsolable crying at one point or another and some parents would have loved to know about babywearing.
There are times when walking through out stores that you'll hear, "I wish they had those when I had babies, my kids would've never cried." It's true, babywearing may not clear up all colic, but it can make it manageable and bearable.
4 Babywearing Combats Reflux
Reflux is a tricky thing in infants. It can drive you crazy and drive your baby crazy as well. They're uncomfortable from tummy aches and you feel like they aren't getting enough nutrition because they're constantly spitting up all the time.
Reflux is when some of the food that they've eaten is spit up, your child’s pediatrician usually diagnoses this. There are 2 kinds of reflux; the spitting kind and the silent reflux. Both are equally difficult to handle as a parent, you get used to always having ten pairs of clothes for both you and your baby.
The good news is that if your child has been diagnosed, that they will most likely outgrow it. Some outgrow it when they start solids, others may be officially reflux free around eighteen months. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, even if you don't see it yet.
Help Your Little One Digest Safely and Naturally
Babywearing keeps your infant in the upright position, which is the optimal position for helping the stomach settle its contents and reduce the chances of spitting up. Most doctors recommend babies sit up for twenty to thirty minutes after a feeding to allow all the contents to settle and avoid jostling them around.
This puts them in that position and allows you to have your hands free so you can eat dinner as well!
As a caregiver you get used to being spit up on throughout the first year of your babies life. Reflux is ten times worse because the spit up is in such great quantity. You'll get used to carrying around ten burp clothes in your diaper bag and having your schedule around the medication dosage times.
Babywearing won't change the necessity of burp cloths or medicine, but it can let your infant keep their food in their stomachs and relaxing them helping them to rest and not cry.
3 Lowers the Risk of Postpartum Depression
Babywearing can help you lower your risk of experiencing postpartum depression. By strapping your child on your chest you may instantly feel a sigh of relief when your baby drifts off to sleep with your steps or when you can sip a cup of coffee without being interrupted by crying.
Parenting is hard, but babywearing makes it a little easier. Having your baby close to you releases hormones that can calm you down and reduce stress. Wearing your baby and going on a walk around the block can greatly help reduce depression symptoms.
If you have a toddler and an infant, you can tandem wear. By strapping your big kid to your back and your infant to your chest , you can get you out of the house without having to chase a screaming child down the road. This also reduces your stress ,especially if the thought of going out triggers anxiety for you.
Keeping Your Baby Close Can Increase the Bond You Feel for Them
There's a way to do it with as little meltdowns as possible!
Babywearing reduces your risk of getting Post Partum Depression, it doesn't eliminate it. As a caregiver you need to be able to recognize the signs in you and your partner. Post partum depression can affect dads too because they can be just as overwhelmed. By babywearing it helps you feel a little more normal and free thus reducing your risk.
2 You Have Both Hands Free
You're used to doing everything with two hands, and then suddenly one is taken from you because it's being used to hold a baby! Cooking, cleaning, putting your makeup on all become difficult, especially if your baby screams when you put them down.
With babywearing this becomes a tad easier. Having a sling to slide your baby into giving you both hands again not only provides comfort to your shoulders, but also helps you feel a little more like yourself.
Discovering babywearing it is like discovering another dimension that holds all the secrets to parenting. You suddenly realize that your arms can get a break during the day, you can cook dinner before your partner gets home, have makeup on again, and make other moms jealous that you look like you have it all together.
Keep Your Baby Close and Live Your Life
They even make waterproof slings so if you choose to take a bath with the baby or go swimming, you can enjoy these activities again. Going to the zoo with your older children just got easier once you purchase your first carrier, this eliminates the need for a huge stroller that just gets in the way.
Going for walks while wearing your older children can be not only be fun, but a work out. You automatically have weights strapped to you as you walk throughout your neighborhood. It gives you a great core workout.
Beware of hair pulling, you have been warned! Besides that, your child thinks it's a special treat to be on Mom or Dad's back walking around. People may stop and stare, but that's because they haven't seen anything as awesome as what you're doing before.
Having both hands free can make mom feel like she was pre baby. Having a baby is life changing and finding a new routine is key. Babywearing can help you keep as close of a routine as you had before giving birth.
1 Form Friendships Within the Babywearing Community
This one might be silly, but it's true. Because babywearing is such a fast growing field in parenting, there are now social media pages, local chapters, help sites that all can be useful.
The deeper you get into babywearing the more you find yourself talking with moms out there who have the same interests as you and you start to form friendships. Anyone who is head deep into babwearing can tell you, it becomes an addiction. You'll suddenly find the carrier and company you love the most and then want a hundred of them.
There are local chapters of Babywearing International that can connect you with local moms who also baby-wear. These chapters may have lending libraries that can allow you to try different types of wraps, soft structured carriers, and slings. This will help you figure out what type is best suited for you and your baby.
Bond with Those Who Babywear
This will also let you connect with ladies who have been doing this for years. They can help you get your form right and make sure that your baby is safe and secure inside the sling.
you can find a local chapter near you and get connected.
Babywearing can be a life-changing thing. Diving into this community can bring you in contact with women locally and all over the world that you can rely on to be there for you. Not only does it help your infant, babywearing can help make your daily activities easier and help you become less stressed.