Touch is one of the most powerful senses infants have. They thrive on it. The sense of touch is soothing, helps infants understand their surroundings, and lets them know that they are loved… It’s no wonder babies love to be held.
Unfortunately, no matter how much you want to hold your baby all day long, sometimes, it’s just not possible. You may have other children, have chores that need to be attended to, or you just want to have the use of both of your hands. Well, you don’t have to put your baby down when you need both hands. Thanks to babywearing, you can keep your little one snuggled up close to you, while you take care of whatever it is that you need to do.
According to Dr. William Penton Sears, a leading American pediatrician, there are tons of benefits associated with babywearing; both for babies and their caregivers. As a former babywearer myself, I can attest to the wonderful benefits of the practice of wearing your baby; and here are 10 great reasons, from Dr. Sears, various other medical professionals, and tons of baby caregivers around the world – including me!
If you want your baby to cry less, wear him! A study that was published in the journal Pediatrics, an international, peer-reviewed journal, reports that babies who are worn for at least three hours a day were less inclined to cry; in fact, babywearing reduced crying by 43% overall, and 54% during the evening.
Why the reduced crying? Because babies like to be held (see above,) and when they are worn, they're close to their caregiver, which not only makes them feel more comfortable; it makes them forget to fuss.
Not only do babies find babywearing comforting, but so do parents. Speaking from my own experience, I felt much more comfortable tending to the things that I had to tend to when I was wearing my baby, then when I put him down.
Why? Because it gives you peace of mind. When your baby is close to you, you can be sure that all of his needs are met, and that he is happy, safe, and secure. When your baby is away from you, even if it’s just one room away, you can’t help but feel worried and panic-stricken (at least that’s how I felt!)
Believe it or not, babies who are worn learn more than babies who are not. Because babies who are worn cry less and are less fussier than those who are not worn, they are more alert and focused on their environment. When a baby is content, alert and focused, she can concentrate on interacting with the person who is wearing her, and anyone else she comes into contact with, as well as her entire surroundings. This means that your baby may develop visual and auditory skills quicker than she would if you didn’t wear her. Pretty neat!
Just like adults, babies can suffer from reflux. Their tiny little digestive tracts aren’t fully developed, which can cause food and acid in their stomachs to move back up into their esophagus. Babies with reflux spit up a lot, can develop a cough, and may be generally uncomfortable, which can lead to incessant crying, or colic.
Babywearing can reduce colic. How? Because when a baby is held in the upright position, the food and stomach acid is less likely to travel back up to the esophagus. If your baby spits up a lot or has been diagnosed with reflux, trying wearing him. I saw a marked reduction my son’s spit up when I wore him.
If you are breastfeeding, babywearing can make it easier to breastfeed, especially when you are out and about. There are many baby wraps on the market that are designed for you to carry your baby in “breastfeeding holds.” This hold is easy to achieve, and allows you to feed your little one, no matter where you are, without having to stop what you’re doing, or worry about being exposed.
Babywearing is a great way for all caregivers to bond with baby! Dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings (as long as they’re old enough,) and anyone else who wants to build a stronger bond with baby can do so through babywearing. It really is a wonderful way for baby’s to develop a sense of trust and a security with whomever is wearing them.
Babywearing really is so convenient. Sure, strollers are handy, but what happens when baby starts to fuss? You have to carry him while also pushing the stroller. Wearing your baby will not only keep him – and you – happy, but it will also allow you to use both of your hands, while still keeping your little one close to you.
Babywearing isn’t just for infants; toddlers can be worn, too! Many slings carry up to 35, and even 40 pounds! That means that you can easily carry your little one until she is 2-, 3, or even 4-years old!
Toddlers love to be carried. Just like babies, toddlers feel secure when they’re close to their caregivers, and most slings and wraps distribute weight through the torso, so you don’t have to worry about being uncomfortable while you’re carrying the extra weight.
Don’t have time to get to the gym? No worries! Just wear your baby and you’ll be in shape in no time! Think of your baby as a super cute weight that you get to carry around, kiss, and snuggle with. Go for a brisk walk while wearing him, and you’ll definitely get in a great workout!
Babywearing is just fun, plain and simple. It’s way more fun than pushing a stroller; and there’s nothing better than being able to have your little one close to you, while the two of you develop a lasting bond.