It has been a global trending sensation about the truths on Babywearing. You will no longer be surprised to see many new parents around you in a nearby shopping mall or even on the streets or at the neighborhood parks babywearing their children.
Babywearing is the practice of wearing an infant or toddler using a sling or carrier. It has been practiced worldwide for centuries. Even with a long history many caregivers are hesitant to try babywearing due to views of ‘spoiling’ and concerns of development stunting fears held by some. This article is dedicated to easing fears that prevent caregivers from taking advantage from these products and the freedom to move as they wish.
The age-old practice of babywearing frees up the caregiver’s arms to perform tasks around the home and in the community while still being attentive to the infant. This practice decreases crying while increasing the caregiver’s ability to determine the baby’s expressed needs. Wearing a child with correct body mechanics, for the wearer and the child, is safe and beneficial for all involved.
Far from the once rare sighting, Babywearing has come back into mainstream culture after many years of absence. Although still greatly outnumbered in use, it’s seen less as a hippy practice and more accepted than ever before.
The truth about babywearing however, is far different from these negative concerns. There is much evidence to show the vast benefits Babywearing has on, not only the child, but also the wearer.
1. It builds bonds & it’s great exercise!
The production of happy hormones such as oxytocin help to build a secure bond and keeps the child in a calm alert state. There is no denying that putting an extra weight on your body is going to mean you work harder to move. working harder = most calories used! Great news all round. The act of carrying also encourages a good posture for the wearer and helps to build up our core muscles helping them to gain strength.
2. It helps with Reflux and Colic
The first few months of a baby’s life are challenging for all parents as we have mentioned in last week’s article. Most have experienced Reflux or Colic at some point. Whether it be hours of crying, or feeling at a loss how to help a distressed infant. Babywearing can help reduce the symptoms of both Reflux and Colic. You can read more about Benefits of Babywearing & Reflux.
3. It makes places accessible, plus, it’s cheaper than a pram/stroller
It’s a no-brainer in terms of financial cost. As a carrier is substantially less to purchase than a pram/stroller. The average cost of a pram/stroller is easily RM1,000 compared to RM500 for a carrier. That’s a huge saving! It even makes places accessible like stairs, hills or narrow shop doors that are difficult to navigate with a pram/stroller. They are heavier to learn lift, harder to maneuver and can cause strain when pushing. Whereas a sling is part of the body and legs can pretty much get you anywhere. No more waiting for the lifts in a crowded mall to reach you to get you to different levels!
4. Helps with breastfeeding
Breastfeeding a new baby, even when you are experienced with your other children, still has a learning curve as both mum and baby get to know each other, because every baby is different. A sling or proper carrier can help that by facilitating lots of Oxytocin production and the ability to read feeding cues faster. You can read more about Breastfeeding while Babywearing here.
5. It reduces crying in infants
Babies were made to be held. Their immature nature and needing us to keep them alive means that evolution programmed them to cry whenever they have an unmet need. By wearing a child in a sling you are better equipped to meet these needs faster. Using a carrier can reduce crying by up to 43% according to some studies. That’s almost half!
6. Helps with a child’s development both motor and mental
A newborn experience the world though it’s body. As it grows and is worn in a sling the gentle movements of the wearer fire the neurons in the brain creating paths to join between all the parts of the infant’s brain. This allows the infant to begin to learn about the world around them. As they grow the interaction between them and the wearer and the wearer and the world helps them to learn about communication amongst many other learning opportunities. The micro movements the child’s muscles have to do in order to maintain their supported position in the carrier helps to not only build muscles strength. It also helps to promote muscle memory and the ability to hone skills such as coordination in left and right side but also upper and lower limbs.
7. It helps with better social outcomes & helps with learning
Studies show that a child who has a secure attachment to a caregiver is more likely do better in life than one that has an insecure attachment. Education, relationships and employment all are positively affected when an infant has grown up with a secure bond with an adult. Within the calm alert state, a child can begin to engage in the world and learn from what it sees, feels and hears.
8. It is beneficial for women with PND (Post-Natal Depression) & it is empowering too
Women with postnatal depression often feel that the bond between themselves and their child is missing. Or that they are not coping as the feel they should be. Whilst we know that they are doing a great job, a carrier can help to increase the oxytocin levels in the women to help combat any depression. Oxytocin (also known as the love hormone) is the released during physical contact, such as a touch or hug. A carrier gives constant physical contact between mother and child giving a continuous stream of Oxytocin into the body. Reducing signs of depression and helping the mother to relax when looking after her infant’s needs. And being able to carry on with life whilst looking after a baby can empower a person and help them to feel more competent; When perhaps they are feeling more vulnerable.
9. It helps reduce the chances of flat head syndrome also known as “Plagiocephaly”
“Plagiocephaly” and the occurrence of this has increased substantially over the past 50 years as we have been conditioned to believe an infant need to be placed in a crib, chair or bouncer instead of held in arms. The outcome for this is sadly that the soft bones of a skull are put under positional pressure and mould flat over time. The soft material of a carrier supports the skull without causing any malformation of the skull. The longer length of time the child spends in a carrier versus cribs, chair or bouncer will reduce the chances of the skull moulding flat.
10. It gives you your hands back
When a child is safely snuggled in a sling, you have your hands back to get on with life, whether that be looking after other children or going shopping.
And finally, disability doesn’t stop you carrying your child! A physical disability can be a barrier to pushing a pram/stroller, not to say that it can’t be done, but it just makes it harder. A carrier however in most cases helps a less able-bodied person to look after a child’s needs in a more empowering manner whilst allowing them to look after their own needs. For example, using a wheelchair and pushing a pram/stroller can be a challenge, usually needing another person to help. A carrier reduces this by enabling the wheelchair user to use their free hands to maneuver their chair whilst the child is safe in a sling snugged closely around their body. Whatever the disability, be it a missing limb or blindness, a sling can help overcome any difficulties using a pram/stroller could create.
Thanks to the tireless work of babywearing educators around the world more and more evidence is coming forward to support just how beneficial babywearing is.
More info on Babywearing Gears available today :
If you would like to babywear your baby and keep them safe and comfortable with you at all times but don’t know how or what to invest in, you can seek advice from our very own baby wearing expert, Mummy Charmaine, on Baby Wearing Advises, Tips & Tricks. If you purchase any babywearing gears from our store at UnisonCA, you are also entitled to a FREE 1on1 babywearing consultation!
For any further enquiries, please feel free to be in touch with us at:
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