Whether you’re a new parent or you have children, it’s not secret that babies love to be held. The old rules of parenting require babies to learn to be on their own, set them on the floor, in a playpen, bouncy chair or swing and let them figure it out. Yet more and more parents are finding that this not only results in an unhappy child, it results in an unhappy parent. The solution, adopt a practice held around the world, and wear your baby.
What Is Baby Wearing?
Baby wearing is the practice of wearing or carrying a baby in a carrier – most often a sling. Baby wearing is part of the attachment parenting philosophy which believes that a strong emotional bond with parents during childhood is a precursor of secure, empathic relationships in adulthood. While baby wearing is a factor in the attachment parenting philosophy, parents don’t’ have to adopt the philosophy to practice or receive the benefits of baby wearing.
Benefits of Baby Wearing
· Babies who are worn cry less. Babies like to be held we know this to be true in our hearts, and it’s been proven. In 1986, a team of pediatricians in Montreal reported on a study of ninety-nine mother-infant pairs. The study concluded that babies that are worn cry 43% less than non-worn babies.
· Babies who are worn learn more. The theory is simple, when a baby is discontent, crying and fussing; they’re not paying attention to the world around them. However, when they’re content and feeling safe and secure, they are free to explore the world around them.
· Parents have their hands free. Baby wearing involves literally placing the baby in a sling or carrier and wearing them. It’s quite convenient because your hands are free to go about your daily business. You can cook, clean, email, shop, play with your other children, all the things you would normally do only now you have a baby strapped to your front.
· Babies are less likely to develop a flat spot on their skull. The pediatric association recommends placing them on their back to prevent SIDS; however this position often causes a flat spot on the back of their soft skulls. Babies, who are worn, are less likely to develop this flat spot because they’re sleeping in the comfort and safety of your sling or carrier.
· Mother’s are less likely to suffer from postpartum depression. It is theorized that contact with the baby increases a mother’s progesterone levels. This increase strengthens the bond between mother and baby.
· Finally, it’s much easier for moms who are breastfeeding to accomplish this task privately while wearing their baby It’s hands free breastfeeding which means multitasking moms are able to get more done during the day.
Baby wearing does require parents to pay attention to the safety of their baby while in the sling and to make sure the baby’s position supports proper spine development and an unobstructed airway. Baby wearing offers parents a bonding experience and happier babies. It doesn’t get better than that.