Is babywearing good ?

So you have heard about babywearing ? Yes !

You are motivated about trying babywearing ? Yeepee !

However, you are still wondering if it is really good for you and your baby ?

Well, the answer to this question is YES and a big one. How do I know ? Actually there are 2 sources of information :

- one comes from all the babywearers themselves. Lots of them are so happy about their babywearing experience that they share it on numerous forums over the internet. Maybe it is even the way you have discovered about babywearing and baby slings ?

- the other source is actually a growing number of scientific researches showing the positive impact of babywearing.

 

I have sum up all the good reasons to carry your baby in 2 categories : the reasons why it is good for baby, and the ones why it is good for the babywearer.

 

First of all, babywearing and baby slings are good for babies.

 

  • Babies cry less.

Lots of parents babywearers would reckon that their baby cries very little. Some parents would even use the to comfort a crying baby. A few years ago, a study in the United States proved them right. The experimentation showed that in the first 3 months on their life on average babies who were worn were crying 43% less than babies who are carried in a pushchair during the a whole day and 51% less during the evening hours (from 4PM to midnight). In cultures where babies are carried almost continuously, babies cry much less than those in non-carrying cultures.

Sources : “Increased carrying reduces infant crying: a randomized controlled trial” (1986) by UA Hunziker and RG Barr.

 

  • Babies spine development is better respected.

A baby’s spine develops over the first year of its life changing from a complete curve to a straighter spine with secondary curves. Each baby spine curve is different from one another and the same for the pce of change. Carrying a baby in a sling allows for the spine to curve and evolve naturally and without constraint.

 
  • Babies’s hips development is preserved.

The baby’s hips are developing from cartilage to bone over the first year of the baby’s life. The hip socket is not fully formed until around age 2.  When carried in a sling, babies are sitting with their knees above their bottom. This “frog-like” position (instead of having legs dangling out from the carrier) ensures that leg bones are well positioned into the hip socket. NHS hospitals have recently started to recommend carrying babies suffering from congenital hip dysplasia in a sling.

 

  • Babies develop a more secure attachment to their mother.

A study in the US showed that babies were significantly more securely attached to their mother when carried in a soft structured carrier compared to a pushchair.

Source : Does infant carrying promote attachment? An experimental study of the effects of increased physical contact on the development of attachment. (1990) by Anisfeld.

 

  • Baby grows faster and healthier.

Again, it is well documented that low-birth-weight and premature babies grow faster and healthier when carried 24/7 by their mother or father compared to being left in an incubator. The Kangaroo Mother Care, as this technique is called, is now widely recognised and recommended by the World Health Organisation.

 

  • Good for baby's mental development.

When carried, baby can fully participate your everyday life. She remains in a quiet and alert state looking at the world from your point of view and not from knee’s height when in a pushchair or the ceiling when in a crib. When baby has had enough she can safely snuggle against your chest end retreat securely.

 

  • Good for baby's emotional development.

Babies who are carried against their mother or father develop a very strong sense of security.  They often become independent at an earlier age.

 

And secondly, carrying baby in a baby sling or carrier is good for the babywearer.

 
  • Babywearing leaves you free-hands.

When baby enters your life, you will find it hard to manage to do even the simplest tasks. As wearing your baby leaves your hands free, , it turns much easier to cook, to shop, to do gardening, to vacuum clean, etc.

 

  • It takes much less space and weights much less than a pushchair or a buggy.

Babywearing is really the ideal solution when using public transport. You will never have to ask yourself if the next bus will have a space for your buggy or if there will be someone to help you when climbing the stairs of the underground station.  And for those living in small spaces, babywearing avoids the problematic storing of a bulky pram in your flat.

 

  • A baby carrier is by essence “all terrains”.

When carrying your baby, you are always able to go wherever you want. No door is too narrow, no ground is too steep or too bumpy. You can really enjoy walking around the city or countryside without any worry.

 

  • Mothers will recover faster from birth and pregnancy.

Babywearing is a gentle and natural way to tonify the pelvic floor and the abdominal waist without putting undue strain on your abs.

 

  • It allows discreet breastfeeding on the go.

 

  • It is easier to answer baby’s needs.

Carrying baby close to you not only help you to see immediately when baby needs you but also enables the carrier to have a better understanding of baby’s needs.

 

  • It is a cheaper option to carry baby.

A baby sling or soft structured carrier is only a fraction of the price of a pushchair or a pram and costs much less to maintain.