Wikipedia Defines:- Babywearing is the practice of wearing or carrying baby in a sling or in another form of carrier. Babywearing has been practiced for centuries around the world. In the industrialized world, babywearing has gained popularity in recent decades, partly under influence or advocates of attachment parenting. Babywearing is a form of baby transport.
Babywearing can be a fabulous experience for baby and the carrier. Our children are only babies for such a short amount of time, so why not enjoy every single moment by having them close to you!
If you have visited us because you are interested in carrying your baby please refer to the tabs or contact me via email or facebook!
Babywearing gives you the opportunity to have access to both hands whilst your baby is safely tucked up close to you or another caregiver. It means there are no bulky strollers to cart around or fit through shop doors and hardly requires any preparation – settle baby and walk out the door! You can walk on any terrain – sand, grass, dirt or around the shops without trouble and possibly for longer periods of time than a baby or child may be happy to sit in a pram.
A Sling, wrap or carrier also fits quite easily into a changing bag and is light to carry around. They will easily fit in a pram basket so you can use both methods, or switch between the two, to transport your baby. Some can even be used as a picnic rug,temporary ‘high chair’ for feeding (wraps can be tied in particular ways to chairs to hold baby whilst you feed them!) or a blanket and you can also conveniently and discreetly breastfeed and bottle feed.
Anthropologists and psychologists who study the behaviour of mothers and babies have observed that when mothers and babies are together, they are constantly shaping one another’s behaviour. (ref: www.lalecheleague.org)
When babywearing a baby feels every move and sees every decision you make. This can certainly shape their learning, regulating his/her own physical responses and even balance!
There are studies that have shown that carried babies cry less and are more settled in general. Babies in other cultures where babywearing is present are known to cry a lot less and all the while a baby isn’t crying are releasing stress hormones their brains have time to develop and learn!
Hunziker, U.A. and R.G. Barr (1986). “Increased carrying reduces infant crying: A randomised controlled trial”. Pediatrics. 7:641-648. (Ref: la leche league)
Above shows the general rules of safety to remember when babywearing. To have your baby close enough to kiss speaks mountains.
‘When her baby whimpers or seems to be in distress, the mother responds and reassures her little one. If her baby seems hungry, she offers her breast (or bottle) When the baby looks into her eyes, she smiles and talks to her baby, and her baby responds by gazing at her, smiling, or trying to “talk” in baby language. When babies encounter new people or new experiences, mothers and fathers who are holding them can help them overcome their fears and learn more about their world.’ (http://www.lalecheleague.org)
Unlike many travel systems, slings can be bought from very low prices. There is also a convenient second hand market and value to them as the life is commonly longer than the time you will carry your children for.
Therefore, money wise, Carriers are often a lot more financially astute and don’t require a large outlay of money before the baby is born. You can also buy slings/carriers that last from birth till age of 3 and further, meaning, unless you fall in love with another wrap/sling or carrier (as people so often do!), there is no need to buy again.
There is no doubt that exercise is concentrated upon after the birth of a baby for health and strength. Baby Wearing helps posture and core muscle strength and also the extra weight you are carrying will surely burn more calories!! It is a simple way to get out walking or wandering when baby is unsettled and requires next to no effort unlike other vigorous exercises!
If your baby is close to you for these periods of time whilst baby wearing they watch and feel every move you make. Feel every breath just like they did in the womb. The relationship that you , and only you, had with your baby when carrying them inside can be carried on in the outside world!
Carriers and slings can also be a comforting and secure place for toddlers to retreat to when tired or overwhelmed of new or public situations.
Fathers, Grandparents, Aunts, uncles and friends can also carry your baby to develop a closer relationship and also give mum a rest. It is often heard that slings are left for childminders, babysitters and nurseries to help comfort the babe when parents are away and are used in fostering or adoptive situations to develop a close bond.
Ultimately having babe close to you obviously lets you know where they are at all times, they are not at knee height of others as they would be with a pram and you can move quickly with them out of situations that may be unsafe. The sling also covers a baby in warm weather and blocks out excess stimuli which can be useful when feeding! As long as babywearing is safe and comfortable it can be truly amazing and useful for any parent.
After all, don’t forget that babywearing is fun! Fun for all! Carriers get to interact and play with their baby whilst babies get to see the world from eye level and other adults tend to interact with baby more when they are at this height, making baby smile and overall learn more from others!
So we have covered why have a sling…now where to start!?
The market is overwhelming and scary with different carriers, slings and wraps but the important thing is to find the one that suits you and your baby!
Do you prefer the idea of wrapping, having buckles, ties or does style matter? Its important that it fits correctly so think about size, height, bust and who will be using it.
This is where Wrapamore can help! Have a look at our ‘Where to start?’ page, Contact me via the facebook page on email or phone to book a one to one private consultation, where I can find out more about your lifestyle and when carrying will be used, to find the perfect carrier for your needs.
Also, you can pop along to the facebook page Dorset Sling Library and Meets, like the page and attend on of the three monthly meets to hire a carrier and meet other like minded parents!