Babywearing is the act of carrying your baby close using a sling or carrier.
The benefits of babywearing are many and varied but for the purpose of a short introduction I will stick to the main benefits for the caregiver and baby.
Babywearing for carers
Carrying your baby helps establish a close bond with baby and can also lower the incidence of post-natal depression.
During pregnancy your abdominal and pelvic muscles are under lots of pressure. Carrying your baby in an upright central position helps your core muscles recover
Carrying your baby can aid breastfeeding as mum can pick up easily on babies cues for feeding and react. It can also help with milk supply and the sling can help you feed discreetly.
Using a sling/carrier means that the carer will have their hands free making everyday tasks far easier, you will also have your hands free for other children which in turn can help reduce sibling rivalry.
Babywearing for babies
Babies worn in slings are on the whole more settled crying for about half the time of babies who are not worn, and sleep for longer.
They have improved digestion from being held in an upright position which can reduce colic and reflux.
Newborn babies are soothed by the sound of your heartbeat and your movement as they were in the womb.
Babies who are worn regularly spend their time in a state of ‘quiet alertness’ taking in what is going around them.
Premature babies gain weight faster when worn and have better temperature regulation.
Safety and Comfort
Safety and comfort are key when carrying your baby. And there are a few simple tips to remember, commonly known by the acronym TICKS.
There are lots of sling meets, library and sling consultants that you visit to find out more about baby wearing. If your are in Aberdeenshire or Aberdeen it is worth joining the Aberdeenshire Babywearing page to find out where you local group is being held. www.Facebook.com/Aberdeenshirebabywearers.
Other websites that contain useful information are:
Why Babywearing Matters by Rosie Knowles
A Baby Want to Be Carried by Evelyn Kirkilionis
Why Love Matters – Sue Gerhardt
Beloved Burden – L.C. van Hout