All About Babywearing

What is Babywearing

Babywearing is the practice of wearing or carrying a baby in a sling or in any other form of carrier. Ideally cloth based and ergonomically designed baby carriers. Babywearing has been an essential part of child rearing in many cultures for centuries. Gradually the practice is regaining popularity in India. As a lot of modern parents have come to realize the advantages of using a right baby carrier and how it makes life so much more enjoyable with a baby.

Why Babywearing

There are numerous benefits to babywearing, without doubt it definitely makes life easier for both the parents and the baby-

  • Babywearing allows new parents to carry their little ones closely and comfortably at the same time allowing the parents to keep their hands free.

  • Ergonomically designed baby carriers let new moms enjoy all those simple pleasures of life which seems difficult otherwise. Like taking a walk, eating a peaceful meal, cooking for the family, going to a shopping trip, travelling solo while keeping baby safe and snug.

  • Some newborns need to be held for longer durations and apart from the physical discomfort it causes, it can also get quite overwhelming for the caregiver. Finding the right carrier which suits both the baby and the wearer is a perfect solution for this.

  • Babywearing is a great way to soothe colicky babies who are required to be held upright. Also a satisfying way to calm down a sick or grumpy baby.

  • Slings and Carriers are much more handy than strollers/prams especially in crowded places, or while travelling.

  • Baby carriers are mostly one size that’s fits all and turns out to be a great investment in long run.

  • Good for toddlers who want to be carried while when long walking is involved. 

Research Supporting Babywearing

  • Less Crying - Babies who are carried cry less on average than those that are not. Research has shown that babies who are carried cry (on average) 43% less overall and 54% less during the evening hours.(1)

  • Smarter - Babies live in a “quiet, alert state” when carried – the ideal state for learning. Their senses are stimulated and they see the world from where you do, all while feeling safe and secure with the ability to retreat into the wrap. This stimulation is preferred compared to the ceiling above the baby’s crib or people’s knees from the baby’s stroller. And the extra stimulation benefits brain development.(2)

  • Emotional Development - Babies quickly develop a sense of security and trust when they are carried. They are more likely to be securely attached to their caregiver(s) and often become independent at an earlier age.(3)

  • Postpartum Depression - Postpartum depression is much less common with babywearing mothers than among other mothers. Reasons may include hormonal stimulation, baby’s reduced crying and the reduced “burden” of interaction, and your baby is “right there” to enjoy whenever you feel like snuggling, kissing or talking.(4)

(1) Hunziker, U. A. and Barr, R, G. (1986). Increased carrying reduces infant crying: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics, 77, 641-8.

(2) Thebabywearer.com.

(3) Anisfeld, E., Casper, V., Nozyce, M. and Cunningham, N. (1990). Does infant carrying promote attachment? An experimental study of the effects of increased physical contact on the development of attachment. Child Development, 61, 1617-1627; Whiting, J. W. M. (1981). Environmental constraints on infant care practices. In R. H. Munroe, R. L. Munroe & B. B. Whiting (Eds.), Handbook of cross- cultural human development, New York: Garland STPM Press.

(4) Sears, William, M.D. et al., The Baby Book (Little, Brown Company 2003); Pelaez-Nogueras M, Field TM, Hossain Z, Pickens J. (1996). Depressed mothers’ touching increases infants’ positive affect and attention in still-face interactions. Child Development, 67, 1780-92.

 



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