Baby wearing is one of my favorite things! I was a child of and a new parent during the “holding your baby will spoil your baby” and “let them cry it out” days. But, alas, both of my babies did not cooperate with these philosophies! My first had allergies and severe tummy aches. My second had horrible reflux. And as much as I wish they hadn’t experienced those discomforts, I am SO grateful that not holding was not an option. I didn’t know about wraps back in those days – I just held them a lot. From an experiencial side, this helped them to feel more calm and safe. It helped them to know they had help to deal with their discomfort.
Most of the wearing I did was with my arms. I did have a backpack carrier of the hiking variety. It was big and mechanical feeling. Sometimes I did use it with my son. Today, there are many different kinds of carriers: wraps, slings, and structured carriers. There is also a large body of evidence showing the physical, emotional, and mental benefits to mom and baby when baby is worn!
To help mothers with babywearing, Babywearing International holds local meetings with certified teachers. At the meetings, mothers can receive help in safe babywearing and learn about the different types of carriers. Mom can even check out different wraps, slings, or carriers for a month to try out! Another benefit is the social support mothers and baby enjoy at the meetings.
Katie and I recently attended a local babywearing meeting. Here is Katie demonstrating the K’Tan carrier available for loan. A doll is used for demonstration purposes. In the second photo, an instructor is demonstrating how to use a ring sling. The ring sling allows for discreet breastfeeding, too!
Part of the benefits of babywearing come from touch:
*TOUCH’S EFFECT ON INFANT DEVELOPMENT:
- Nurtures psychological growth
- Enhances self-concept, body awareness & sexual identity
- Stimulates physical growth
- Stimulates mental growth
- Releases hormones oxytocin & prolactin, & neurotransmitter serotonin
- Optimizes breathing, heart rate, & digestion
- Boosts immune system
- Enhances movement
- Produces long-term effects
*Read the complete article from the Babywearing School newsletter here.