Baby wearing or baby carrying is not a new concept. In fact, it’s been around for centuries. What is relatively new are the different types of baby carriers on the market, from ring slings to wraparound carriers and baby pouches.
What is Baby wearing?
According to www.babywearinginternational.org, baby wearing is the practice of keeping your baby or toddler close and connected to you as you engage in daily activities through the use of baby carriers.
Before we unpack the benefits of baby carriers, there are a few negatives that you should be aware of.
First, baby carrying can be hard on your back, particularly if you have a heavy baby or you already struggle with back pain. It can occasionally be too hot for baby carriers, and every now and then vomit and drool become an issue. It’s also important to know that some babies just don’t like them.
You might need to try more than once to give your baby a chance to decide if they like it or not, and some babies might prefer a sling to a pouch and vice versa, but at some point you might just need to give up if your little one refuses to enjoy baby wearing.
Here are seven benefits of owning a baby carrier:
1. It mimics skin-to-skin bonding
Carrying your baby gives both parents and even grandparents an additional opportunity to bond with your little one. They get to hear your heartbeat and feel close to you, and for moms in particular, the closeness releases a hormone called oxytocin (the love hormone), which promotes the production of breastmilk and lowers the possibility of postpartum depression and anxiety.
2. You get a free workout every day
Baby carriers keep you on your feet. While this may put some strain on your back (as we’ve mentioned), it also means you get some exercise in every day without even noticing it.
3. Baby will be happier
Studies have proven that babies who are carried cry between 40% and 50% less than babies who aren’t carried.
4. You’re promoting speech from a very early age
When your baby is in a carrier, they’re around you much more than of they’re in a crib or pram. This means they’re listening to all of your conversations, which will help them pick up languages quicker.
5. It encourages physical development
Interestingly, baby carriers aren’t designed to stop your baby from moving. Instead, they help your little one to develop head and neck strength and control. As baby becomes more active and more interested in the world, it helps them increase their muscle strength as well.
6. It supports nap time (while you can get chores done)
This depends on the carrier you use, but many are so comfortable that baby may end up falling asleep and napping on you while you can get some chores done.
7. Carried babies are healthier babies
Studies have proven that premature and special needs babies who are closer to mom regulate their breathing, heartbeat, and physical movements faster, which helps with their overall health and development – and healthy babies can benefit from being close to mom too.