Maintaining an active lifestyle, keeping on top of chores, socializing, and running errands, don’t take a break when your little one arrives. Enter, baby wearing. First introduced hundreds of years ago, baby wearing is a technique that has transformed busy parenting lifestyles, allowing parents and caregivers to free up their hands and get on with their day, all while keeping their little one close, comfortable, and safe. Besides being a great way to bond with your baby, here are some of the top benefits of baby wearing.
Happier, healthier baby
It has been found that babies who are carried are likely to cry less than others by up to 51%. In addition, holding baby close to your skin is said to encourage better sleep, help them gain weight, improve their breathing, and stabilize their heart rate and body temperature.
Social and sensory experiences
With multiple ways to wear, baby wearing opens up a whole other level of things for baby to see, as opposed to traveling in a stroller, for example. Engaging with you and their surroundings is much easier, while hearing you speak to others will help build their language skills.
Baby wearing promotes ‘kangaroo’ care, another term for skin-to-skin. Research across Western Europe and the United States has collected data that supports the benefits of baby wearing for preterm infants, helping them develop and feel protected. Some research suggests that baby wearing is particularly beneficial for hospitalized preemies.
One of the most obvious benefits to baby wearing is that it gives you back your hands, thus, giving you back the freedom you need to multi-task like a pro! Plus, carrying a baby in your arms can become a heavy load over an extended period of time.
Bonding & Connecting
Let’s not forget that having your baby close to you is also an excellent way to bond and connect. This can help you learn more about their behavior, such as the movements they make when they’re hungry or tired, or if they need their diaper changing.
Although there’s not enough research as to whether it promotes breast feeding for certain, it does make things easier, particularly while on the move. It is also thought to increase practicing the demand to be fed more often.
While you may be apprehensive about baby wearing, it’s completely safe providing the T.I.C.K.S are followed. T.I.C.K.S are a guide to follow to make sure your little one is being carried safely.
- T is for TIGHT Your baby should be comfortably close and secure in the correct position, meaning your wrap, carrier, or sling must be tight enough with no loose hanging fabric. Their body should be held closely against your chest. This is super important as failure to do so could mean their breathing is hindered, and you could be putting strain and pressure on your back.
- I is for IN VIEW AT ALL TIMES You should be able to see your baby's face at a glance, you shouldn’t have to move any fabric of the sling, wrap or carrier to be able to see their face at any time. It's also important that their face doesn't turn away from your body.
- C is for CLOSE ENOUGH TO KISS This is a super-easy way to check if they are in the correct position. Their head should be comfortably close to your chin and you should be able to easily give a kiss on their head.
- K is for KEEP CHIN OFF THE CHEST Your baby should not be positioned with their chin on their chest as this can restrict airflow and their breathing. A useful way to check that they can breathe freely is to measure the space under their chin with your finger. This is especially important for new-born or premature babies.
- S is for SUPPORTED BACK Check that their back is always supported in your sling, wrap or carrier and ensure that they are securely positioned with their spine properly supported in an upright position. Slouching can restrict their breathing, and their bottom should be no lower than their knees. When in a cradle position, your baby should not be folded and their chin should not be pressed into their chest.