People need physical touch and affection. The frequency, amount and way this is done may differ from person to person, but people thrive when they feel loved.
When a baby is born, they know nothing else than to be carried by their birth mother. In most western world countries, we then do everything possible to put them down. If we go out, we put them in a pram, when they sleep, we put them in a cot, and when they play, we put them on a mat. Generally, we believe this is better for them and makes our lives easier, but does it?
Babywearing has been practiced around the world by parents and caregivers for centuries but has only relatively recently gained popularity in the Western World. I have found very few tasks that we do that can’t be done while carrying a child in a carrier. Of course their are some activities that pose a physical danger to the child if they are being carried while they are being done (heat/burns from cooking, physical sports) but on a whole, there’s not many.
So what are the benefits of Babywearing? See our list below.
Babies Cry Less
A study performed in the 80’s found that babies who were carried more cried and fussed 46% less and 51% less in the evening. The decreased crying and fussing were associated with increased contentment and feeding frequency but no change in feeding duration or sleep. They concluded that supplemental carrying modifies “normal” crying by reducing the duration and altering the typical pattern of crying and fussing in the first 3 months of life.
Offers handsfree convenience
How often are you trying to do something, maybe hang out the washing, prepare food, or work, and you think ‘This would be a lot easier if I had both of my hands!’ Well you could. Carrying your child in a carrier gives you handsfree convenience while keeping your child safe and happy.
Helps you explore the world together
Life doesn’t stop when you have children. While it does change, I think this change is for the better. But have you ever tried to do much travelling with children? It doesn’t have to be big travel’s like international trips, even just travelling within close distances to hope. I felt like I carted around everything but the kitchen sink under my pram when I had our first child. Travelling 6 years later and with three children looks much different and we do so much more. You are unrestricted by where to go when you use a carrier. We have hiked up mountains, walked on the beach, gone on planes plus done local activities as a family because we used baby carriers.
Enables you to care for other children
Caring for multiple children is made easier when you can babywear. Whether it be shopping with children and a trolley that only caters for one child, a quick school drop off or pick up or a trip to the park, baby wearing makes caring for multiple children easier!
I hear questions around this a lot. Usually its from people who are scared to let their children sleep in their carrier out of fear of it affecting their night sleeps. Generally, this is not the case. In fact, I am yet to meet anyone who thinks that babywearing has badly affected their child’s sleep. For a young baby, sleep promotes sleep. What this means is that it is much easier to keep on top of a sleep schedule for a child who sleeps well and regularly as oppose to an over tired child (I mean, have you ever tried to put an over tired child to bed!?). Babywearing gives your children a safe place to sleep when not at home, plus makes putting a over tired child to sleep much easier as they gain comfort from you.
Good for development
Carried babies remain closer to their caregivers giving them more opportunities to to learn body and facial expressions as well as languages.
Good for their hips
When done correctly, carrying your baby in a carrier helps to keep their hips in a healthy position that promotes strong, healthy hip joints. You can read more about this on one of our earlier blog posts here.
Helps you lose weight
Wearing your child while exercising helps you lose weight faster than pushing them in a stroller or pram. The increased weight that you are carrying while exercising makes your heart work harder and pump faster resulting in more calories being burnt. Caution must be used though when exercising as not all forms of exercise or sport are safe to do while carrying your child.
So their you have it, some of my favourite benefits of babywearing. Do you think we missed anything? Be sure to tell us what benefits you have found when Babywearing.