Baby Wearing is a traditional practice in many cultures that is not widely used by modern industrialized societies, but it nonetheless has many benefits for both children and caregivers alike. I was sporting Kay-Kay in her carrier when a random person, we came across alerted (with genuine concern) me as to whether the baby was uncomfortable in there!
She was obviously, a stranger to baby wearing. Traditionally, though baby wearing has known to have been practiced in many cultures, it is an irony that the Western world has so quickly adopted and marketed this concept and the cultures that were the inspiration for this practice, have phased it off, just as quickly.
Personally, I became aware of baby wearing through a book on parenting. On digging in a little deeper, I found out of its many benefits for both caregivers and babies and in my opinion, it is an ‘experience’ that is just too good to miss!
Through the upcoming posts, I have decided to undertake an awareness program, to promote baby wearing, in my own way to spread the word and provide as much information as is required, for Moms’, new to the concept to beneficially implement the same.
WHAT IS BABY WEARING?
So lets start from the very basic of what is baby wearing. It is the practice of holding your little one close to you as you engage in daily activities.
This can be achieved through a wide range of carriers and techniques that we will look into, in the course of these articles, so stay with me.
Through the proximity afforded by the carriers, the sense of connection is furthered between you and your baby.
Baby wearing promotes bonding, supports breastfeeding, can help combat postpartum depression and makes care giving easier.
Carried babies have been found to sleep, feed, and grow better.
BENEFITS OF BABY WEARING:
It has been proven that the “Touch” factor plays a vital role in the development of your child. Babywearing is a means to meet this need. Though this is a very prominent advantage of baby wearing, its benefits do not end there. Let’s talk about a few of them:-
- MORE SMILES, LESS TEARS: CARRIED BABIES CRY LESS! How us mothers would go to any lengths to prevent those tears in our little one’s precious eyes. Well, this is one way. In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that babywearing for three hours a day reduced infant crying by 43 percent overall and 54 percent during evening hours. That is a staggering statistic indeed!
- HEALTHY HUGS: Babies enter the world with comparatively fragile nervous systems. Being in contact with its mother helps a baby to be in tune with the rhythm of her breathing, the sound of her heartbeat, and the movements his mother makes—walking, bending, and reaching. This stimulation helps it to regulate its own physical responses. Premature babies who are touched and held, have been known to gain weight faster and are healthier than babies who are not.
- READING BETWEEN THE LINES: From the Parents’ perspective, it improves their ability to read their babies’ cues successfully. Holding our babies close in a sling allows us to become finely attuned to their movements, gestures, and facial expressions. This enables us to decipher when our baby is hungry, thirsty, wet, tired, sleepy without the child having to voice its opinion through crying. (This reasoning supports the first advantage listed.) This boosts the parents’ self confidence in their ability to read and respond to their baby’s needs.
Positive interaction deepens the mutual attachment between parent and child and is especially beneficial in evading or coping with postpartum depression.
- ALL ARE INVITED: The benefits are not only limited to deepening the bond between Mama and Baby as fathers, grandparents, adoptive parents, babysitters, and other caregivers can also harness the advantages of baby wearing to make the time spent with baby enjoyable and mutually comfortable. Cuddling up close in the sling is a wonderful way to get to know the baby in your life, and likewise for the baby to get to know you!
- HANDY CONVENIENCE: Baby carriers are also wonderful to use with older babies and toddlers. You can go where strollers can’t. Climbing stairs, hiking, and navigating crowded airports all can be done with ease when you use a well-designed baby carrier! It makes multitasking with your little one convenient and safer as you can freely use those arms without having to worry about holding your baby.
The above notes were made from several research articles written over a few decades. So these discoveries have been around for a while, it is up to us to avail of their benefits.
DOING IT RIGHT
Although the above pointers could inspire you to run to that babycare shop and get a carrier right away, I’d like to advise a little caution before selecting a carrier. A little on the science of correctly donning your baby- There’s two major factors you need to consider-
- Ergonomic design- Which simply put means “ease of use”. The idea is to make things easier, so but naturally if its not facilitating you to go about your day-to-day routines in a more efficient manner, its not being done right. For Mothers new to carriers, I would recommend you to visit a store and don a few types. This will get you familiar with the sizes (of you and your baby) and as to which style is suitable for you. Once you have narrowed down on your choice/type, you may buy it right away or look for a similar product online with a better bargain.
- Maintain the natural holding position of the baby- The below diagram will help explain this
Ensure that the baby is supported in a manner that more or less conforms to the diagram above. As a general guide, hold your baby in your arms and then compare it with the way the baby is supported in the carrier. The closer to the natural support position the better.
A dear friend has agreed to partner with me in my campaign to promote baby wearing.
Smita, is herself a mother of two children and a Dress Designer by profession. It was Motherhood that caused her to transition from being a dress designer to becoming a Certified “BABY WEARING CONSULTANT”
She soon launched her own line of Baby Carriers- “Cuddle N Care”
Her professional background helped her work on and create the ergonomically designed and patterned, baby carriers that are very affordable when compared with some other products available in the market.
Cuddle N Care aims to couple satisfaction and comfort to babies and their care givers, through use of strictly natural fabrics and will go to any lengths to explore and procure softer fabrics and comfort for babies.
I have always maintained that YOUR BABY is UNIQUE and when it comes to parenting, it would be incorrect to generalize a certain practice or product that is best suited for your baby. Therefore it is always wise to survey the options and maybe even try a few before deciding what is most apt to meet your requirement.
, in the upcoming posts, we will explore the various styles of Babywearing and the many carriers that are custom made to suit your exact need.