October 2-8 is international babywearing week! This event focuses on bringing media attention about the many benefits of babywearing. Learn about some of the wonderful positive points this activity offers for both you and your bub.
“Babywearing” refers to the extended use of carriers or slings. It allows you to engage in your daily activities while keeping bub close to you and keeping your hands free. While babywearing is usually closely associated with babies, it’s also very beneficial to toddlers. The activity has been practiced for centuries all around the world and offers many benefits during daily life.
So, why wear your baby?
- Keeps baby happy. Instead of pausing all the time to tend to a distressed child, they’re right there strapped to you and it’s been proven that babies that were carried cried significantly less than those who were not.
- Improves milk production. The close contact between mother and child promotes milk production and improves breastfeeding (while also keeping it discreet when desired).
- The exercise! Whether you’re walking around the house completing chores or hiking through the mountains with bub strapped to your back, it’s very healthy for you, and your child will love to see the world from this new perspective.
- Assists with emotional and speech development. Being so close to you and experiencing the world at such a height will expose them to new faces, voices, emotions, and sights every day. This helps them learn about the world from an excellent perspective.
- Assists with physical development. Being in this position requires them to keep their head up at all times, therefore strengthening their neck and head muscles. The carrier essentially acts as a “transitional womb” for the baby who’s still learning to control their movements and bodily functions.
- Reduces the risks of plagiocephaly (flattened head). This condition develops when a baby spends too much time laying on his or her back, therefore flattening out the back of their head. Varying their position can help this, therefore making babywearing a good preventative method.
- Offers discreet breastfeeding. Many carriers and slings offer discreet breastfeeding so you can feed your bub on the go and keep it discreet in public places all at the same time!
- Incredibly convenient. Wearing your baby lets you keep your hands free! This allows you to do housework, prepare meals, go shopping, and much more while keeping your baby comfortable and close to you.
- It’s very safe. Having your child strapped to you at all times is much safer than having them running and/or crawling all over the place; you always know where they are, and they can’t hurt themselves for the time they’re being carried. Not to mentions that toddlers also appreciate the securities a carrier has to offer. They often get over-stimulated by everything the world has to offer, and a little ride in the carrier tends to calm them down efficiently.
- Wearing your baby is a fantastic bonding tool. Not just for mum! Dad, grandpa, grandma, aunts and uncles can all use a carrier as a wonderful tool to keep baby close and develop a strong bond. Carrying children means they can hear your heartbeat and breathing, which provides much comfort to them and brings them closer to whoever is carrying them. They can also look up and notice facial expressions and voices which will get them accustomed to other family members and/or caregivers.
- It improves your confidence as a parent. Because bub is so close to you, it becomes easy to tell what their needs are at all times. Are they hungry, bored, or need to be changed? There’s a good chance you’ll know it before they start to cry, keeping stress at a minimum level for both you and your child.
- Being carried is healthy for your bub! While it helps them develop emotionally and physically, it also keeps them healthy overall. Being so close to you physically means they’ll be in tune with your breathing and heartbeat, helping them regulate their own responses.