This week is International Babywearing week! While I'm not usually a fan of these "theme" things (I don't care that it's National Sandwich Day or International Llama Week), I think Babywearing deserves to be publicized. Sure, sandwiches and llamas are nice, but babywearing encourages some wonderful benefits to both baby and mother.
Babywearing has been around for many thousands of years. Only recently have products such as the Ergobaby or Boba come into being - having belts and buckles, hoods and adjustments. For a long time, babywearing solely consisted of wrapping a baby against your body with a piece of fabric. And it still does! Cultures around the world use woven wraps to carry their babies - in fact, my first one just came in the mail today!
Studies show that babies who are worn cry less. It promotes physical development, as baby is in tune with the mother's natural rhythms of breathing, heartbeat and motion just as they were in the womb. Premature babies who are held often will gain weight and develop faster than those who are not. Wearing babies also allows them more time in the 'quiet-alert' state of observing the world around them freely, but with the safety of the parent to return to if overstimulated. This is why many die-hard babywearers such as myself wear our babies facing in towards us, so they may watch the world go by but retreat to their safe place if frightened or overwhelmed.
A baby carrier, wrap, pouch or sling are very safe places for baby to be, provided you educate yourself as to how to use whichever one you choose properly. I expect at some point people will begin gawking and asking why I will be carrying my toddler who's getting so big. Well, Iris won't be able to run into the street while she's wrapped against me, for one thing! Now that she's walking I experimented with taking her to Target the other day without a carrier. I alternated between letting her walk and carrying her on my hip, just to see how it would go. I ended up having to diffuse about eight tantrums over the toys she wanted to play with, books she wanted to take home, and old gum stuck to the ground which is apparently the most amazing thing ever. When she's in the carrier, tantrums don't ever even present themselves! I also just truly love cuddling with my baby, no matter how much she weighs!
It's also so convenient, especially with newborns. Strap them on and you have both hands free to do your chores, type your paper or go grocery shopping. It's also easy to breastfeed discreetly after a bit of practice. Other family members can also wear your baby and if you're breastfeeding, it's a great way for them to bond with your baby.
I would recommend that everyone wear their babies or toddlers! It's easy, convenient, safe, beneficial and you get to cuddle with a squishy bundle of joy! What more could you ask for!
|Newborn Iris in the Ergobaby carrier.|