Babywearing is simply the time-honoured art of carrying a young child or infant in a piece of cloth or purpose-made carrier. Babywearing has experienced a resurgence in the western world in recent years. A millennia of tradition has been rediscovered with mothers and other caregivers embracing this tradition.
There are many reasons to use a carrier to carry a baby. Babies have a need to be held, and while it may be nice to cuddle it can also make it hard to do other things like:
- Chasing other children
- Household Chores
Babywearing solves that problem, it allows parents to meet the biological need of their child for physical contact, while also getting on with life. It allows us to parent our children better, which is good for both the parent and the baby.
- Helps to regulate your baby’s temperature, respiration and heart rate
- Promotes a close attachment with the caregiver through skin-to-skin contact
- Provides an avenue for close bonding with a new baby
- Provides the perfect environment for optimal physical, emotional and cognitive development
- Can promote breastfeeding (which has proven to reduce the risk of cancer in the mother)
- Reduces the incidence and severity of postnatal depression
- Reduces stress on caregiver
Some people come to babywearing to meet a health need. There is evidence that premature babies thrive on touch, and kangaroo care is much easier with a carrier. A child with reflux is also likely to benefit from being held in an upright position as this puts less pressure on the digestive system. Others come to babywearing because it supports their parenting philosophy. Still others to meet the needs of everyone in their family. A good carrier can mean that you don’t have to use a pram on an outing, allowing you to take your child all sorts of otherwise inaccessible places, or make it easier to manage some of the many errands that form part of your day.
But best of all, babywearing is FUN!