“Babywearing” means carrying or holding a baby or a young child using a baby carrier that is worn on the caregiver's body with little or no support from the caregiver's arms. It allows the caregiver to have the baby close while attending to the tasks of everyday living and helps the baby to feel safe.
Babywearing is a skill that can be learned with a little of practice and rewarded with mobility and a special connection with the child. Some carries are fast to learn and some others take a bit more practice to master perfectly.
You can participate in a babywearing group where trained people can teach you tips and tricks for more fluent babywearing. Youtube is also full of tutorial videos.
You can also have a look on the www.babywearinginternational.org.
When the baby is being carried correctly, there are plenty of benefits of babywearing.
The benefits reach both physical, emotional and neurological aspects.
To make it easier, here are listed a few:
Some studies have shown that the mother´s sensibility to react to the messages of the baby has the primal influence on the physical and intellectual development of the baby. By carrying your baby you will automatically listen to her messages more - even to the more subtle ones. This helps the baby to create connections in between her brains, the first type of thinking “I´m hungry- I move/make a face/ cry- I´m being moved- I´m being fed” is being created.
React fast to the needs of the baby and she won´t need to cry it at all out. Like this the parent gets to know the baby better, the baby to trust in her parent and that her needs are being met, making the baby calm, more quiet and peaceful.
A calm baby can stay longer in a quiet state of learning and observe the world, communication and behaviour of the people from a safe space near the adult on an “eye-level”. The energy that would be used for crying can be directed into learning.
Carrying can help to reduce the colic and reflux symptoms as the baby is being held upright. Less crying and colic problems reduce the risk on the babie´s diseases.
Carrying your child and reacting to the needs creates a trustful relation. Being present for the child helps the baby to relax. The baby feels safe.
Closeness, warmth and the sound of the heartbeat are all natural things for the baby to experience after the birth. There happens often synchronization in the rhythms of the wearer and the baby. The baby that is worn by the parent is in tune with these rhythms and this stimulus helps him to regulate his own physical responses.
The parent can continue doing normal things while having the baby in the carrier and hands free. Carrying the child in a babycarrier enables the adult to go to places which with a stroller would be unreached.
Crying and insecurity release “stress” and cortisol hormones in the body. A calm, happy baby has them less. The body and skin contact release the oxytocin “love” hormone and knowing your baby´s needs help the parent to be more confident and to relax and enjoy.
Carried babies are often described as more vigorous than the babies that spend most of the time laying. The baby learns to control her body faster when receiving the stimuli of movement through the caregiver´ s body.
Skin contact and the release of the oxytocin hormone help the production of breastmilk, the primal alimentation of the baby. Also in situations where the baby has it difficult to relax and latch well, carrying, moving and breastfeeding in the babycarrier can help the baby to eat.
The Kangaroo-care is recognized now world wide as a positively influencing care of pre-term babies. The skin contact, staying warm and body contact help them to gain weight faster and to be healthier than the babies that do not receive it.
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