One new parenting craze that has been appearing over the last few years is that of wearing your baby in a sling, wrap, or baby carrier. There are hundreds of companies now available that make these slings, wraps and baby carriers so you can literally wear your baby whenever you want and have a sling for every outfit! Is this just some new fad or are there real benefits to babywearing?
With attachment parenting becoming more mainstream, more and more moms are learning about the benefits of wearing your baby and want to try it themselves. In case you haven’t heard all about these benefits, check out the ones listed below.
photo credit: majcher
One really nice benefit is that your baby is always very close to you. They spent many months inside their mother’s body, warm and secure and connected to her, so this is where they are used to being and love being, with you. They can hear your heart beat, feel your warmth and smell your scent as well. It is wonderful for moms and dads to wear their babies close and be able to look down at them often and talk to them, helping to develop that deep attachment that is so important. The love they feel from you is something that they will thrive on, and the closer they are to you, the more they can thrive.
Another benefit with the newborns especially is they can easily be breastfed and you are always ready to feed them. The slings especially allow you to easily slip them inside a protective pouch for some discreet breastfeeding. Babies nursed in a sling often fall asleep easily in comfort and nap in the sling.
Believe it or not, the slings and carriers that are coming out are actually better for your back than holding a baby for a few hours a day. Slings and wraps distribute the weight of the baby over a broader area of your body so there is less stress on your back and arm muscles. Even as they grow older, up to 35 pounds the slings are better for your back than carrying them around on your hip.
When you have a new baby one of the things that seems to cross every new mom’s mind is getting rid of post pregnancy weight. You can’t wait to shed those pounds. This is another benefit of baby wearing. Carrying around that little bundle of joy all the time adds to the calories you burn.
When you wear your baby, you have hands free to do other things: for example taking care of other children, doing household chores, and other tasks. It can be stressful getting things done with a new baby in the house but babywearing makes it much easier to meet baby’s needs and those of other people in the household.
One last huge benefit of baby wearing is it gives other family members the chance to be close to baby and bond with them as well. If you are breastfeeding it can be tough on the others that waited with you for this special bundle, especially dad. Have him slip a sling on and carry the baby to get some of that bonding time with the baby. Nowadays there are lots of masculine fabrics to choose from so Dad can pick a sling he’ll like too!
Baby wearing is a great experience for mom, dad, and baby; you can find slings all over the Internet that will work great for this activity. If you aren’t having a baby soon, definitely keep these in mind as gifts for baby showers.