BENEFITS OF BABYWEARNIG
Parents are constantly accompanied by a lot of stress and restlessness on daily basis and babywearing can offer us an extra sense of security and calmness, both to child and parent. On many media portals, pages and forums, the benefits of babywearing stand out, so we will try to point out the most important ones:
1. Hands-free – nowadays more than ever, it is very important to have as many free hands as possible. More frequent hand washing and disinfection are much easier when our babies are in a baby carrier. Likewise, especially for parents with more children, it is much easier to hold and care for an older child or children, while safely carrying the smaller one in a baby carrier. It is easier to perform most of our ordinary housework when our baby carrier takes a role of an amazing daily tool – a safe, comfortable and easy to use tool that can successfully help us to perform most of our everyday tasks. For most parents, baby carriers are very useful for putting babies to sleep, especially during their daily naps. Babies calm down easily while being next to their mothers heartbeat. Baby carriers give us a greater mobility, accessibility, control and thus automatically a greater sense of security and less stress.
2. Breastfeeding / bottle feeding – we often forget how much a baby carrier can actually be the perfect place to breastfeed a baby, whether it is a wrap, ring sling, soft structure career, etc. most baby carriers allow quick and easy access to mother’s breast. Some studies have shown that mothers who carry babies, up to only one hour a day in a baby carrier, tend to breastfeed longer. By carrying a baby, we strengthen our psycho-emotional bondage with our baby, so it also has a positive effect on the production of breast milk as well. For Moms who are not breastfeeding, the vast majority of baby carriers also allow positions for safe, practical and easy bottle feeding.
3. Advantage over strollers – it is clear that baby carriers are way lighter and smaller and therefore more compact to use. Whether it is a wrap, ring sling, SSC or any other carrier, baby carriers do not take up much space and they are easy to wash and maintain (always follow the manufacturer’s instructions labeled on the product), this is not the case with strollers which are not so easy to maintain and are less convenient to transport. At the same time, with baby carriers you can move on narrower aisles and less accessible terrains, while use of many strollers is limited to asphalt and more comfortable streets and aisles.
4. Oxytocin – certainly the most amazing advantage of babywearing is this interesting hormone! Any parent who has ever carried their little one knows about that special feeling caused by oxytocin! Babywearing encourages a special state of mind and a whole host of wonderful emotions towards the baby, and those emotions are mutual. Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the hypothalamus and secreted by the pituitary gland in response to a specific stimulus, such as hugging or cuddling. This amazing hormone is still being researched by the scientists, because it affects many things in our minds that we still don’t fully understand, but what we do know for sure is that it is the key of making a connection and bondage with our baby. The postpartum period, as well as the next few years after it, can be extremely stressful for both parents. We should be aware that during periods of more intense stress, our babies often feel our anxiety and restlessness, which often affects the baby’s mood and may even affect the supply and content of breast milk because the stress hormone cortisol is secreted through milk. Touching, interacting and responding to baby’s needs is the best ways to calm our baby and give her a sense of stability and security, and babycarriers allow just that. All crying babies and children (regardless of whether they are hungry, in pain or have some other need) automatically spread their little arms and seek solace in their parent’s hug. Touch and cuddling will always soothe our babies. By carrying our babies we create a unique emotional connection between us and our little ones – a baby in baby carrier can freely focus on mother’s face, eyes, mouth and speech, which further soothes and comforts them. Baby carrier also enables interaction with the baby in making grimaces, playing “koo – koo”, touching parts of parents face, etc., and as babies learn by observation, carrying the baby additionally encourages the child’s language development.
5. Other benefits – babywearing stimulates baby’s neural development, emotional development, health of the respiratory and digestive tracts (especially in babies with reflux) and contributes to the proper development of the child’s spine and motor skills. Numerous studies also indicate that babywearing reduces the risk of SIDS, as well as sunken head syndrome in smaller babies.
Through our non-profit civil association “nosiljkoRijeka” and amazing group initiative of LPN, we will try to promote all these benefits and help you with any doubts and additional information on this topic.
Author: Edita Umihanic, babywearing consultant
Civil association ”nosiljkoRijeka” – association for promotion and encouragment of babywearing
(photo by: Udruga ”nosiljkoRijeka” and Lena’s traveling carriers)