The concept may be new to you so first, we answer the question: what is baby-wearing? Baby-wearing is the act of carrying your baby close to your body with the help of a special carrier. Parents have been baby-wearing for centuries because of how it benefits the baby and the connivence of hands-free care it gives the parents. Think about how attached newborns are to their parents and just how many hours a day are spent carrying them in your arms. With your hands tied up, it can get a little tricker to get your daily chores in. The tried and tested solution? Baby-wearing! You get to keep your bundle of joy close, and still have the freedom to make yourself that much awaited cup of coffee. Keen on learning more about baby-wearing? Continue reading for more on the basics and the benefits!
There are many different baby wraps and carriers in the market, so it’s best to know what makes each one unique. It all boils down to the baby’s size and weight, your preference, and budget. Wraps can be tied in multiple ways to keep your baby snuggled up to you. It’s important to look for the right material in the right size and elasticity to best support your body and your baby. Carriers are a little simpler since you don’t need to tie it up and can easily slip in your baby and go. Note that you might need a special insert to safely fit your newborn baby.
As with all products and parenting techniques concerning your baby, careful research and scrutiny is needed. Baby-wearing isn’t at all difficult to do, but it is important to educate yourself on how to do it well. From your choice in carrier to the method of putting one on, it’s not enough to follow what you see on social media. There’s a great deal of free material readily available online from trusted institutions like the School of Babywearing to get you started. Here’s the basic checklist for baby-wearing safety.
- In View at All Times
- Close Enough to Kiss
- Keep Chin Off the Chest
- Supported Back
Source: School of Babywearing
Baby-wearing is soothing and calming for the baby. It is also good for their cognitive and social development as well as their overall health and well-being. Since your baby is always so close, they are able to observe more of your daily life and you are able to respond to their cues quicker, both of which are beneficial to the baby. For the parents, the convenience is undeniable. Thanks to baby-wearing, there’s no need to push around strollers when running errands and you have two hand to work with at all times. This is especially helpful if you have older kids fighting for a share of your attention. Still need more convincing? I didn’t think so!
It’s generally accepted for pregnant women to continue with baby-wearing, given there may be changes to the carriers and baby-wearing styles as the baby bump grows. The most common techniques used by pregnant moms are back-wrapping, waist straps below the bump, and of course, being mindful to ensure she never exhausts herself. Always remember, it’s still best to first consult your medical practitioner for any questions and concerns while pregnant.
Back-wrapping is a technique often used for older babies and toddlers, especially if they are curious to see everything you’re doing or carrying them on your chest is starting to strain your back. It takes some practice to master this technique, but you can easily conquer it with help from your partner. There is no specific carrier for back-wrapping since most that work for the front can work for the back too. Try out different options and choose the fit you and your baby prefer.
Some parents are able to connect deeper and bond more with their babies because of baby-wearing, but this is not the case for all parents and that’s okay. There are different parenting styles for a reason, and it is entirely your decision what works best for you and your baby. Who knows, your style can even change as you and your baby grow, and it’s all a normal part of the journey.
- The School of Babywearing, The T.I.C.K.S. Rule for Safe Babywearing, 2017.
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Baby-wearing, November 2015.
- Jessica Telian, Baby Wearing Basics: Baby Carrier Types, October 2015.