For new parents starting out with a sling or a wrap, getting the hang of positioning baby just right and finding a comfortable fit can take a bit of effort. Once you’ve got it all figured out, though, wearing your baby begins to feel like the most natural thing in the world. It relieves some of the weight of carrying your little one, can make it easier for you to nurse, and certainly takes some of the stress out of outdoor and walking events — you can leave that big, clunky stroller back at home. In honour of International Babywearing Week, which takes place each Autumn, we’re celebrating all that keeping baby close in their sling, wrap, or mei tai offers you both. While convenience is a highlight, the concrete, scientifically-established benefits of wearing your baby are far-reaching. This visualization from We The Parents more than 20 ways that babywearing positively impacts your mental health and the emotional and physical health of your child.
Some of the most significant of these benefits include:
- Fewer tears from baby: Often, if baby is fussing despite being changed, fed, and wide-awake, the reason why is simply wanting to be close to mama. In a study which asked new mothers to pick up, hold, and carry their babies at random intervals throughout the day, the infants who were carried cried up to 54% less often. Babywearing mimics these conditions, helping to reduce fussiness in your little one.
- Boosts in feelings of relaxation and well-being: The sensations of warmth and touch experienced during babywearing are soothing for mother and baby both, stimulating the release of oxytocin. This reduces blood pressure and lowers levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress.
- Better digestion and fewer spit-ups: Though GERD is a common condition in infants, it can be quite frustrating for parents who aren’t sure how to help their little one feel better. Babywearing in an upright position is the perfect position for healthy digestion, and frequent touch is associated with reducing spit-up frequency in babies.
To learn more about the benefits of wearing your baby, visit Babywearing International online.