Benefits of Baby Wearing
By: Melissa Portunato MPH, IBCLC, RLC
It doesn’t matter what Grandma Susie says you can’t spoil a baby. It’s biologically normal for babies to want to be held. All around the world mothers have worn their babies for centuries in specially designed fabric wraps, ring slings and carriers. In recent times, baby wearing has gained popularity in the US because it allows busy parents to cuddle their babies close while keeping them hands free!
Read on to check out 5 pretty cool facts about baby wearing:
Great For Being On The Go
Whether it’s a short trip to the grocery store or an international travel trip, baby wearing is an excellent way to be on the move. Who loves dragging a bulky stroller around? Not me! When you are baby wearing on the go, babies are less likely to fuss or cry because they’re close to you. Less worry and more time to run around getting things done.
Good For Baby’s Overall Health and Well Being
Let’s start with the fact that momma’s chest is a baby’s natural environment. Did you know that on a mother’s bare chest, a baby’s temperature and heart rate regulate? Pretty neat. If you have a baby with reflux, or colic you’ve likely been told to keep baby upright as much as possible because this position can lessen symptoms. Baby wearing does that! Baby wearing can also prevent flat head syndrome and improve cognitive development. By wearing your baby, you’re allowing them to be at your level exploring the world around them. This can encourage speech, social interaction, and independence. Bonus: People are less likely to touch a baby held tightly at your chest versus when a baby is in a stroller. Less exposure to nasty germs and less sicky – poo hands all over baby!
Benefits For Mama Bear
We know skin to skin has a ton of benefits. Skin to skin promotes breastfeeding, bonding and oxytocin (the feel good hormone) which can lower rates of postpartum depression. Baby wearing makes it easier for mom to go out in public and socialize. Walking the mall with a friend or going to a church service doesn’t seem to be such a grueling task anymore. Getting mom out instead of keeping her all couped up at home – isolated, can help her transition easier into motherhood!
You Can Nurse Or Pump In It!
Structured carriers with a top hood are great to nurse in and YES, even pump! Throw the Spectra 9Plus in your pocket and you’ll pump your liquid gold without missing out on any fun going on. I recommend pumping one breast at a time if you are wearing baby. But hey! Why not use the carrier as a nursing cover?! Make your pumping sessions even more discreet and interchange your carrier for a breastfeeding cover. And YES mamas! Pumping is breastfeeding!
Other People Can Bond With Baby
Nothing warms my heart more than seeing an older sibling or daddy wearing the baby. Sometimes the rest of the family can feel a little left out since baby spends so much time with mama, especially during the first 6-8 weeks. Baby wearing can promote bonding with others and will let you get some much needed rest.
Now, to choose which carrier type is best for you? Wrap, ring sling, structured carrier? You definitely want to consider the baby’s age/weight, your height, as well as where you will be wearing the baby. For instance: short trips, a formal event, or if you’re hitting the theme parks may call for different types of carrier styles and designs. Choosing the best type of carrier is a personal decision. Joining a local baby wearing group can help you decide. Click here to find one! Many have meetups and carriers to try on before purchasing. We love baby wearing because of the functionality and benefits for both mommy and baby. Like a mom boss, keep your baby close, get stuff done…baby wearing for the win!