Although babies have been carried in arms or with devices designed for this purpose in all cultures since the beginning of humanity, some still see babywearing as a fad associated with a particular parenting style.
The truth is that babywearing has proven advantages for the baby and wearer. That’s why I want to explain what babywearing is and give you all the keys to decide if it is the best method for you and your baby.
Table of Contents
What is the baby wearing?
Babywearing is carrying a baby in your arms. To make it easier to do this in the correct position for the baby, more comfortable for the baby wearer, and also to allow the immense advantage of leaving the adult hands-free, different baby-wearing devices have been designed for each growth stage. They can be used from birth to several years later.
Benefits of babywearing
When you have a baby, having your arms free so that you can attend to household chores simply by holding the supermarket trolley sounds fantastic. Adult autonomy is one of its greatest advantages.
It also improves self-concept and confidence in caring for a baby. Postpartum depression rates are lower among carriers and the bonding with the baby is greater.
Being in close contact, early signs of hunger are detected earlier, encouraging breastfeeding on demand.
Studies show that ergonomic carrying devices respect the baby’s anatomy and the carrier’s back. Carrying a child for hours using an ergonomic device is more comfortable than using your arms.
For the baby,
Increased security and peace of mind. Close contact makes it easier to meet their needs sooner, strengthening the bond and attachment.
Sleeping a baby improves sleep and regulates temperature and vital signs. Even in neonatal ICUs, the kangaroo method is used, which consists of carrying babies in the hospital to improve their evolution and development.
It drastically reduces digestive discomfort. The upright position prevents gastro-oesophageal reflux, and movement makes it easier to pass gas and stools. Western cultures, where babywearing is less common, infant colic is higher.
It has advantages in terms of bone and muscle development: it prevents plagiocephaly, which is the typical flattening of a baby’s head when they spend too many hours lying down. If an ergonomic carrying device is chosen, it also prevents hip dysplasia.
How to Carry Correctly
We are discussing health and safety for you and your baby, so you should discard all non-approved devices. However, you will find approved devices that could be more ergonomic.
❌Without ergonomics, your back and your baby’s back and hips will suffer. His back will be straight, and his legs will be stretched downwards, forming an inverted V-shape. His weight will be on his genitals.
✅If it is ergonomic, your back will be curved in a C-shape and your legs in an M-shape, as they will be open, with your knees raised to the height of your bum or above. The carrier fabric will reach the back of the knee, allowing your weight to be distributed between the bum and the legs.
If you are pregnant, ergonomics and avoiding excessive weight on the pelvic floor and abdomen will be even morechoose baby carriers that allow you to carry your child on your hips or back.
Given the many products on the market, visiting a specialised childcare centre is advisable, avoiding large department stores. It is also an excellent idea to attend a babywearing course.
When to Start Babywearing
You can carry your child from birth. It is recommended to wait until your child weighs around 3 kg to ensure their posture. Still, from then on, you can carry your child for as many years as you like (more or less until your child weighs around 20 kg and prefers to walk or until you decide you don’t want to hold them any more).
The key is to choose the right carrying system. For example, slings are usually more comfortable for carrying a newborn because they allow the child to be more tucked in. In addition, the fabric adapts completely to their shape.
When he grows and weighs a bit more, he will hang in a sling, so I recommend using a baby carrier. Even so, you should know that backpacks include specific reducers for newborns. This means that if you prefer this carrying system, you can do so from birth.
When choosing what to use, it’sto look not so much at your baby’s weight and age, although these are useful as a reference. Instead, look at your child’s development. When they can sit up on their own, they will be ready to use a baby carrier with a pre-shaped seat on their own.
Tips for carrying
Make sure you choose an approved ergonomic device. And learn how to use it properly, position your baby correctly and make it comfortable for you.
If you haven’t carried since birth, your baby may miss being in a sling or carrier. Give yourself time to get used to it because, like everything else, it’s a process.
Don’t do activities that involve a risk of falling or getting burned while carrying, such as certain sports, cooking or ironing.
Carry in the front, not on your back, and with the baby facing you, not the front, at least until 6 months. From 6 months onwards, your baby can hold their head up. Also, until 8 months, the baby does not acquire object permanence: if he does not see your face, he will think you are not there. In addition, looking straight ahead can be too stimulating.
Types of baby carriers
Many different types of baby carriers will be more useful in different situations and needs. But whether you buy online or in a specialised shop, always remember to ask for approval and ergonomics.
It adapts perfectly to baby growth. Please note that the elastic ones can be left in place when taking the baby out. The non-elastic ones have to be put in place and knotted every time the baby is taken out. They allow many positions and are very comfortable, but they usually require learning.
The elastic ones are only suitable for the first 6 months; the non-elastic ones can support more weight, so they are suitable for older children. There are very soft and cool fabrics, such as bamboo.
Very easy to adjust for baby’s growth. Models for almost all ages are available, with backpacks for children from newborns to 5-6 years old.
We have been carrying our babies since the origin of our existence as a species, throughout history and in every culture in the world; they love it!
We have a wide variety of baby carriers that make it easier to carry your baby for hours in comfort and safety. And there’s the right choice for your baby’s age and needs.
Babywearing is a convenient option that allows you to meet your baby’s demands sooner while doing other tasks or on the move – you can even breastfeed while carrying!