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Benefits of babywearing + tips on how to find a carrier
Hey, mama! Let’s talk about the benefits of babywearing for a minute.
But first: Does your baby want to be held all the time? Wondering if there’s something wrong with your child?
(The answer? Nope!)
It’s biologically normal for babies to want to be safe in your arms.
Is it exhausting? Absolutely. Does it make everyday tasks more difficult? Of course.
That’s where babywearing comes in. What, exactly, does that mean? Babywearing simply refers to wearing your baby in a special carrier or baby wrap so that your hands are free to do other things.
I am not a medical professional, and this information is not intended to replace medical advice.
What are the benefits of babywearing?
You’re here because you’re wondering why babywearing is good for baby (and mom!). There are lots of incredible reasons! Let’s find out why babywearing matters.
Following are 21 incredible benefits of babywearing.
1. A happier, calmer baby
When nestled close to your chest, the scent of your skin and the rhythmic thumping of your heartbeat can help calm a fussy baby. Plus, a vertical position aids the digestive system, resulting in fewer gas pains for baby.
2. Enhanced communication
Babywearing can help you learn to read your baby’s cues and respond to them more quickly.
3. Improved physiological development
Babywearing involves infants and toddlers in their surroundings, stimulating all of their senses. And the movement while in the carrier helps to strengthen their spines while developing their sense of balance.
4. Improved emotional development
Babies who are worn quickly develop a sense of security and trust. While some might claim that holding a baby “too much” encourages an unhealthy attachment, the opposite is actually true.
Worn babies are often attached to their caregivers, sure, but they typically become independent at an earlier age.
5. Boost in milk production
Moms who babywear are more likely to have a successful breastfeeding relationship with their little ones.
This is due to increased skin to skin, resulting in increased production of prolactin (the hormone that tells the body to make breastmilk).
6. Regulation of body temperature
Babies can achieve “thermal synchrony” with their mothers. Whether baby is too hot or too cold, Mom’s body temperature will adjust to help regulate baby’s temperature. And the vertical position is often more efficient in doing so than the horizontal position.
7. Decreased risk of SIDS
There are a number of possible reasons why it might lower a baby’s risk, but most importantly, babywearing helps parents monitor their babies’ breathing and respond to their needs more quickly.
8. More restful sleep
Babies are biologically programmed to wake frequently, resulting in less restful sleep. Contact napping promotes longer, more restful periods of sleep.
Babies are biologically programmed to wake frequently, resulting in less restful sleep. Contact napping promotes longer, more restful periods of sleep.Click To Tweet
9. Decreased risk of flat head syndrome
Otherwise known as plagiocephaly, flat head syndrome is the result when a baby spends too much time flat on his back.
10. Smarter, more alert babies
Babies who are held spend more time in a “quiet alert” state.
11. Stronger bond between baby and Mom
12. Stronger bond with other family members
Anyone can bond with a baby this way!
13. Exposure to fewer germs
Babywearing discourages strangers from trying to touch a baby, and it can help prevent a game of “pass the baby” at events.
Babywearing discourages strangers from trying to touch a baby, and it can help prevent a game of 'pass the baby' at events.Click To Tweet
14. Discreet, hands-free nursing
Yes, you can breastfeed while babywearing!
15. Decreased risk of postpartum depression
Mother/infant SSC (skin to skin contact) benefits mothers by reducing their depressive symptoms and physiological stress in the postpartum period (source).
16. It counts as tummy time
Some younger babies babies don’t care for tummy time on the floor.
Babywearing provides the same benefits: head and neck strength, motor skill development, observation of the environment around them, and so on.
17. More freedom for caregivers
Babywearing frees up your hands to take care of older children, push a shopping cart, or even make a cup of coffee.
18. Improved health (for you)
The freedom of movement combined with the extra weight of your baby could promote better health for parents. You could even try a babywearing workout if you’re feeling motivated!
19. Economically friendly
While there are some high-end baby carriers available, there are also perfectly nice carriers that are budget-friendly, especially for those who cannot afford to buy a stroller.
20. Space savings
You don’t have to try to squeeze the stroller in your tiny car trunk when you have a baby wrap or carrier.
21. Reduced stress levels (for you)
Once baby becomes toddler and learns how to walk, a number of new safety concerns crop up. Knowing that your child is safe in a carrier will reduce your stress levels when you leave the house.
Wondering when you can start babywearing? You can start right from Day 1! Learn more about which baby carrier is best for newborns.
Babywearing makes parenting easier
After having my first baby, I found myself either attached to the couch nursing her, or walking around the house trying to calm her down. You can imagine how tired my arms and back felt!
That’s where my Boba wrap came in handy. If I was going to walk around the house, at least my arms would get a break. As she got older, I continued to use it when we went on walks around the neighborhood.
Enter Baby #2. Now, I had a new baby who wanted to nap in my arms and a toddler who needed my attention.
And once my maternity leave ended, I worked remotely while taking care of them both. I wore my baby for many naps while responding to emails and running after my two year old.
Babywearing was a lifesaver when I brought Kenna outside to play, especially as Raelyn got bigger and heavier (but was still too little to run around with her big sister).
I didn’t have to worry about the choking hazards she would find on the ground. Besides, she just wanted me to hold her.
Now that she can walk, I don’t babywear (or toddlerwear?) around the house anymore, but it still comes in handy when I am out of the house, especially since my arms are her favorite place in the world.
I’ve put her in the carrier for walks, vet appointments, and even when out shopping….
Babywearing simply frees up your hands to do all the other parenting things you need to do.
Babywearing simply frees up your hands to do all the other parenting things you need to do.Click To Tweet
How to choose a baby carrier
Wrap, sling, soft-structured, mei tai, backpack: There are numerous carrier styles and brands on the market, in all different price ranges. So, what should you consider when shopping for a baby carrier?
Here are 7 things to look for in a baby carrier.
Look for a carrier with wide straps and back support, especially if you plan to babywear for longer periods of time.
2. Type of hold
If you plan on wearing baby on your front and back, look for a carrier that can be used either way.
There are some expensive baby carriers out there, but there are also plenty of budget-friendly baby wraps and carriers too.
It should have a wide seat to support your baby’s hips — the legs should form an M shape rather than dangling.
If you plan to breastfeed, you might want to look for a carrier that accommodates breastfeeding while babywearing.
6. Ease of use
t should only take one person to put the carrier on and put baby in it.
Certain carriers might not be safe for newborns.
Concluding thoughts on the benefits of babywearing
Babywearing has numerous incredible benefits, and there are a lot of different baby carrier options available. We have used both a Boba baby wrap and a soft structured carrier, and both types have pros and cons.
Do I think strollers are bad, and babywearing is best? Nope! My girls both LOVE stroller rides.
But babywearing fosters a close bond between the baby and caregiver in a way that a stroller cannot.