Carrying and hugging a baby close is so comforting, natural and universal. This is where baby wearing comes into play since time immemorial as it is good for both baby and parent. It makes for a contented baby, while enabling a parent to do tasks with free hands. Baby carriers make all these easier and commercial baby carriers are readily available in the markets. However, many people still use a simple piece of cloth to tuck baby comfortably on their back or up front, in a most secure manner. This practice is known all over the world in different languages. It is a skill which can be learned as it does take a little practice in mastering the art, which ultimately brings comfort and liberation once you get it right.
What’s so great about baby wearing
Baby wearing is all about the secure knowledge that baby is happy without your having to stop your other household chores. It is so important to let baby feel secure with the touch of a mother or father.
a. Contented and healthy babies
Babies who are carried cry less as studies indicate as baby wearing for at least three hours can reduce by 54 percent infant crying bouts. Also, babies with special needs or those born premature benefit by baby wearing as it tunes them with the mother. This relates to the various physical activities of the mother, sound of her heart beat and breathing which can stimulate baby’s own physical responses. Babies who are touched and held gain weight faster as in the case of premature babies.
b. Receptive and confident parents
Thee ability to read the baby’s needs successfully is what brings about confidence in parents as well. A baby who is nurtured with loving touch makes it possible for parents to attune to their baby’s facial expressions, movements and gestures which could all relate to what baby is feeling. Baby’s trust in the parent increases and without having to cry out, baby can convey messages of the need to be changed, fed or even when bored. This mutual attachment, understanding and positive interaction is most beneficial specially in the postpartum depression of mothers as it makes them more confident.
c. Loving and comfort caregiver
Baby wearing is a great bonding tool for baby with a father, mother, grandparents, family members and even baby sitters. This is one way of letting baby get used to your voice as you go for a walk together in a baby sling. Baby learns to read your expressions, heartbeat, movements and this forges a close bonding between you both. Cuddling up close to your baby is a wonderful feeling and makes for a deep lasting attachment.
d. Convenient extension
Baby carriers can help a lot in taking care of older siblings as the little one contentedly snuggles on your back. This will also reduce sibling rivalry especially if you have children of close age, as you can still pay attention and look to the needs of the other siblings. It is also convenient to carry around older babies and toddlers especially when you have to negotiate through busy supermarket, airports or even climbing stairs.
Baby wearing safety guidelines
It is a completely safe and comfortable equipment once you are able to get the hang of it. There are some safety measures for properly wearing a baby so that both mother and baby are comfortably happy.
a. No baby carrier comes ensured that baby always has open airway. It is your prime concern to ensure that baby can breathe comfortably even as you carry on your tasks. You need to constantly keep an eye on baby’s air passage.
b. Baby’s chin must not be curled on his little chest, whether carried in the front or back. Of course, this safety measure applies even if bay is not on the carrier sling and is just being held or in the infant car seat. New infants lack muscle control to open airways and this slumping can restrict the breathing ability. A good carrier should have a proper back support so baby does not slump.
c. Re-breathing the same stale air under cover of the fabric is most harmful for baby. This should be avoided by keeping baby uncovered as it will also enable you to see that baby has plenty of free air supply.
d. Always keep baby’s face close by so you can constantly give a kiss which is also a good assurance for baby.
e. Check that your carrier has proper clasps which will not snap off while carrying the baby.
f. Also, keep an eye on the surrounding which may accidentally bump into baby while you go about your tasks.
g. Always get the right size carrier for baby’s comfort and also for underweight babies.