Many car seats weigh as much as a baby, or more, yet we frequently see moms carrying their babies in them while shopping or running errands. Besides the obvious back, neck, and shoulder pain this can cause, babies who are held tend to be happier than those who spend much of their time separated from their caregivers.
As a parent, your life doesn’t end when your baby is born. You still have a lot to do and, much as you might like, you can’t just sit and rock your baby all day long. Fortunately, there is a way you can get things done and keep your baby happy at the same time, without hiring a housekeeper. Babywearing is a great way to keep your baby close to you while you go about your day. Here are six benefits babywearing has for each of you.
Benefits for you
- Multitasking – Your baby needs you, you need to get things done. Wearing your baby gives you a hands free way to hold him, so you can go about your daily tasks. Wearing your baby also makes it easier to navigate tight spaces and uneven terrain than a stroller.
- Support – Holding your baby puts all of baby’s weight on your arms, and carrying baby in a car seat has all of that weight, plus the weight of the seat, on one side of your body. A good baby sling distributes a majority of baby’s weight on your hips, with the remainder across your back and shoulders.
- Fitness – After having a baby, it can be hard to find time to work out. The problem is compounded when you have other children. Wearing your baby not only makes it easier to get up and move around, carrying the extra weight will burn more calories.
- Connection – The closer you are to your baby, the more in tune you become with her needs. The more in tune you are, the easier it is to respond to her needs, often before the fussing begins.
- Happy baby – When baby isn’t happy, no one’s happy.
- Money – While you can spend a lot of money on the latest Ergo with all the bells and whistles, all you really need to wear your baby is a strip of cloth. There are any number of videos on the internet that show you how to use one.
Benefits for your baby
- Soothing – Before a baby is born, he is surrounded by his mother’s heartbeat every moment. The sound of a mother’s heartbeat can soothe a crying baby long after birth
- Calms tummy troubles – Holding baby upright keeps stomach acid where it belongs, relieving reflux. Gentle pressure on the belly can help relieve gas. Movement and being close to a caregiver help ease colic. Wearing your baby combines all of these and keep baby comfortable.
- Development – The constant movement of being worn helps to develop baby’s sense of balance. Also, there is evidence that premature and low birth weight babies who are worn more often gain weight faster. This may be partly because their caregiver is more in touch with their needs, so they spend less energy crying.
- Safety – As your baby grows into a toddler, it gets harder to keep them close to you when you’re out. When you’re in a crowd or other potentially dangerous situation, wearing your baby can give you peace of mind.
- Refuge – Small children are easily overwhelmed and a safe place to seek refuge can help prevent a meltdown, or help your child recover after it’s over. Most carriers can support children 35 to 40 pounds, or more.
- Alertness – Babies who are carried more spend more time in a state that allows them to interact with their environment. This helps baby’s brain to develop.
Babywearing and its benefits extend beyond mother and baby. Dads, grandparents and other caregivers can also reap the same rewards.