Baby wearing has long been used by our ancestors and many cultures around the world as a means to care for an infant while maintaining existing responsibilities.
After your baby is born, we need to think of the first 6 to 9 months after birth as the fourth trimester. This fourth trimester is a crucially important time for your baby’s growth and development.
The first nine months were spent in the womb, where the baby is warm, comfortable and is feeling and listening to the rhythms of the mother’s heart, breathing, voice and movement. Once the baby is born, their environment changes drastically, so baby wearing is a means to help the baby adapt to their new reality.
Research shows that skin to skin contact between a baby and its mother promotes brain development, helps the baby adapt to the outside world, promotes milk production in the mother and can help promote healthy weight gain for the infant.
Some of the benefits of baby wearing for the baby are:
- Close contact with mom or dad promotes development
- Provides baby with contentment and calmness
- Creates baby attentiveness and allow for faster learning
- The sensations and sounds the baby hears and feels while being worn reminds them of the womb experience and balances their environment (Sound of heart beat, sound of breathing, the rhythm of the mother’s walking patterns and voice)
Some of the benefits of baby wearing for mom or dad are:
- Baby bonding
- Allows you to perform tasks while you carry your baby or to care for other children
- Picks up on needs of baby more easily
- Easier errands – no need for stroller
- Easier access for breastfeeding
How to choose the right baby wearing attire
This will likely come down to the preference and comfort for the parent using the attire. Some people will prefer a sling style and others will prefer a more structured support. The style of carrier is less important than following the safety protocols of each individual carrier style.
Baby Wearing Safety Tips
- Ensure clear airway. Think of your baby’s airway as a straw that when pinched either slows or restricts completely its effectiveness. When your baby’s chin drops to their chest the airway is being pinched off. Ensure that the baby’s head is positioned in a slightly upward direction to allow for a clear passageway. Also, be sure to provide support to your baby’s neck and back.
- Check your baby carrier regularly for wear and tear and to ensure that the it will securely hold the weight of your baby.
- Test the baby wearing device using a weight similar to that of your baby before using with your baby. The first time you use the device with your child, use a spotter or do it over a bed or couch to ensure safety.
- If you have questions or concerns about baby wearing, speak to your chiropractor, midwife, or other natural health practitioner who is familiar with your family.
With Sources from:
Jo-Anne Richardson has almost a decade of experience managing a chiropractic office and educating patients on how chiropractic can allow your body to express optimal health. She is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and holds a Degree in Communications. She loves to experiment with raw vegan recipes, loves to salsa dance, travel and learn new holistic health information to share tips with everyone who visits the office.