It’s that time of year again — International Babywearing Week, Babes in Arms (October 7-13, 2013). The goal is to raise awareness about babywearing and all it’s benefits for children and caregivers alike.
If you aren’t familiar with the term, babywearing simply means holding or carrying a baby or toddler using some sort of cloth carrier. There are tons of benefits to babywearing with medical experts agreeing that infants thrive through touch and wearing your baby is another way to meet this need.
In various cultures across the world, babies are constantly in the arms of caregivers. While some may argue that a baby who is constantly held or worn will be fussy, quiet the opposite is true. I know from personal experience when my son is fussy especially when we are outside the home the easiest way to offer him comfort is to wear him.
In addition to helping infants develop emotionally and socially, babywearing also meets their physical needs. Post birth, the experience of being held close to a caregivers body helps them recall the peace they felt in the womb.
According to Dr. Sears, babywearing stimulates the infant’s vestibular system, the parts of the inner ear that work like levels or sensors to control the body’s sense of balance. This stimulation helps babies breathe and grow, regulates their physiology, and improves motor development.
From my own personal experience, I can attest that a baby carrier has been a saving grace in our household. It’s one of those items I tell all expecting moms to add to their registry.
The variety and selection of carriers can be quiet overwhelming, the two that I tried, which have worked best for our family have been the Maya ring sling and Ergobaby. The Maya ring sling worked best when Jeremy was little 1-4 months), though you can certainly hip or back carry much older kids. In our experience neither baby nor mama could get comfortable so we switched to Ergobaby.
I honestly cannot say enough great things about the brand. It’s saved me many, many times by allowing me to go hands free including breastfeeding in public without having to whip a boob out. There have been plenty public encounters where baby is feeding and the person I’m speaking to has no idea, they think baby is simply sleeping in my arms, which 95% of the time he is. The rest of the 5% he is mostly smiling and taking in the world around him.
Here are a few family babywearing shots. Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.