If you are new to the world of natural parenting, the terminology and practices can be confusing at best. Cloth nappies, co-sleeping, babywearing...its a lot of information to take in and you only have nine months to do it! Lets delve into one of the most popular aspects of natural parenting babywearing.
What exactly IS babywearing? Babywearing has been a regular practice for centuries with mums across the globe and is a simple concept. At its most basic, babywearing involves a long piece of cloth wrapped around mum and baby and tied securely. Today, baby carriers come in a variety of styles to fit every budget and lifestyle. Swaddles, wraps, and slings are all popular methods for keeping baby safe, secure, and close.
Is babywearing safe? When done properly, babywearing is very safe. That being said, a few safety tips are important to remember. First, be sure that your babys airway always remains open by keeping the chin off of the chest. Positioning is important here; your baby should always be in an upright position unless nursing (when a vertical or cradle position in front is acceptable), and keep in mind that smaller babies need to be carried higher on the back than older babies and toddlers. Babywearing International has more guidelines and graphics to help parents with positioning and safety.
Will babywearing spoil my baby? Absolutely not! On the contrary, a secure baby is a happy baby, and a happy baby is more comfortable and confident later in life. Knowing that mum or dad is right there reduces anxiety and allows baby to more fully interact with their surroundings. Skin-to-skin contact also plays a part in babys psychological well-being, since the oxytocin released helps to reduce stress and promote those feelings of love and happiness.
What are some benefits of babywearing? Babywearing has been popular for centuries for a reason. Not only does it make baby feel safe and secure, it has practical benefits for mum as well. The cost of prams is rising steadily, and their bulkiness makes them a chore to lug around. Rather than spend an arm and a leg on a product that can only be used in ideal circumstances (ever tried to push a pram over sand or a cracked pavement?), mums can spend a fraction of the price on baby transportation that can literally be tossed into the baby bag on the way out the door. The added convenience of having two free hands is another great benefit for busy mums who work or have older children (or both).
With all of these advantages, its hard to understand why anyone WOULDNT want to wear their baby. Forget the pram and wrap baby close to your heart!