Friday, March 22, 2013

The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful: The Benefits of Babywearing

Why babywear?

Babywearing is easy, hands-free, and fun.  It leaves you available to go about your business without worrying about a stroller, sanitizing a shopping cart, or hanging on to an adventurous toddler.  A proper baby carrier can make a heavy child feel weightless
and puts much less strain on your body than carrying a child in your arms.

Yes, babywearing may be a little confusing at first.  It might take some time and research to find the best style of baby carrier for you.  If your family is anything like mine, it might take you some time to convince them that is isn't 'just for hippies' or a waste of money.  There is a learning curve, and it might take some practice, especially with a wrap.  Once you get past all that, babywearing is an amazing thing.  It's a great feeling and has some amazing benefits.  I put together a short list of some of my personal favorites.  There are plenty more, but if I listed them all this post would go on forever!


Babywearing can save you money.  By buying a good baby carrier, you can save money in the long run.  Why spend 300$ on a stroller when you can spend 100$ on a baby carrier?  If you buy used, you can save even more!  Most carriers also have a great resale value if they are taken care of, so much of your investment can be returned to you in the end.  Not only can it save you a good chunk of change, but it can also save you space.  Strollers take up a lot of room, especially on trips were space is limited.  My wrap fits in the diaper bag.  My stroller does not.

Babies need to be held.  A fetus spends 9 months in the mother's womb.  It is constantly held and rocked.  It hears its mother's heartbeat early on and feels her warmth.  Birth is a shock.  That comfort is suddenly gone, but the need for contact hasn't disappeared.  Babywearing provides a smoother transition from the womb to the outside world.  When placed in a wrap, sling or other carrier, a new baby is suddenly comforted again.  He will hear his mother's heartbeat, feel her warmth, and be held tightly, just like he needs to be.

Babywearing makes breastfeeding easier.  MUCH easier.  Not only is it easier for baby to communicate to you that he is hungry when you are so close, but the odds are that your baby is already in a position to feed discretely.  Especially in a wrap, a baby can easily be lowered to breast height and eat without attracting any attention.

Have you ever had to carry a sleeping baby when out and about, trying to manage your business with one hand?  Babywearing can fix that.  Babywearing gives your baby a safe and cozy place to sleep.  It also gives a tired or overstimulated baby a way to retreat away from noise and in towards mom or dad.

People are less likely to try to touch your baby.  Especially in those precious first weeks, so one wants a stranger at the park trying to touch or hold your baby.  People tend to be less willing to reach into your sling than into a shopping cart.  I've also found that it's a great deterrent to keep friends from trying to play 'pass the baby' at a family or friendly gathering.

Your baby can safely view the world.  Your child can visually explore his surroundings, but still enjoy the comfort of being snuggled.  It's a great mix to condition their young minds without overstimulating them.


There are also many 'personal' benefits to babywearing.  These ones are all straight from the mouths of babywearing moms!


You can see and feel a baby better when worn instead of facing away from you in a stroller.  This one comes from a deaf mother, who can't tell if her baby is crying unless she can see or feel him.

It's great exercise!  You keep the baby on you to give you the time to work out, while also adding extra weight to up the intensity.

It's a wonderful way to bond.  Not only for a mother and child, but also for daddies, grandparents, and anyone else.  It builds a lot of trust and it is an amazing feeling.

Babywearing helps you meet like-minded mamas.  You wouldn't believe how true this is!  I can't tell you how many times I've been stopped by a fellow babywearer or mother interested in babywearing.  It's a great way to start a conversation.  There are also tons of facebook groups, giving you a way to make friends and find support.


There you have itMy favorite 'pros' of babywearing.  Are you ready to give babywearing a try?  If you are already a babywearer, can you relate to any of these?  What is your favorite part of babywearing?





 

9 comments:

  1. I had an Osh Kosh B'gosh Snugli but my son didn't like it at all so I bought an infantino met tai but he won't sit in it for long either so I've been contemplating trying to find a wrap but I'm not sure which one would be best for my body type & 15lb 12oz tall baby boy. Which one(s) do you have?

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    1. I started off with a Moby(stretchy) wrap and I loved it. She's too heavy for it now, so I've moved on to a Wrapsody Bali Breeze. It's a gauze-y material, so it's extremely lightweight for summer but it isn't stretchy so it's more supportive. I don't think it will be supportive enough for back carries in a few months, though, so I'm saving up for a nice woven wrap. I'd definitely say to go with a non-stretchy/woven wrap for a baby that's already 15 pounds.

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  2. Great post! I love babywearing and my little guy constantly gets compliments when we're out running errands, "He's so calm"! He can chill in a carrier for a couple of hours without getting antsy - he loves to people-watch!

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    1. Thanks! I get comments like that, too. It's wonderful.

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  3. I should pick your brain... I have problems wearing my daughter on my back in my Ergo. I feel like I'm being strangled by that top strap. (I have issues with wearing things high up on my neck. I don't even wear t-shirts because they're too close to my neck.)

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    1. I don't use that type of carrier, so I don't know if there is anything you can do to adjust it. I prefer wraps, because it can be used so many different ways and you don't have to have anything around your neck.

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    2. I think for a reasonable person, it wouldn't be so terrible. I went out for a walk through the woods with a friend wearing one of her kids in hers and she was pretty comfortable. I think I'm going to have to get her to help me figure out what I'm doing wrong.

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  4. I love babywearing! When my daughter was born, I felt as though she hated it, but I think that we just didn't really give it a chance. As she got older, closer to her first birthday, we started using them a bit more and she enjoyed it and so did I. With my son, I was sure I would need to babywear at some point in order to still spend quality time with my daughter who was only 20 months at the time he was born. Now, we have a variety of carriers and wraps and slings. We used our Hug a bub so much when he was born and have now passed it on to my cousin who needed one to use. She loves it so much with her little guy and I was so excited to see them using it. Plus, her baby was such a peanut compared to my little guy at birth so it was so cute!

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  5. I love wearing my daughter. However, she also loves riding in her stroller. At almost 25 pounds, she is getting a bit too heavy for tiny old 113 pound me.

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