October 4-10 is International Babywearing Week.
There is a reason there is a whole week dedicated to wearing babies- it rocks!!
Babywearing, or wearing your child around in a carrier, was a saving grace for me as a working mother. There are so many incredible benefits to wearing our babies, keeping them close, finding independence while our child finds comfort. I could rave on and on, but I thought it would be easier if I broke down a little more factually, why Babywearing does indeed, “rock”.
- The Fourth Trimester
- Childs Health
- Nursing Benefits
- Hands Free Parenting
1. The Fourth Trimester
Birth may seem like the separation of infant and mother, but babies need anything but separation. There is a whole Theory surrounding human infants and the need for a fourth trimester, the first three months post-partum. It has to do with a mammals normal gestational period and humans evolving to bipedal creatures and our sweet babies heads being too big for our hips to carry “full term”, so they are born before they are ready. (Think of a foal, Having a 12 month gestation, being able to walk within an hour of birth.)
Basically, for the first three months, babies are what I like to think of as “womb sick.” They miss their safe, warm, snug home and they need that recreation. So soak in those babies who “only want to be held”. It’s totally normal, and eventually will ease. Not that it makes it easier. I read, I experienced, I knew, and I was still so dismayed at how much my son just wanted to be held.
Wearing your newborn (bonus for skin-to-skin) helps recreate that womb-like feel to them. It aids in regulating their body temperature, enhances parental bonding, can stabilize their heartrate, and enhances growth and weight gain.
2. Childs Health
Babies who are routinely carried are shown to cry 43% less during the day, and 54% less during those evening bewitching hours (the study states evening hours from 4pm- 12am)
I marveled at what a happy boy my son was, particularly in comparison to my sweet sensitive girl my daughter was. His bewitching was minimal, if my son was held, he was happy. Some friends attributed it to “well goodness knows you know what you are doing.” But honestly, I attribute his happy demeanor at such a young age to the ease and comfort of being worn.
Baby wearing, carrying your child upright, also can also help ease the acid reflux that approximately 50% of all babies get.
Holding your child frequently also helps keep baby from getting those dreaded flat or bald spots a lot of infants get from spending too much time in seats and swings.
Worn babies can lead to happier, healthier babies! (Which leads to happier, more peaceful parents!)
3. Nursing Benefits
Studies have shown that keeping a baby close to his nursing mother can help aide in mothers milk production. It’s part of why they say nursing a baby on demand, even to be used as a “pacifier” is actually encouraged. The more skin and closeness babies have to mom, the more that physiogical connection will tell moms body to make milk for baby. This is great news for many moms who feel they struggle with “supply” issues. Keep that baby close, wearing him, is a wonderful way to keep up with milk production.
The other bonus to babywearing with a breastfeeding mother is that in many carriers, Mother can actually nurse baby, discreetly and hands free! It’s a wonderful way for a mom who doesn’t feel comfortable nursing in public to nurse discreetly. Just be sure to warn your brother who comes to take a gander at baby in the carrier that he’s going to get an eyeful! (Not that I know that from experience, *cough cough*)
Do not get discouraged if this is something you and baby cannot master the first time around. Like most things, it does take practice. It also helps to ensure baby has decent head control. I practiced with little man in my Lillebaby around my home and in my yard before I felt comfortable trying it out in public, and even now it takes some getting used to. I also advise you wait until you pass the sore nipple phase of nursing.
4. Hands Free
The hands-free benefit of wearing my son was the thing that probably drew me to it the most. When I realized how comfortable, how easy it was to “wear” my son once I found a great carrier, I was a total convert.
Running an in home daycare, I only took two weeks of maternity leave before my Littles came back and I started working again. One of my biggest anxieties was being able to juggle the pressures and bonding of a newborn while caring for five other children during the day.
- Babywearing saved me. I found I could keep my son close, happy, fed, and still be able to give my kids everything they needed, AND (semi) kept up with the house! I can’t even recall, in my sleep deprived delirium, how many times I told me husband “how did we raise Imp without our Lillebaby?”
Even my husband was a convert after that.
Is didn’t hurt that it makes us feel like super-parents.
Have you ever had experiences “wearing” your children? What are your thoughts on wearing all the babies? How were you introduced to the world if babywearing?
Share with us your thoughts and experiences with wearing your children!
Be sure to join us in our social media accounts to be up to date with the progress of our project!
And… Don’t forget to share your brelfies using our HT #BreastfeedingWorld
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