I’ve always been a baby wearing fan and I’ve worn both of my children. I’m doing it more extensively lately, after looking into the benefits of baby wearing and finding the perfect sling for us.
What is baby wearing?
Baby wearing is not a new trend, Africans and other nations have followed the culture of wearing babies for hundreds of years. We commonly wear or carry our babies on our backs from about 3 months of age, using towels, wraps, shawls or long scarves. With the new wraps on the market, you can now safely and comfortably wear your baby when they are a newborn. Most babies love to be worn as much as they love being held.
That’s exactly what baby wearing is, carrying your baby close to you, using various materials.
“In Africa we carry our babies so they feel loved”
Some benefits of baby wearing
You have your baby close to you. Newborns have a natural need to be held, it helps them with their physical and mental development
Suitable for babies and toddlers
It is said that babies who are regularly carried cry less; the closeness is comforting and your movement is soothing.
Helps with reflux, because your baby is held upright after a feed
Enables you to have your hands free. This is so helpful for me, when I get home, my daughter rages into clingy-mode and I still have to cook and help my son with homework. I also wear her when we go on our family walks:
You travel light. It’s easier to move around with your baby on you vs in a pram sometimes. If I’m doing a quick in and out at a shopping centre, I only carry a sling
Offers a convenient cover-up for breastfeeding moms
The safety element, when your baby starts crawling and walking, you know exactly where they are when you have other things to do
Dads can get involved in the bonding process and help to carry baby
Different surrounding stimulate your baby and helps with brain development. My daughter loves it when we go for walks, the trees, sunlight and cars moving fascinates her.
Safety when baby wearing:
Baby wearing is safe, if you do it correctly.
You must always be able to see your baby’s face – don’t use any sling that covers their face and restricts breathing.
Keep your baby firmly and securely close to you to prevent them from falling out
Make sure that baby’s chin is not squashed into their chest as this blocks airway
Wear your baby facing inwards, so that you support their legs, neck and head.
What kind of carrier or sling should you look for?
I personally prefer using a soft, stretchy cotton sling since she is just 5 months old. I find that it’s suitable for very small babies and it doesn’t hurt my back and shoulders at all. The one in my pictures is called the Caboo Carrier and it’s available at Kids Emporium. Here are some other styles of carriers and slings:
There are so many different carriers on the market, you need to find the one that will work best for you and your child.
Do your research first and consider the following:
Adjustability: how long will you be able to wear your baby? Can you carry your baby in different positions?
Material and Comfort: both for baby and how well it fits your frame and size too
Length: longer is better for newbie baby wearers
Take the weight of your baby into consideration, don’t kill your back
Essentially, baby wearing is convenient and beneficial for both moms and baby. I do know that some moms don’t like it though. What has been your experience with baby wearing?
Modern Zulu Mom