Babywearing has been occurring for centuries out of necessity. With strollers
gaining popularity in the early 1900’s babywearing moved away from being necessary in western culture to more of a parenting style or lifestyle choice. When I first started babywearing with my oldest only five years ago my family categorized me as a hippie parent. I was just doing what felt natural to me and holding my child close after I grew that tiny little human in my belly for what felt like years by the end of pregnancy. I still get questioned as to why I would choose to wear my kids rather than push them in stroller. In fact, recently my newly five year old requested uppies on her birthday after a fun filled and exhausting day and I heard the snickers and comments as I walked around town with a giant child on my back. So let’s talk about WHY babywearing is amazing and why so many people are moving back to a centuries old tradition.
In my personal life babywearing allows me to help my big kid regulate their emotions after a long day. It helps me to nurse my youngest while I’m chasing after my oldest two. It helps me to hold my tiny baby close while I get the dishes and laundry done. But what else does babywearing do? According to Babywearing International is:
Can help with post partum depression and anxiety
Assists with high needs children
But what about science, actual documentation about what babywearing can do for you. One study
has found that babywearing can reduce infant crying up to 54%!
Premature babies are a group that can really benefit from babywearing. Kangaroo care
is generally encouraged with preemies for the same reasons that babywearing is beneficial. Babywearing helps preemies to regulate temperature and along with the stimulation from a caregivers heartbeat and movement it helps them to also regulate their physical responses. I think my most favorite research based benefit
though has to do with bonding between the caregiver and the prevalence of post partum depression and anxiety. When a caregiver wears their baby it allows them to read babies cues quicker and gain confidence in their bond with their child. When a baby is wet, when a baby is hungry, when a baby needs that loving touch. When these cues are read and met a baby gains more confidence in their caregiver and in turn the caregiver in themselves. It’s an amazing cycle of building confidence as a new caregiver that leads to lower rates of postpartum depression and anxiety.
I hope this quick read peaked your interest about babywearing because there is so much more we will be talking about in the months to come. Look for the next babywearing installment where we will discuss the history of babywearing and how we got to the styles and concept of what babywearing looks like today!