Have you seen the trendy baby strollers that are on the market right now? They’re big or small, fashion friendly and “out of this world” fancy. And with baby strollers like that, you may wonder why any parents still consider babywearing. After all – babywearing involves manual work, while the hardest thing about a stroller, is pushing it. So why would some parents still choose babywearing over strollers? Because the benefits of babywearing are immense.
15 Benefits of Babywearing – that the stroller cannot offer
- Babywearing is good for baby’s emotional development. Babies quickly develop a sense of security and trust when they are “worn” or carried.
- Babywearing is good for baby’s mental development. When babies are carried, they spend more time in a quiet, alert state. This is ideal for learning. Their senses are stimulated, as they see more than they would while lying in their crib or sitting in their stroller.
- Babywearing allows you to be flexible. When you are outside your home, you can go up any stairs or move through small passages (like a train/ bus/ airplane) without worries. In your home, you can continue to do normal household chores, while holding onto your baby.
- Babywearing increases your milk supply. Because baby is so close to you, hormones kick in to help you produce more milk. This is a great and important babywearing benefit.
- Wearing your baby is good for baby’s physical development. When babies are close to their caregivers, they are in tune with your breathing, heartbeat, and any movements you make. As such, they get into the rhythm of life outside the womb much quicker. The stimulation helps babies regulate their own physical responses and exercises their vestibular system. Carried babies also develop better motor skills, coordination, and balance from observing and listening to you.
- Babywearing is good for you. New mothers and fathers often don’t have time for exercise. Wearing your baby can be like weightlifting. A mother’s oxytocin is increased through physical contact with baby, leading to a more intimate maternal bond, easier breastfeeding, and better care, thus lowering the incidence of postpartum depression and psychosomatic illness in the mother.
- Wearing your baby is convenient. You can walk around freely, without needing to negotiate steps and narrow aisles, as you would with a stroller.
- A baby carrier is cheaper than a stroller. Strollers cost between $60 to $1000. Compare that with a simple, effective and durable ring sling of $35, that you can use from baby 1 to baby 2,3, 4.
- Carried babies cry less and are happier than babies pushed in a stroller. According to research, carried babies cry, on average, 43% less overall and 54% less during evening hours. When babies are carried, their primal needs are met. The caregiver can be seen, heard, smelled, touched, and tasted. The caregiver provides feeding and the motion necessary for continuing neural development, as well as for gastrointestinal and respiratory health. All children benefit tremendously from the warmth and security of being held close.
- Carried babies learn more. When babies are not crying and fussing, they are in a state of quiet alertness. In this state, infants are better able to interact with their environment. Because your baby is intimately involved in your world, he/she is exposed to, and participates in, the environmental stimuli that you select, and is protected from those stimuli that bombard or overload a developing nervous system.
- Babywearing provides a sense of security for toddlers. The world is often very scary for toddlers. Most slings accommodate children up to 35 pounds; being held in a sling will often soothe a child, and even eliminate meltdowns. Your child will always be safer with you than running around in an unfamiliar environment.
- Wearing your baby provides dad (and other caregivers) to bond with baby. Baby carriers are a great way for other family members, like fathers and grandparents, to bond with baby.
- Babywearing allows you to communicate with your baby. When we wear our children, we become fine-tuned to their feelings, and we are much more able to read their cues. Such interaction between caregiver and child enhances mutual attachment.
- Babywearing aids digestion. The constant motion and upright position of most baby carriers ease acid reflux and colic.
- Infants are “humanized” earlier by developing socially. Babies are closer to people and can study facial expressions, learn languages faster, and become more familiar with body language.
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