Baby wearing for dads is really starting to take off, including celebrity dads like Orlando Bloom and Ryan Gosling! When most people think of baby wearing, they think of it as a mom-centered activity. While that’s true for the most part, moms aren’t the only ones who can engage with their kids and reap benefits from wearing them. Here’s why dads should think about giving it a try.
Bonding with Baby
Maybe you’re wondering how to actually connect with your newborn, and what you can do when Mom’s the one who’s carried them this whole time and providing their food. Maybe taking your little one for a walk in the stroller just isn’t cutting it. Maybe you want to feel more like you’re protecting your family directly. Baby wearing can help you with all of these concerns.
By carrying your child, you’re much closer to them – it’s more like you’re walking with your kid than pushing them out in front of you. It’s easier to have conversations, look them in the eye, and connect with them on a level you just can’t any other way. Baby wearing also produces a number of feel-good hormones that will help settle both you and your little one and make you both feel better. In addition, baby wearing is a great way to interact with your family while still having your hands free to do chores, chase after an older sibling, run errands, or whatever else you need to get done.
Dads also have a couple advantages over moms when it comes to baby wearing. For one thing, they can nestle baby’s head right up against their heart and let the sound of their heartbeat soothe their little one. For another, Dad’s deeper voice vibrations resonate with babies on a different level than Mom’s, which can help get a fussy child to sleep more easily.
Bonding with Mom
Sure, it might seem like Mom’s doing all the work, but she needs a little time to herself too! Being an active caregiver to an infant is hard work, and everyone needs a break now and then. Think how happy Mom will be if she can safely hand baby off to Dad for a while – for a nap, to go to work, or just to have some Me Time (thin on the ground for any new parent). Dads who are willing to baby wear show their partners that they’re equally invested in raising their family, which can only be a boost to your relationship.
Easy To Do
If you want to try baby wearing but aren’t sure where to start, see if there’s a parent group in your area that can point you in the right direction. Most groups would be thrilled to help a new dad find his feet! Some groups can also point you toward a sling library or an online secondhand group, so you can try out different types of carriers before you invest a lot of money in a new one. (The other benefit of going to a parent group is that your children will get a chance to meet kids their age.)
Many slings and wraps will work for both Mom and Dad; more structured carriers vary by type, but are often adjustable. A lot of slings also come in Dad-friendly colors and patterns, so you don’t have to be worried about being stuck with a color that works great for Mom but doesn’t suit you at all.
A great deal of carriers have simple instructions, but it’s important to make sure you have one suited to your little one. Newborns need a carrier with strong neck support, since they can’t hold their own heads up yet, and all babies should be carried ‘close enough to kiss,’ with their chin off their chest to prevent airway blockage.
Don’t be afraid of carrying your little one! It’ll bring great things to your whole family.