By Anje Hill
The practice of carrying your baby or toddler in a sling or another form of carrier isn’t some new trend us ‘crunchy’ moms came up with, it’s been around long before the 1900’s and has gained popularity again in recent decades.
Parents worldwide use a variety of long cloths, shawls, scarves and even bedsheets to cart their babies around while doing their chores. It was part of everyday life. A very common practice until mid-last century when the ‘independent baby’ movement came into play and mothers stopped learning to mother from other mothers but instead relied on the advice of men because they were male and doctors. Thankfully this movement of suppression and the ‘spoilt baby’ theory has moved on leaving our babies loved once more.
For us, born in the 70’s and 80’s in South Africa, it was part of the normal day being carted around on the back of our loving house workers. When I started with our babywearing expedition, the idea was new to me, regardless of whether I had been ‘worn’ all those years ago… and I had never attempted this with either of my other two babies. Looking back now I wish someone had informed me what a tremendous difference it would’ve made to my life.
8 babywearing benefits:
- Babies cry up to 50% less on average than non-carried babies. When a baby cries, they are crying for a reason. When babies are worn in slings, they rarely cry because their needs are already met. Your baby is relaxed and happy, so are you, which makes the adjustment to be a new parent a whole lot easier
- Colic and reflux are a lot more manageable. A reflux or colicky baby prefers to be upright as it makes sure that the milk and stomach acid stays down where it should, and helps trapped gas come up
- Sling-babies can nap anywhere. It’s super-convenient: no need to worry about access to the pram, or somewhere for baby to sleep when you’re on holiday
- Breastfeeding is convenient and private. Looking for a place to feed your baby is a problem of the past, you have your own private feeding room right with you
- Your baby is just happy to be with you. Wearing baby close in a sling helps moms to bond with their little ones. Often these babies become more independent later on than non-carried babies because they are so secure and confident
- Baby carriers are great for baby’s developing hip joints. Baby is in the correct ‘frog’ position – hips flexed and abducted. This is the same position ‘hip babies’ are put into, to help their hips correct themselves
- Wearing your baby can burn up to 300 extra calories a day! Baby provides as much ‘resistance’ (or more) as a pair of hand weights. So, pop that baby on and go for a walk, you can both benefit
For more information on babywearing or assistance in choosing the perfect carrier visit: https://babywearinginternational.org/