BabaSlings believes, and research has shown, that holding our babies until they’re ready to be let go is the most natural way to parent healthy children. Babywearing isn’t just about the freedom it gives you to go about your day, it’s about the stimulation, security and bond babies benefit from by being held close to their parents. Whether for health, happiness, or the pursuit of practical parenting, BabaSlings thinks the benefits of babywearing are clear.
Held babies cry less.
Even if you have never used a baby carrier you will probably have noticed that crying babies are almost always contented when picked up. In fact, one study published in the journal Paediatrics has shown that babies who are carried cry (on average) 43% less overall and 51% less during the evening hours.(1)
Newborns want to be near you.
Even before your baby was born, he was learning the tone of your voice, the rhythm of your breath, the sound of your heartbeat, even the gait of your walk. When you hold your baby close in a sling, he finds comfort and security in these same familiar feelings. There really isn’t a more positive or healthy way to introduce your new baby to the world.
Babywearing promotes healthy development.
When you wear your baby in a sling she is up where the action is. She hears the natural patterns of your speech, she can engage with all the stimulation of her environment from a safe place, and the movements of your body help her regulate her own physical responses. Research has even shown that premature babies who are touched and held gain weight faster and are healthier than babies who are not. (2)
Baby slings are great for breastfeeding.
Babywearing mothers generally find it easier to nurse their babies more often and more conveniently. And having your baby much closer to her source of milk will allow her to communicate hunger more easily, reducing the stress of nursing on you and her. Baby slings also give privacy while nursing in public and give mums more confidence to go about their day knowing that their baby can be breastfed discreetly in almost any situation.
Babywearing gives you confidence.
A major factor in gaining confidence as a new parent is the ability to judge your baby’s cues correctly. Carrying your baby in a sling helps you learn the nuances of their movements, gestures and reactions much more quickly. Every time a baby is able to let us know that she is hungry, bored, or wet without having to cry, her trust in us is increased, her learning is enhanced, and our own confidence is reinforced. This cycle of positive interaction deepens the mutual attachment between parent and child, and is especially beneficial for mothers who are at risk for or suffering from postpartum depression. (3) (4)
Baby slings are very practical.
What parent doesn’t need an extra set of hands? Using a baby sling lets you give your baby the closeness and attention they need, while still having your hands free to get on with the demands of everyday life. Whether taking care of older children, tidying the house, or popping out to the shop, a baby sling helps you multitask with your baby. Baby slings are also particularly convenient in situations where buggies are more of a hindrance then a help, like public transport, country walks or navigating airport departures.
Share the love with a baby sling.
Adjustable baby slings can be quickly adjusted to any member of the family to ‘wear’ their little one in five different positions; and slings are a great bonding tool for Dad as well. For a father, what could be better for forging an eternal bond with their new baby than holding them close in a sling? Baby carriers are actually a great way for all adults to get to know the new baby in their life, and can help everyone share the caring for the newest member of the family.
1 – Hunziker UA, Garr RG. (1986) Increased carrying reduces infant crying: A random-ized controlled trial. Pediatrics 77:641-648
2 – “Current knowledge about skin-to-skin (kangaroo) care for pre-term infants”. J Perinatol. 1991 Sep;11(3):216-26.
3 – Pelaez-Nogueras M, Field TM, Hossain Z, Pickens J. (1996). Depressed mothers’ touching increases infants’ positive affect and attention in still-face interactions. Child Development, 67, 1780-92.
4 – Tessier R, M Cristo, S Velez, M Giron, JG Ruiz-Palaez, Y Charpak and N Charpak. (1998) Kangaroo mother care and the bonding hypothesis. Pediatrics 102:e17.