As parents, we’re always looking for the one trick, the one tool, the one piece of advice that will make our lives easier. And the truth is, every baby and every parent is so different, which makes it difficult to give parents a one-size fits all answer.
Unless it’s baby wearing.
When I had my first daughter, baby wearing was purely practical. During the fourth trimester while I stayed at home, I liked going on walks and getting out and about when I could. I enjoyed cooking and often needed to be hands free. Or at the very least, I needed to relieve my back from a newborn that wanted to be held all the time.
As she grew, I found baby wearing to be easier than traveling with a stroller and relied on my carriers to help my daughter nap when we weren’t at home. During the most chaotic days I’d throw her in the carrier for my own sanity to avoid chasing her around.
Baby wearing isn’t a new concept. It made its way West in the 1970s but many cultures have been wearing the babies for centuries. I’ve learned through personal experience that baby wearing is one of the greatest tools available to us as parents in a way that supports both our babies’ well-being and our own.
The benefits of baby wearing:
It strengthens the bond between parent and baby.
In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that baby wearing for three hours a day reduced infant crying by 43 percent overall and 54 percent during evening hours.
It may help lessen postpartum depression.
It aids in baby’s development, both physically and emotionally.
It helps mothers respond to their babies.
It improves breastfeeding rates and helps meet breastfeeding goals.
It can decrease risk of SIDS and flat-head syndrome, while promoting neural development, respiratory and gastrointestinal health, and aiding in balance.
It improves overall maternal physical health.
It promotes early language development.
The best baby carrier is one that safely and ergonomically holds your baby, is comfortable for you and your baby, is simple to use and offers the functionality your lifestyle requires. Today we’re presented with a myriad of choices, so how do we decide?
Stretchy Wraps Good for newborn to one year.
Hybrid Wraps Easier than stretchy wraps, but still just as soft. Good for newborn to one year.
Ring Slings (Fun and stylish, good for newborn through 35 lbs.)
Soft-Structured Carriers (Most versatile with various carry positions. Good for newborn through toddler years.)
Almost seven years have come and gone since I first became a mom and now that my daughters are four and going on seven I find myself longing for the days where I could throw them in a baby carrier and soak in that newborn smell while on a walk in the fresh spring breeze.