Children need our arms. They might not be able to walk, they feel tired, or want reassurance. Unfortunately, though, we're not always available as our hands are busy doing a thousand different things. And this is where babywearing can save your life.
People have been wearing their babies since the dawn of time. It's the most natural and instinctive way for us mammals to carry our offspring.
Your baby needs this
Regardless of whether you'd enjoy babywearing, it's clearly one of babies' favourite activities. There's no better feeling in the world than being snuggled up against you with your warmth and scent. As our founder Jeanne reiterates, "Being carried reminds babies of their time in the womb. It soothes and comforts them, and their parents too."
Parents want this
You may just want to wear your baby. Babywearing can even be therapeutic, as Lisa explains: "A fortnight after I gave birth, I became very ill and had to be in hospital for a week. I was heartbroken. When I came home, I didn't let my little girl leave my arms and wore her constantly to rebuild the bond between us and repair our broken hearts."
With your baby in a carrier, you get your hands back so you can go about your business again. You can cook, work, tidy, read, walk, have friends over, etc. with your baby snuggled against you all the time.
Slings are compact. They can go in a pocket. They fold away in the blink of an eye and can be stored wherever you want. This makes travelling around easier.
In a baby carrier, your baby is away from exhaust pipe emissions, unlike in a big pram that needs at least one hand to push it. You don't need to find somewhere to store a baby carrier at home, or struggle to take it up and down stairs or into lifts.
Reassure and soothe your baby
Babywearing soothes your baby when they experience everyday difficulties like colic, constipation, reflux, fever, etc. The vertical position improves reflux. Your body heat soothes stomach ache.When your baby's ill, wearing them against you is soothing for both of you.
Once calm, they can finally rest. And this is the other magic trick that baby carriers can do: they send babies to sleep. As Océane says,"My daughter didn't want to fall asleep alone in her bed and, with her major reflux problem, she was carried for months for walks, naps, etc."
Strengthen your parent-child bond
While wearing your baby brings them close enough for kisses, biology also has a role to play in deepening your bond. When a child feels soothed and secure, their body releases endorphins. This happiness hormone strengthens your relationship. It also gives your baby a sense of secure attachment which will benefit their social development.
The same is true for parents. Your body will also release endorphins, comforting you and giving you confidence as a parent.
Not only does having your baby physically close make breastfeeding easier, but you can also feed them in a baby carrier. This can be done while you're stationary or walking: it's up to you.
Soothe your back
As Catherine, one of our Koala Mums, confirms: "We've both got great memories of it: I had no back ache and she was all wrapped up." Thanks, @catherinegjb!
To summarise... Babywearing means:
Now you know all about the joys of babywearing, find out more with these two articles:
- Learn the babywearing rules: 10 rules of babywearing.
- Understand ergonomic babywearing: ergonomic babywearing.