From the early days home from the hospital after having my daughter my husband and I started baby wearing, and from then on we have continued and are reaping the many benefits. In other countries baby wearing is common practice and a blog post explaining the benefits would probably be considered silly; here in the US the practice is growing. I hope this post provides some information that you might not know and a few reviews of baby carriers I have been using.
Benefit #1: (and probably the biggest one of all): LESS CRYING TIME! Countries who practice baby wearing measure their baby’s crying time in minutes, the US measures it in hours. Hours people! Simply wearing your baby can reduce crying time by 43% daily. With that reduced crying time babies have more calm awake periods during which they can explore their environment, listen to mom and dad’s voice, and learn social cues. All of this in the close comfort of mom or dad or auntie or uncle…you get the point.
Benefit #2: Promotes breastfeeding. Baby wearing, especially skin-to-skin supports initiation, exclusivity, quantity, and duration of breastfeeding. And while the benefits of breastfeeding could be a whole series of blog posts a few good reasons to practice are the reduction of asthma, type 1 diabetes, SIDS, respiratory tract infections, ear infections, and colds. Breast milk is also FREE. Enough said.
Benefit #3: Promotes bonding. Moms who baby wear have been shown to have increased bonding and greater confidence in caring for their baby. Baby wearing also gives the other caregivers in a baby’s life the opportunity to bond with baby This closeness to baby allows caregivers to lean their cues and movements increasing positive interactions.
Now we have covered some of the benefits let’s review some carrier options.
The Ergo– This thing is a life saver! If you don’t have an Ergo or something similar I would hands down recommend this to any parent. It’s easy for one person to use, you have full use of your arms, and the support it provides makes it great for all day wear. Seriously, the Ergo is the only reason my house is not a pig pen, my veggie garden is planted, and dinner is on the table. My husband wears baby in this just as much if not more than I do and he loves it. I really can’t think of any drawbacks to it.
The Boba– This was my favorite wrap to use when baby Fiona was just a newborn and it’s still a go to wrap when she is ready for a nap but wants to fight sleep. I swear the second you put a tired baby in this sling, they fall asleep and stay asleep. I also felt like our little girl was so content in this wrap during the early days. She would have great periods of quite awake time in this sling and I really think the closeness of baby to wearer really helped with bonding. This aspect was great for my husband because during those times when she wasn’t earing he got to have some close time with her that many fathers miss out on in the early days (he also cooked dinner while wearing her and I got some much needed sleep).
It is getting harder to wear now that the weather is getting warm. This wrap is also harder for a wide awake curious little bean who wants to stand instead of squat and keep her head down. I also found that after wearing the wrap for extended periods of time and walking about a lot it loosens up and you don’t get that same support; I did find an alternate way to tie the wrap that helped with this. Lastly, now that I am out and about much more I like having free motion of my arms; with this sling you are a little restricted in your activities.
The Sherpani– I just tested this out over the long weekend camping, and I think it’s going to be getting a lot of use in the coming months. We found this carrier at a garage sale when I was pregnant last summer and I don’t know if they still sell the exact model, but if you can get your hands on one I would recommend it. Like the Ergo, this is easy for one person to use, and provides really good support to your back. Our little bunny is really starting to look around and wants to see everything, with this carrier she is sitting up high and facing forward but still gets a seat and has good hip support. Unlike the other two carriers with this style, you have to wait until your baby is holding their head up and has good neck control since there is no infant insert.
What’s next? I want to try out some ring slings and plan to head over to the fabric store to get some more breathable material for the upcoming summer months. Stay tuned for updates on that and let us know what your favorite carriers are and why!
Benefits of Babywearing. (2014, July 27). Retrieved May 29, 2015, from http://babywearinginternational.org/what-is-babywearing/babywearing-resources/benefits-of-babywearing-2/
Benefits of Babywearing | Ask Dr Sears. (2013, August 29). Retrieved May 29, 2015, from http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/fussy-baby/baby-wearing/benefits-babywearing
Rodgers, C. (2013). Why Kangaroo Mother Care Should Be Standard for All Newborns. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 58(3), 249-252. http://dx.doi.org.wgu.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/jmwh.12010 .