What’s so great about wearing your baby?

Posted on 11 October 2013 by Kristrun

Baby wearing has been practised for centuries around the globe. But it seems that we, in the industrialised world, are only recently realising its benefits.

Not so long ago, common advice was to “put baby down” as often as possible so it does not “learn bad habits” and be unable to soothe or settle itself. Now some are thinking differently and co-sleeping, attachment parenting and baby-wearing are becoming increasingly popular.BabaSling

These fancy names are all behind the theory that, instead of “teaching” your infant or child independence by encouraging him to deal with situations alone, one remains emotionally and physically available to the child for as long as she needs and wants it.

This harbours a deep bond between parent and child, increasing a sense of well-being and resulting in a happy, confident child who will seek independence instinctively and happily when he or she is ready and be more content and confident when that happens. In fact, there is some suggestion that babies who are worn often gain independece faster than those who are not, as they are less anxious and more secure, having had their needs fully met from birth.

All that time and bonding increases the mother’s confidence too as she becomes increasingly in tune with her baby and in her ability to know what her child needs. Some evidence suggests that attachment parenting and baby wearing results in a decreased risk of post natal depression.

“Baby wearing is a natural extension of kangaroo care” says Annerley midwife Olavia. “This practice was developed for premature babies when it was realised that skin-to-skin contact with a mother’s chest could do a far better job at regulating a tiny baby than any incubator, and the positive effects are not only physical, but emotional too – both for baby and mother.” Skin to skin contact is now widely encouraged following all births.

There is also evidence to suggest that baby wearing improves a baby’s learning of language and socialisation. Being so physically close to another person for long periods of time means they quickly pick up human cues, expressions and language.

As well as all these developmental benefits, it is also very convenient to have your little one strapped to your body as it leaves your hands free to do other tasks. You spend less time soothing and rocking

and settling baby also as, as Olafia points out “babies who are worn cry less!”

It is especially pertinent here in Hong Kong, where the environment can be very unsuitable for a stroller or pram!

It can take a little getting used to, especially when your baby is very small, but it is well worth the effort. We all know babies stop crying when we pick them up and carry them. Because they love it and that is where they want to be.

We have several baby carriers available at Annerley and Kristrun is always happy to give a demonstration!

What’s so great about wearing your baby?

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