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Babywearing 101

Babywearing 101: Babywearing History, Benefits, & Safety

Babywearing (according to Wikipedia) is "the practice of wearing or carrying a baby or child in a sling or other form of carrier," whether for attachment parenting or baby transport.

 

Whether you are an avid babywearer, are new to babywearing, or want to know more about the benefits of babywearing, our "Babywearing 101: Babywearing History, Benefits, & Safety" article is sure to provide valuable information.

Babywearing History

Although babywearing has become vastly popular in today's modern world, the concept is far from new, having been practiced for many years all around the world.
  • In China, mothers have been wearing their babies for thousands of years, including in the traditional Mei Tai carrier hold.
  • Native Americans on United States soil wore their babies during the busy day of cooking, cleaning, preparing animal skins, and more.
  • In many nations, babywearing is still a vital practice of parenting, part of cultures dating back centuries.

In the Western world, babywearing saw a decline as parents misunderstood or were not aware of babywearing. (For instance, some parenting experts believed the mistaken notion that babywearing hindered developing independence, whereas it actually facilitates it when practiced properly.)

With the rising influence of attachment parenting, parents are beginning to realize the tremendous benefits of babywearing to their family structure and baby's well-being. (Not all babywearers consider themselves attachment parents.)

Babywearing Benefits

There are such tremendous benefits to babywearing that we cannot possibly cover them all in one article. So, we've chosen our top ten favorite babywearing benefits. If you want to know more or have a benefit to share, please contact us!
Top Ten Babywearing Benefits

1) The gentle movement of babywearing and closeness to Mommy reminds baby of being in the womb.
2) Babywearing also provides Daddy a way to share the nurturing and enhances family bonding.
3) Babywearing increases parental sensitivity to baby's needs, as baby is right there.
4) Babywearing is known to decrease crying and fussiness, as well as increase learning.
5) As an active part of their parents' world through babywearing, babies are able to make the right connections for brain function.
6) Parents who babywear get extra exercise!
7) Breastfeeding is convenient and discreet while babywearing.
8) Babywearing makes it possible to go out with baby without worrying about other people's hand and germs.
9) Babywearing allows parents to care for and play with older children without neglecting baby.
10) Baby carriers and slings are more convenient than strollers in crowded places, airports, the beach, and other public places.

Babywearing Safety

If you are new to babywearing, you may not realize that wearing your baby presents different things of which to be careful. Please review the following safety tips to keep your baby as safe as possible while in your baby sling or carrier.
  • Keep a heightened awareness of your walking environment, especially what objects are around that could cause you to trip or stumble.
  • Make sure your baby does not have access to hot drinks or other dangerous items at the adult level.
  • Proper positioning is essential to keep baby from falling, as well as for maintaining proper spine, pelvic, and hip growth. Baby carriers and slings that evenly distribute baby's weight are best for you and for your baby.
  • Remember that you will need more space when maneuvering to avoid bashing baby into doorways, counters, etc.
  • Make sure knotted carriers are tied securely and other carriers fit snugly to keep baby from wiggling out.
  • Do not overdress your baby, as contact with you will be very effective in keeping him or her warm. Overheating poses more danger than underheating.
  • Make sure baby's airways are unrestricted by fabric or the position of his or her head.
Did you know that a baby sling or carrier is often the safest place for your baby?
  • Babies in slings and carriers are always with you, always in sight.
  • Children cannot run off into dangerous situations or be snatched by strangers while in a baby sling or carrier.
  • If parents stumble or fall while babywearing, they are less likely to drop babies or cause serious injury... as opposed to simply holding babies in their arms.
  • Babywearing significantly decreases the risk of positional plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome, which can result from too much time in the car seat, stroller, or crib.
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