Why Is It So Important to “Wear” Your Baby?
It may seem that this is a new trend among some health professionals–urging parents to wear their baby. In reality, this has been around thousands of years. In fact, it dates back to biblical times. It transcends cultures. If you think about it, this is what we did prior to all the gizmos and gadgets that we have now. People walked around carrying their children from infancy to toddler ages in beautiful fabric wraps like the one pictured here.
We used to be a much more active or mobile civilisation until the industrial revolution and cars came about… and then we hit the digital age. The amount of time we spend on or in front of an electronic screen is more than most people even realise. The sitting and lack of movement affects our bodies, namely our spine and our circulation. Read any alternative health blog today and you will see writing on the drawbacks of long hours of sitting.
Well, as one might expect, these things affect babies too.
Wearing your baby in a wrap or sling helps them to develop good core strength. The neck, abdominal and back muscles are strengthened as your baby is worn and has to work against gravity. This is good! They will need core strength to begin sitting up on their own and to crawl.
Just like core strengthening, wearing your baby allows them to keep their head properly positioned above the shoulders. Baby “furniture” that keep your baby in a flexed position which encourages their neck to tuck as the head is flexed is not helpful for breastfeeding. When a baby is breastfeeding they need to be able to extend their head back and drop the jaw wide open for a deep latch. Wearing your baby keeps them well positioned allowing them to turn their head in many different directions, as well as flex and extend their neck, whilst being supported.
Wearing your baby helps foster a deeper bonding with them. You can even wear them skin to skin (yes, literally, just a nappy and you unclothed!) and be covered for privacy at home! Having them heart to heart many hours a day will increase the amount of time you look at your baby and they at you, give them a kiss, feel their heartbeat against yours, and synchronise your breathing. It can be very therapeutic and stress relieving.
Getting Things Done
Let’s face it, having a baby requires a lot of time and attention. When your baby just wants to be held, if feels like you can’t get anything done. Wearing your baby gives you hands free!!! HANDS FREE! Wear your baby while you wash the dishes, fold the laundry, vacuum… there are so many possibilities! In fact, you can even breastfeed your little one while you are carrying them in the wrap or sling. Did you know that?! Yep!
These days babies spend a lot of time on their backs–sleeping, in the car seat while driving and anytime hanging out at home in baby “furniture”. The more time that babies spend on their backs with their head resting on something the more they are at risk of developing a flatness to the head either on one side or the full back side of it. This is not good for brain development. We want babies to have a nice roundness to the back of their head which makes room for their growing brain.
So what’s the bottom line?… wearing your baby counterbalances the time they spend on their backs. It promotes bonding, helps with your babies development and core strength. Wear your baby in a soft wrap or sling as much as possible! You will find you love it!
Check out these The Little Baby Brand Bamboo Cotton Swaddles here or here!