Benefits of Baby Wearing
Since having my second baby just a few short months ago, baby wearing has been a life saver in more ways than one. With having a newborn who constantly needs to be held, it’s been the only way I can get things done around the house. My older daughter was still dependent on me for most things so I needed to cater to her a lot of the day, as well. It really allows me to still be functional while holding a baby for 90% of the day.
Although baby wearing with two kids is almost a necessity, it’s just as beneficial for one. Some women are avid baby wearers and others don’t see the point. There are many different baby carriers, such as wraps, ring slings, soft-structured carriers, and backpacks. Which style is best for you just comes down to personal preference. Below are some of the benefits that baby wearing can have on both you and your child.
Allows two hands for function
For me, this is the biggest benefit to baby wearing. You can hold, soothe, and love on your baby while still allowing your hands to be free to do other activities. It’s tough, if not impossible, to do many tasks one-handed. Whether you have to empty the dishwasher, brush your teeth, or serve your toddler, wearing your baby gives you ultimate multi-tasking capabilities.
You maximize your baby’s skin to skin contact when keeping him close to your chest
in a wrap or carrier. The warmth of your body will give them comfort if they’re in distress by knowing that they’re close to mom. It can also help to stabilize their own body temperature and heart rate.
You can wear your baby while out at a shopping mall or grocery store. This way you won’t have to put them in a dirty shopping cart! In other locations like the airport, public transportation, or doctors offices where there is also a high concentration of bacteria lurking around, having them attached to your body can definitely reduce the amount of germs they’ll encounter.
Many moms are able to nurse their babies using a ring sling or wrap. The baby may be able to find the nipple easier when wrapped up against you. Studies have even shown that wearing your baby can boost your milk production. If you can feed your baby while being hands-free, that’s a double plus!
If your baby isn’t a great napper, they may just be lulled to sleep easier by the movement of being in a carrier. Just like how some babies fall asleep easily in the car, some may only sleep while they’re being gently rocked and held close to mom. Although it’s not the most practical solution to getting your baby to sleep, if it gives them a few more minutes of shut-eye, it may be worth it.
Saves your arms from soreness
My baby is only 3 months, but he already feels so heavy! I can feel it after just holding him with one arm for 10 minutes. When you’re wearing your baby, their weight is distributed throughout your trunk, giving your arms a break. Of course, you want to make sure you use a well supportive carrier that has optimal back support. You could experience back discomfort if you aren’t using the right carrier when your baby gets heavier. When your baby is lighter, a wrap may be helpful, but as they get larger, you’ll find more support from a soft-structured carrier.
May reduce reflux symptoms
If your baby spits up often, it’s best to keep them upright for at least 30 minutes after a feeding. Some babies need to be upright even longer than that to prevent spit ups. When you’re wearing your baby, you keep them in an upright position the whole time, leading to a decrease in reflux symptoms.
Simpler alternative to a stroller
Sometimes lugging a bulky stroller around can be impractical, especially if you’re heading out to a place with rough terrain (ie. beach or park). A carrier is just a grab-n-go item and some can even fit right into your diaper bag for travel or shopping. It’s a lot easier than taking a stroller in and out of your car when needed.
Don’t have to give up your outdoor adventures
If you’re a family of hikers or mountain climbers, you can bring your baby along on these adventures with no problem while wearing them in a carrier. They even have specialized hiking back pack carriers that offer more support and space to carry supplies along.
There are clear benefits to baby wearing as long as you find the right carrier that fits your needs. Take time to try some out to see which style both you and your baby prefer.
Marissa is a school-based occupational therapist turned stay-at-home mom after the birth of her second child. She’s a mom of two children under 18 months old and loves being able to stay home and make memories with them. She recently started her blog, Just Simply Mom (justsimplymom.com), to educate other moms on tips and tricks about all things pregnancy, motherhood, and babies. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, cook, and make DIY projects.