If there’s one thing that has helped me maintain my sanity these 18 months post-delivery, it is babywearing. I absolutely LOVE babywearing. It brings my bubba close to me and keeps my hands free for me to do other work. No running around after a crying baby, leaving half your work undone. No cranky baby, who doesn’t want to sleep after a tiring day. (Yes, overtired babies are the hardest to put to sleep.) Plus, warmth and kisses and cuddles and squishes – do I need to say more? Another positive is that you can babywear right from the first day to toddlerhood!
The best gift for a new mother is a baby carrier, believe me. Forget all those who say that carrying a baby will spoil it. A baby cannot be spoiled. Period. All babies need is lots of love and hugs. They are helpless and they yearn for the warmth of the person they connect with best – the mother. Babywearing is the best way to soothe those tiny nerves. Studies have shown that babies who were worn and kept close to their caregivers turned out to be more compassionate and empathetic AND more independent (contrary to what people say). If you are a breastfeeding mom, you can do it discreetly in a carrier too!
Okay. So if you are still interested in this, let’s look at some babywearing tips.
1. Find what works
Different adults and different babies of different sizes call for different carriers. There are many types of carriers – wraps, ring-slings, soft-structured carriers, onbuhimo, Mei dai. Each one of these come in different materials and textures, like cotton, linen, jacquard, lacre, stretchable. What works for one may not work for another. Try out various carriers with your baby before you settle on one (or two or three!) If you are unsure, you could contact your local sling library. You can even rent out the carrier for trials. They will be more than happy to help.
Some carriers have a greater learning curve than others. Be patient and keep trying. Your baby may hate it in the beginning. Don’t give up immediately. Keep trying and you will realize what a blessing babywearing is.
3. Safety rules
Follow the safety rules diligently. Keep the baby’s airway open. Do not let the baby’s chin rest on its chest. The baby should be facing you. For infants, provide good neck support. Do not drink or eat hot items while wearing your baby. Walk slowly and carefully. Don’t travel in a vehicle while wearing your baby. Don’t bend over from the hips while carrying the baby. And most important, the baby should be worn in an ergonomic carrier (knees far apart, support from knee to knee, bum lower than knee level.
4. Select carriers according to your preferences
Want to babywear for a short trip to the grocery store? A ringsling is good. A trip to the mall? Get a wrap. Want to visit a relative’s place where you will need to wear and remove the baby frequently? An SSC is a good option. Want clear vision ahead? Buy an onbuhimo. Have two babies? Tandem wear! There’s something for everyone!
So there you are. Hope I helped you understand how beneficial babywearing is. If you have any doubts, feel free to ask. It is just super!
Comment with your best babywearing pics. And be sure to share this as far as possible, so that most new mothers benefit from the blessing that is babywearing.