Wear all the babies!
When I first became a Mom almost 7 years ago, I quickly discovered that not all babies are so easy to keep content. My poor little man did not quite seem ready for the outside world and we struggled with pretty severe jaundice, colic and difficulty soothing himself. I quickly learned about baby wearing and never looked back! Here are some of the benefits to wearing your little one:
#1. As a busy mama, it allows me to stay connected to my little ones and keep them calm and content while keeping my hands mostly free to still care for my other kiddos and get chores done. #multitasker (4)
#2. Wearing baby in ergonomically correct positions (legs at 90 degree angle... bum below knees... back and head properly supported depending on age, etc.) actually helps baby physically by preventing physical abnormalities of the hips, legs and skull that occur from too much time flat on their back or belly. (1)
#3. Baby wearing promoted happier tummies as being upright with their tummy to you provides a gentle massaging motion and stimulates the nerves and muscles as, they are carried about. (1)
#4. Baby wearing helps Moms struggling with depression better bond with their little ones by making it easier to care for their babies... and sick and preemie infants heal and grow faster! Especially when combined with skin to skin time! (2)
#5. Babies who are worn regularly cry LESS! If worn 2 hours a day, that reduction is estimated at 43% (3) That is a HUGE blessing!
#6. Place a drop of soothing Essential Oils on your chest , like Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Gentle Baby, Peace & Calming, or Frankincense and baby is able to breathe the gentle soothing effects of his human diffuser, while being worn.
Now, before you get going... not all carriers are created equally AND there are so many options that are designed with all of these benefits in mind.
- Make sure your baby's carrier properly support their legs to the hollow of their knee and does not leave their legs dangling! (My Chiropractor husband shudders when he sees this) Their bum should be below the level of their knees
- Make sure your carrier keeps baby at the right height on your body - close enough to kiss the top of their head
- Make sure baby's head is properly supported in the early months and their back should be fully supported at all ages
Here are a few of my favorite carriers that I've personally used!:
- Want something relatively fool proof? The Tula Carrier has been my favorite structured carrier. Excellent should strap padding, good ergonomics, and its simple to adjust the strap positioning. (Only limitation is that it only allows for front and back carry, so another carrier would be required for hip carry). When carrying a newborn in my Tula, I was sure to have the insert found here.
- Ring Slings, like My Wild Bird makes so beautifully, are great for a comfortable carry and is relatively simple in design. Once you create the proper seat for baby's bum, you just adjust the "rails" to tighten the top or bottom support edges of the fabric through the ring and Viola! I love this carrier for a good hip carry!
- Fabric wrap baby carriers are so incredibly versatile and come in a variety of fabric weights for all seasons. You have so many different carries you can do, you just have to master the various ties and this can be a little daunting for first time baby wearers. I just received, as a gift, the amazing Didymos... originally designed in 1972 to be true to the design that most closely relates to how women have been carrying their babies in multiple cultures since the beginning of time!
- In the world of fabric wraps you will also find stretchy fabric wraps in different weights, like the original Moby I'm wearing in the top picture or the Happy wrap. There are also wraps specifically designed to wear TWINS.. check out this blog post from Lucie's list , it has a great list of options to consider
So, as you see the benefits are huge and the options are endless! So happy shopping and let me know which carrier is your favorite!
(2) "Current knowledge about skin-to-skin (kangaroo) care for pre-term infants". J Perinatol. 1991 Sep;11(3):216-26.
(3) Hunziker, U.A. and R.G. Barr (1986). "Increased carrying reduces infant crying: A randomized controlled trial". Pediatrics. 7:641-648.
(4) Powell, A. "Harvard Researchers Say Children Need Touching and Attention", Harvard Gazette.