Simple to find, slings, wraps, and carriers in all different styles are available for mothers everywhere. Babywearing, often associated with attachment parenting, is becoming more popular as moms across the spectrum learn about its benefits.
Studies show that babies who are worn cry 43 percent less than those who aren't. This is because the baby can see, smell, hear, and touch their mom or caregiver at any moment, helping them to relax and remain calm. The baby also has easy access to food and can nurse on demand. And mom can enjoy nursing her baby almost anywhere without worrying about accidentally exposing herself or being the subject of curious glances.
Contrary to popular belief, babywearing also leads to independence being established earlier. Being carried quickly establishes a close bond between a baby and their parent that's more secure, giving the baby the confidence needed to explore their world. Another benefit of babywearing is that babies develop socially earlier. Babies who are worn have the ability to study facial expressions, become familiar with body language, and tend to learn language faster. Research shows that carried babies have enhanced visual and auditory alertness.
Preemies and babies with special needs tend to thrive more when they are always close to their mom or another caregiver. Wearing your premature or special needs baby helps him to be in tune with his mother's breathing, the sound of her heartbeat, and her movements. In turn, the baby learns to regulate their own physical responses. It's even been shown that premature babies who are held and touched gain weight faster and are healthier than babies who aren't.
The benefits of babywearing aren't reserved just for the baby however. Moms who use a baby carrier, baby sling, or wrap have a lower incidence of postpartum depression due to the release of oxytocin that occurs when a mom has physical contact with her baby.
Babywearing parents and caregivers also tend to be more confident parents since they tend to be more attuned to their baby's cues and can respond more quickly to their baby's needs. Babywearing also allows a mom to keep her hands free to do household tasks, care for other children, etc. It also makes navigating places like the grocery store and airport much easier.
Whether or not you consider yourself a "crunchy" mom, the benefits of babywearing can easily be enjoyed by parent and baby alike. For those interested in trying it, they'll first need to decide what their baby wearing apparatus will be. Sling, carrier, or wrap? There are plenty of options out there to choose from.