Why I love babywearing!
The greatest benefit is having the ability to walk out of the house knowing I will be able to conveniently comfort and calm (nursing, napping, etc.) him almost anywhere I go while providing one of the best environments for his physical and emotional development! Also, when in public, wearing him eases my anxiety because I know I can physically care for and protect him anywhere, for example
- in a crowed mall, I’m able to shop with him without the concern of keeping one eye on a stroller,
- at a doctor’s appointment, I’m not concerned with him touching areas that may be contaminated with germs, or
- at the grocery store, he can take his afternoon nap or engage in a conversation with the store clerk.
Most important of all, I’ve noticed carrying my children has made them more alert and engaged, connected, aware, and happy!
Research Supporting BabyWearing
Studies have shown that wearing your baby has several benefits:
- Less Crying – Babies who are carried cry less on average than those that are not. Research has shown that babies who are carried cry (on average) 43% less overall and 54% less during the evening hours.(1)
- Smarter – Babies live in a “quiet, alert state” when carried – the ideal state for learning. Their senses are stimulated and they see the world from where you do, all while feeling safe and secure with the ability to retreat into the wrap. This stimulation is preferred compared to the ceiling above the baby’s crib or people’s knees from the baby’s stroller. And the extra stimulation benefits brain development.(2)
- Emotional Development – Babies quickly develop a sense of security and trust when they are carried. They are more likely to be securely attached to their caregiver(s) and often become independent at an earlier age.(3)
- Postpartum Depression – Postpartum depression is much less common with babywearing mothers than among other mothers. Reasons may include hormonal stimulation, baby’s reduced crying and the reduced “burden” of interaction, and your baby is “right there” to enjoy whenever you feel like snuggling, kissing or talking.(4)
(1) Hunziker, U. A. and Barr, R, G. (1986). Increased carrying reduces infant crying: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics, 77, 641-8.
(3) Anisfeld, E., Casper, V., Nozyce, M. and Cunningham, N. (1990). Does infant carrying promote attachment? An experimental study of the effects of increased physical contact on the development of attachment. Child Development, 61, 1617-1627; Whiting, J. W. M. (1981). Environmental constraints on infant care practices. In R. H. Munroe, R. L. Munroe & B. B. Whiting (Eds.), Handbook of cross-cultural human development, New York: Garland STPM Press.
(4) Sears, William, M.D. et al., The Baby Book (Little, Brown Company 2003); Pelaez-Nogueras M, Field TM, Hossain Z, Pickens J. (1996). Depressed mothers’ touching increases infants’ positive affect and attention in still-face interactions. Child Development, 67, 1780-92.