My first baby cried frequently. We spent many of our early days cuddling together on the couch. Actually, who am I kidding…it was more like pacing the halls, rocking in the glider until it squeaked, replacing batteries in the vibrating bouncy chair, you get the idea. During a tear-filled phone call with my sister, she suggested that babywearing might be a good solution. The promise of renewed independence and a happier baby was more than appealing.
After the first few weeks, I started to wear my baby all the time. A funny thing happened: the more I wore him, the happier we were. At the time, I didn’t know about the many benefits of babywearing. As a new mom, I was simply thrilled that my baby cried less, and my hands were free to get a few things done.
When wearing my little guy, I almost felt like I got to know him better and maybe a little faster. My son became a natural extension of me, so I quickly learned to read his cues for hunger and fatigue. It honestly made me feel more confident as a new parent. In fact, babywearing offers many benefits to both parent and baby.
Here are just a few:
- Parent is quickly “in-tune” to baby’s cues and needs.
- Reduced stress for baby and parents.
- Promotes early parent/child attachment.
- Meets baby’s innate need for physical touch, and supports breastfeeding.
- Allows baby and parent to easily practise skin-to-skin.
- Baby may sleep more due to added warmth and security.
- More frequent and richer social interactions for baby.
- Greater mobility in crowded places or while caring for other siblings.
Finding a carrier that meets your needs is a personal choice; you may enjoy a wrap, structured carrier or sling. The safety of your baby is crucial. Look for a model that has detailed instructions, is easily adjustable and is comfortable for the wearer. A carrier that allows baby to be upright with baby facing the wearer is the best, especially at the beginning. Just remember to keep your baby safe by having their head and face totally visible and free from material.
Interested in learning more about babywearing? Go to Facebook to check out these two organizations:
– The Halton-Peel ON Babywearers
– Hamilton Babywearers
Tell us about your experience with babywearing.
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For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.