5 Reasons Why Babywearing Is Beneficial

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Image via Dagmar Bleasdale

When I became a mother for the first time, wanting to have my son close to me was a natural instinct. I was nursing him on demand, he slept in our bed from the first night on, and I couldn't have imagined it any other way, although we had a beautiful crib for him.

During the day I liked wearing him in a baby carrier. He was content in his Maya wrap, and I was able to move around the house with him and get things done.

The wrap was especially handy during my solo trips to Germany to visit family with him. I had my hands free for all the extra baby items during check-in at the airport, I was able to nurse him on demand and use the extra fabric of the wrap to cover him, he'd fall asleep in the wrap, and everyone around us was relieved that this little baby – and later toddler – was so quiet during the whole flight.

I experienced first-hand how content my son was because he was close to me, and I'd suggest babywearing to any new mom.

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Image via Flickr/kmroselle

1. Babywearing is Convenient – No Stroller Needed!

It's so much easier to put your baby into a sling to run an errand than getting the stroller out of the car. And you can skip having to explain how the stroller works to Grandma – just have her wear the baby when she takes him for a while.

Babywearing also allows you to have both hands free to do other things, like typing an email, and helps when you have older kids that need attention.

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Image via Flickr/kourtlynlott

2. Babywearing Allows You to Attend to Baby's Needs Faster

A baby that's in a crib or playpen instead of close to mom in a sling or wrap is likely to be more fussy, plus you are less likely to react to the first signs of the baby being uncomfortable or unhappy. Research found that babywearing for three hours a day reduces infant crying by 43 percent overall and 54 percent during evening hours.

I was able to notice my son's moods right away because I felt him squirming or heard his little noises and was able to comfort him immediately. Being so close to him all the time made it easy to learn his cues of what he needed, which made my job as a mother easier.

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Image via Flickr/AmberStrocel

3. Baby Can See and Experience the World So Much More

My mom never wore me as a baby; in fact I know she hardly ever left the house with me when I was little. I spent a lot of time outside in a pram, stationary, “in the fresh air in the garden.”

I did the total opposite with my son: I took him everywhere, even as a little baby, and thanks to slings and wraps, he was my little, content travel buddy and literally saw the world with me. Being stimulated by seeing and hearing so many different things benefits a child's brain development.

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Image via Flickr/hugabub.com

4. Babywearing Builds Confidence

Attending to baby’s every need and carrying them does not make them more needy or spoiled – it creates the exact opposite.

Being comforted and close to a caregiver in a baby carrier generally results in a very close bond and in children growing up with more confidence because they feel assured that they always have a place of comfort to come back to.

I took attachment parenting to an extreme by bedsharing and nursing my son on demand for years. I was hardly ever separated from him in the first few years, yet he has always been very independent and willing to explore new things.

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Image via Flickr/hugabub.com

5. Babywearing Makes Breastfeeding Easier

Mothers can react to a baby's cues of hunger faster if the baby is worn in a carrier, and babies are more likely to have a successful feed before fussing becomes a cry for food.

I fed my son at the first sign of hunger and avoided prolonged crying fits from him. I don't think that's because he was naturally an easy baby – I think he was an easy baby because I was able to nurse him right away, and anywhere I was, while he was in the wrap.

There are so many more styles of slings and baby carriers on the market today than there were 6 years ago when I had my son, and I envy any mom who has a little one today to try out different ones to find the one she likes the best.

I miss the baby-wearing days. Enjoy being so close to your baby and know that babywearing has benefits for baby and mom. It's such a short time when they are so little and cuddly – it won't be long until he or she is too cool for a hug from mom.

Did you practice babywearing? What's your favorite aspect of babywearing? Do you have a favorite baby carrier?

If you're new to the idea, and want to give it a try, click here to check out a great selection.  These are all 70% off with free returns!

 

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5 Reasons Why Babywearing Is Beneficial

Dagmar tackles motherhood, thrifty home decorating, DIY projects, and green and frugal living on her lifestyle blog Dagmar's Home. She loves finding treasures in thrift stores and sells her handmade candles on Dagmar's Home Decor. Connect with her on Twitter (26,000 followers), Facebook, and Pinterest. ... More

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26 comments

  1. Profile photo of Grace Grace says:

    i wear my baby sometimes but not as often as i would like, my back and weight related problems make me unable to wear him as much as i would like.

  2. Profile photo of Jenny Jenny says:

    I love thinking about baby wearing and can’t wait to start come July 🙂 Even in my early pregnancy I can’t imagine having my baby away from me at any given time, and plan on bedsharing besides baby wearing as a way to promote closeness and keep him/her readily accessible at all times for feedings.

  3. Profile photo of Cheryl Cheryl says:

    What is the best item to use for baby wearing?

    • Profile photo of Sara McTigue, CLCEditor Sara McTigue, CLC says:

      To start out with babywearing, a simple pouch sling is easy to use, but does require a specific size, so it’s helpful to be able to try some on to see which one works best. If you don’t have access to trying some on, a ring sling is another simple style that is more adjustable.

  4. I really want to use a good wrap that will last.. what is a good product that will hold up as my baby grows?

  5. Profile photo of Randil8 Randil8 says:

    This would never had worked with my daughter as an infant. She hated being held in any position where she couldn’t see out towards everyone . Even when she is tired I have to put her in a swing or rocker. She hates to cuddle but loves to sit facing out. Now that she is almost 5 months and long enough to face out in baby bjorn, I think she will love to go for walks in it rather than a atroller.

  6. Profile photo of danielle danielle says:

    I love having my baby close to me. I enjoy her presence she makes me feel very calm an relax an she seems to feel the same way. My baby has acid reflux as well an for those mothers who are familiar with an acid reflux baby we know that if they are not upright it is very painful for them and for the mother as well so the carrier helps me relieve her of the pain an also allows me to get all the necessarry things done. So as long as you make sure your baby is in correctly and is all snug they are very helpful. I am very thankful for the carriers.

  7. Profile photo of ermlmom ermlmom says:

    I’ve been looking for a good wrap/carrier. I have tried several, but due to being large breasted I haven’t been able to find one that fits well (carriers, not slings). Any suggestions?

    • Profile photo of Kyle Kyle says:

      I also had the same problem. With my son I had tried a ring sling and it was hard to keep him in the right position due to my chest, but with my daughter I am using a Moby wrap, which is just one long piece of fabric, and I can carry her with no issues. The Moby also offers multiple seating positions and I can nurse her with it while still shopping if needed. You can even carry an older child on a hip with it, and twins together.

    • Profile photo of Kim ShannonEditor Kim Shannon says:

      Hi ermlmom! I had the same problem and loved my baby wrap wraparound carrier, which is basically just a very long piece of fabric used to tie the baby to you in a number of different ways. A podaegi wrap is another that I tried many times and liked. Hope that helps!

  8. Profile photo of Morgan Hart Morgan Hart says:

    A few reasons why babywearing isn’t for me….
    1) Babywearing can be dangerous for babies. Many infants have suffocated in slings and wraps. Also, many can easily be used improperly, which can cause damage to baby’s hips and legs much the same way that swaddling can.
    2) Babywearing can be physically straining on the mother or father. Constantly throwing your body off balance by adding weight to your front causes problems with backs, necks, head, etc.
    3)When you stated in your article that you don’t have to explain to grandma how to use the stroller because she can just wear the baby, you assume that grandma (or any other alternate caregiver) wants to have the weight of your child attached to their body at all times. This can make it VERY difficult to find childcare or even sitters that can adequately meet your child’s grown dependence for constant holding.
    4) It is your job as a parent to foster your child’s growth and independence. Wearing an infant, ok for some I guess. Wearing a toddler…that’s another story.

    • Profile photo of Zahra Zahra says:

      1) Yes, any method of caring for your baby can be dangerous or negative for your baby. The basic rules for carrying your baby are:
      – Baby should be able to breathe: chin off his chest and some fresh circulation (i.e. don’t cover their face all the time and leave a space for fresh to come through)
      – Don’t do activities that would shake your baby (jogging, running, etc.)
      – Do not use in cars
      – Follow height and weight suggested by the manufacturer

      About the carriers:
      – Regularly inspect them for signs of excessive wear and tear
      – Use reflective surfaces to check the carrier and the baby are properly positioned
      – Do not do activities with increased chances of falling
      – If you have to wear a helmet for an activity, don’t carry your baby
      – Protect any exposed surfaced from elements and be aware that a baby that’s against your baby shares your warmth. Be careful of overheating.
      – Baby should be close enough to kiss

      Positioning: Check http://www.thebabywearer.com/articles/HowTo/Positioning.pdf

      2) Carrying your baby close and facing in can prevent this kind of problem. When they want to look out, check hip or back positions from the carrier.

      3) My baby was carried a lot but didn’t have too much problem adapting to daycare. Of course, babies are different but they are more adaptable than we give them credit for.

      4) I do wear my toddler when using public transportation, going to the public market and any time he would be in the stroller more than an hour.

  9. Profile photo of Jennifer Jennifer says:

    My son is 9 months now and has terrible reflux. Before I started wearing him, he would cry for hours. Wearing them keeps them upright so digestion is easier and he is soothed being so close. Now I have a baby bjorn, a moby wrap, a woven sling, and a backpack carrier! I even made a wrap out of gym short material to wear him at the beach thats wicking and quick-dry. HE HAS NEVER BEEN HAPPIER! Even my 2 year old loves to be worn in the backpack! I wasn’t a believer with my first child, but now I strongly believe everyone should at least try it. You may be pleasantly surprised!

  10. Profile photo of hollie hollie says:

    i started babywearing very late- i didnt get a carrier til my son was already 32 mo old, who is a RUNNER. he is really not very good at staying near or safe while out in public, and i felt like we were trapped indoors last summer, but this year we got to go to all kinds of (very busy) festivals, hikes (the kind of place he can’t run off the path) and even to a quarry, because of our boba. i love it!!! i feel like it sets me free and allows me to enjoy the things i used to do pre-baby again without worry. the carrier has been so good for my peace of mind and enjoyment.
    and yes it did take a bit of trickery to get an active 30mo into a carrier. the trick is getting them into it quickly and start dancing or stomping to keep them amused. ha ha.

  11. Profile photo of Aleah Aleah says:

    I have a Moby wrap for my son, which is my first child, and I absolutely love it!!! It’s more convenient for trips to the store and just going out and about. My son also has GERD and him being upright allows him to keep food down which is helping him a lot right now for weight gain. Especially when I go grocery shopping. He tends to be a little fussy in his carseat while shopping but in the wrap, he can look around and he is close to me and continent.. I am also a BFing mother and it allows him to eat whenever we are out.. I would recommend a carrier for moms to be, they are wonderful!! Everyone is different but I am having a wonderful experience with him in the wrap.

  12. Profile photo of Kelley Kelley says:

    My daughter loves being worn. She likes facing out and seeing everything, and it makes stuff like going to the grocery store so much easier for me.

  13. Profile photo of Kuleen Kuleen says:

    You forgot one! Baby wearing is good for MOM. Don’t underestimate the chemical reaction you have with your baby. Being near your little one releases all sorts of good things in your body that make you feel calm and happy.

    Honestly I think it is good for everyone. I have a new nephew, and I visit him every week for my “therapy” session. Holding him for a few hours relaxes more than getting a massage.

  14. I hate to sound so negative but I don’t feel the need to “wear” my baby… I don’t live in Zimbabwe and my baby won’t be eaten by some predator if I just carry her in the carseat, stroller or any of the many other devices we have. I feel paranoid anyway with a bjorn on, like I am going to knock her into a wall or someone will collide with me. I don’t want to trip and kill my baby, no thanks.

    • Profile photo of Zahra Zahra says:

      And putting a baby constantly in carriers with hard surfaces promotes the formation of positional plagiocephaly. Worn babies are less susceptible to it because their heads don’t rest on hard surfaces all day long. And a carseat should not be used for prolonged periods of time (no more than an hour at a time if I recall correctly) because the position makes infants curl their chin towards their chest and it can block respiration. Travel systems are a bad idea for this reason alone.

    • Profile photo of Kelley Kelley says:

      Then keep it to yourself. Baby wearing works well for some moms, but what moms don’t need is your ridiculous reasoning and negativity.

      • Profile photo of Melissa Melissa says:

        I don’t think this mom needs to keep her comments to herself. Every mother chooses a different path and she chose not to wear her babies. It doesn’t mean she’s not close to them. I didn’t even know baby wearing was an option until I had my 3rd baby, and had 3 diff types of carriers. That doesn’t mean that I’m not close to my first two babies. We just had different ways of bonding. I wear my 4th all the time! He’s attached to me constantly whether it be in bed at night to nurse all night long or wherever we go. I wore him nonstop for the first 3 weeks of his life while we got used to the flow of a four kid household. My point is, every mother loves her baby regardless if they breastfeed, bottle feed, baby wear or use strollers.

  15. Profile photo of ProudMomma ProudMomma says:

    I have never practiced baby wearing. With my first, I couldn’t stand the carrier. With my second, he was too big fast. I plan to try it this time though if possible.

  16. Profile photo of nichole nichole says:

    i had a maya wrap with my first born daughter, and i loved it. i used it when we flew from mi to al, and it made everything sooo much easier, except having to take the sleeping baby in the wrap off of me when i walked through the metal detector…. i wish they hadnt made me do that. i didnt wear my baby as much as the author did however, but i did wear her as much as worked for me, and i plan to do it with my son once hes born aswell. i defiantly recommend it to people for sure.

  17. Profile photo of bmattler92 bmattler92 says:

    i have a baby carrier for my son and it makes going places so much easier,

  18. Profile photo of Phammom Phammom says:

    I will be baby wearing instead of the stroller, most of the time.

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