Why Babywearing? 11 Reasons a Baby Carrier is for You [Image of a white baby looking at the camera while being worn in a woven wrap front carry. Text on the image reads quote, 11 reasons to do babywearing, end quote. The Adjoyn handwritten scripted logo is in the upper left corner of the image.]
Quite simply, a baby carrier is one of the most practical pieces of gear you can have! It allows for multitasking, easy travel, and babies who are carried cry up to 43% less!! (1) Here are ten reasons why using a baby sling, or "babywearing," is right for you.
11. Babies don't know you want your dinner warm.
They don't even know you want dinner! They just want to be held. But it's really hard to hold a floppy newborn and cut - let alone eat - your own food. Enter the baby carrier. Eat and even prepare foods without having to use any hands to hold that snuggle-lovin' baby.
Babywearing allows for preparation - and consumption! - of foods to nourish you so you can care for your baby [Image is a stock photo of a white man and woman preparing food together. The woman is wearing a young baby in a stretchy wrap.]
10. Your movements make baby so happy. And well digested.
Babies love movement - that's why walks and yoga balls can soothe them so well. When you put your baby in the carrier against your body, as you move as one unit the movement of your body against theirs helps the movement of baby's digestive track - which is still learning how to do its thing. (2) Baby's vertical positioning and closeness to you can help with everything from the Purple Period of Crying to Colic.(11)(12)
9. Babywearing helps with breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is largely supply and demand. The more often the breasts think they have to make milk, the more milk they'll make. By having baby up close to the breast, hormones are being released in the mother's body that can encourage milk supply, even if baby isn't nursing.(3) Babies also love being close to "the refrigerator" to smell all your wonderful smells - even when you haven't showered!
Babywearing can help with breastfeeding - even if you're not breastfeeding while babywearing [Image is a photo of a woman with brown skin wearing a baby on her front who is also breastfeeding. The woman is gesturing to someone off camera.] Photo: Reuters
8. Strollers can't go everywhere.
Crowded festivals, ancient ruins, the beach, urban stairways - strollers sure are convenient but not everywhere. When you need to zoom in and out of tight spaces, babywearing is there to give you speed and LIFT baby out of the crowd.
Baby carriers go anywhere [Image of two adults faced away from the camera showing the toddlers carried on their backs in buckle carriers. The adults are walking down a busy sidewalk.]
7. Strangers don't recognize baby's "personal space"
But they recognize yours! Keep those well-meaning germ carriers - uh I mean people - away from baby's precious face by keeping baby close to your body. So much easier then "accidentally" pushing someone with a stroller.
Two kids to keep close watch of and no assistance in sight? Babywearing can help you! [Image of a woman with tan skin wearing a baby on her hip in a pink sling while holding a toddler on her other hip with her arm. She's looking down at the toddler and smiling.]
6. Babywearers have their ish together.
Strollers are bulky. Carriers are streamlined. Walking toddlers are chaotic (and so fast!). Carriers are calm. An infant seat hanging off your arm is not fashionable no matter what looks you can pull off. A baby carrier compliments your style. It makes you feel put together which in turn may help you feel more capable of caring for your infant. (4)
Babywearing not only helps you look stylish, it helps you FEEL put together too. [Image of a woman with tan skin looking in a mirror and applying lipstick while wearing a baby on her chest in a white stretchy wrap.]
5. Postpartum mood disorders can feel a little less overwhelming with babywearing.
Keeping your baby close can help reduce postpartum anxiety because baby is so easily monitored and doesn't have to leave your side at all while you're wearing. The same hormone that we make anytime we're with someone with love - oxytocin - is created when we wear, giving us feelings of happiness, safety, and bonding. Not only moms make oxytocin - all caregivers can get in on that benefit! (5)(6)
4. Babywearers get things done.
Got emails to answer? Papers to read? Netflix queues to demolish? Babies still want to be held through all that, but you can still be productive! Put up that baby and get to work. Just try not to over-do the stressful work if you're still newly postpartum, right?
Babies don't stop the snuggles for emails, but baby carriers help! [Image of a white woman sitting at a computer while wearing a baby on her front in a stretchy wrap.]
3. Worn babies are smarter, sleep better, and gain more weight.
All that close contact encourages baby's systems to work more efficiently and effectively.(7) As a result, babywearing lays the foundation for supported brain development, making babies smarter. Developed brains sleep better, and all that extra work taken off baby's plate gives them more energy to gain weight rather than focus on their brain and sleep.(8)(9)
That baby is getting SO SMART. [Image of a man with dark skin wearing a toddler on his front in a woven wrap. He's standing near a street and waving; both the adult and toddler are smiling at the camera.] Photo:
2. Your body is baby's happy place.
Baby loves being close to you - your smells and sounds are the most familiar things a baby knows, so they want to be with you as much as they can! A baby wants to be held as much as they can - they know it's good for their development! Recent studies have shown that babies who are held more feel less pain and more calm.(10)
A very happy wearer, a very satisfied wearee. [Image of a white woman laughing while wearing a baby on her front in a blue and green ring sling. She's holding a clay mug with one hand and a book with the other.]
1. Tired arms suck!
Why use your muscles to sustain a 2-hour nap if you don't have to? That sweet little newborn will become a heavy wiggling over-tired bigger baby before you know it. Save the heavy lifting for the gym.
If you're ready to do some babywearing but don't know where to start, your local Certified Babywearing Consultant is here for you! At Adjoyn we offer 90-minute in-home appointments and small group workshops to help you find your plan. Visit adjoyn.com/services to find the latest offerings!
Relax your muscles and your mind with babywearing. [Image of a white bearded man reclining and wearing a baby on his chest in a black stretchy wrap.]
Amy Rainbow is a babywearing educator and enthusiast. She offers babywearing education for Adjoyn as a Certified Educator, as well as volunteering for Babywearing International of Portland. Find more of her writings at amywrapsbabies.com.
(1) Less crying:
(4) Caregiver Confidence:
(5) Postpartum Mood Disorders:
(6) Non-gestational Caregivers:
(7) Brain Development:
(8) Weight Gain:
(10) Reduce Infant Pain:
(11) Purple Period of Crying: