Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What is Babywearing?

Put simply, babywearing is a way of carrying your baby with a soft baby carrier, close to your body. Carrying your baby in this way enables you to go about your daily activities hands free, while keeping your baby close to you for comfort, bonding, breastfeeding and ease.

Culturally, babywearing is socially accepted and expected in most cultures of the world. Especially in countries not as developed as ours, it is very common to see women going about their daily duties with their infants strapped to them. When it is more common to walk to your destinations and less common to have accessible childcare, you will likely see women and children continuously together throughout the daily routines of life.

Of course, it's less common in the U.S. for women to wear their babies to work, so I'm not suggesting that necessarily. But think about all the times you feel like you can't get anything done because your baby doesn't want to be left alone or set down. Many parents find their lives simplified when they can carry baby close with a baby sling and continue their daily routines of errands, exercise, cooking and housework.

Why Babywearing?

Many parents find babywearing both convenient and comforting. Studies show that babywearing promotes physical, emotional and social development in infants. Babies are generally happier when they're held than when they are sitting in strollers and car seats. I know when my littles were babies, I was happy when they weren't crying which usually meant I was holding them or wearing them in a baby sling!

Carrying my infants in a baby sling also made stressful errands so much easier. Babywearing in crowded stores is far less stressful than navigating bulky strollers or lugging a heavy car seat on my elbow! I also felt in tune with my babies and their needs and was confident that they felt secure being able to see my face, hear my voice, smell me and feel my heart beat.

Babywearing at the Improving Birth Rally in Tulsa

Recently I had the opportunity to attend the Improving Birth Rally in Tulsa alongside fellow Tulsa doulas and birth workers in our area. One of the fun things about the event was that I've never seen so many babywearing moms and dads in one place before! Baby slings aren't just for moms; take a look at the babywearing daddies in this picture!

For more information about babywearing and various types of carriers, take a look at the following links:
Also, see my post on Babywearing Info and Tips.

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