Why to wear your baby?For thousands of years babywearing was a natural part of everyday parenting. During the last 100 years it almost disappeared from society with the emergence of strollers. Despite of this fact, three quarters of the world population still carry their children and the whole babywearing thing is making a comeback even in the “modern world”.
Why is that? Currently more and more research is made that proves the importance of a contact, closeness, and feeling of safety and other psychological needs for life and development of an individual. Thus, the old rumours handed down over a generation that children cannot be carried too much seeing they will be “too attached” to a mother, lack an independence and be spoiled are being busted, just like other myths that say children must have a strict discipline, they must sleep alone in a separate bedroom and so on.
With birth there comes a baby – not an independent individualYour child was a part of your body for 9 months, used to safe, bounded space, pleasant warmth, beat of your heart and rhythm of your walk. The fact that with birth the child and the mother divide does not mean that your baby is immediately ready to be fully independent and alone in unknown environment. Neither it is ready – after coming through the birth canal – to immediately straighten its bent legs in the sleeping bags or straighten its rounded back on a flat pad. It simply needs time. Wearing your children in a wrap is a perfect way to facilitate their transition to this world and support it whether physically or psychically.
- Babywearing helps the parent to better react to the needs of the child
- In close physical contact babies manage to better regulate their body temperature, breathing and heartbeat. They are more content and cry less.
- Vertical position during babywearing helps to reduce reflux and ease colic by natural abdominal massage.
- The abduction-flexion position (knees higher than bum, legs creating an M-shape, back is rounded resembling the letter C) is beneficial for healthy development of hip joints and spine. Many orthopaedists all around the world recommend babywearing in a wrap as a prevention of problems with hip joints.
- In times of illness, the physical closeness of a parent eases the discomfort of the baby and skin-to-skin contact helps to naturally reduce a fever.
- The movement of the babywearer stimulates all skin receptors of a child as well as the vestibular system (the brain centre responsible for balance). That causes the so-called vestibular delight in children (a feeling of safety and peace) and stimulates development of motoric capabilities
- During babywearing children see much more from their environment. Children´s brain therefore gains more incentives important for its development.
Birth of a child does not stop mothers from their dutiesResearch clearly shows that the child “belongs to the mother” and should be in direct contact with her at least for the first months. For the mother to be able to perform various homework, take care about another child or herself, she needs some aid that will help her keep her baby close. Contact, breastfeeding on demand or sleep during day can be easily solved by a carrier.
- Babywearing helps with breastfeeding and makes it easier.
- Breastfeeding in a wrap or a carrier gives mother the opportunity to do other activities while breastfeeding or take care of the older child.
- The baby is able to satisfy most of its needs through babywearing while leaving the parent hands free for other activities.
- Babywearing can get you to places not accessible by strollers. With your baby in a wrap or a carrier it’s easier than ever!
- Babywearing helps both the children and the mother to create an emotional bond based on the release of the hormone of luck (oxytocin) and the inhibition of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Through babywearing fathers can create a stronger bond with their children
Wraps and other kinds of carriers are just aidsTheir main aim is to help in fulfilling the child’s basic needs consistently with the needs of the mother and thus develop a healthy potential of our society. The wrap or a carrier is not the main point; first and foremost is the very contact itself and fulfilling of needs. Carriers are just tools to satisfy these needs in the most effective manner.
Brisch, K.H.: Safe Attachment Family Education, 2010
Hašto, J.: Vzťahová väzba, pripútavacie správanie a psychiatria- psychoterapia, 2006 (Attachment, Attachment Behaviour and Psychiatry – Psychotherapy)
Cassidy, J., Shaver, P.R: Handbook of Attachment. Theory, Research, and Clinical Applications, 2008
Bowlby, J.: Attachment. Theory of the quality of the early relationship between mother and child, 2010