It’s International Babywearing Week, making now a great time to consider a baby carrier or sling if you haven’t already. Not only is babywearing a practical option, allowing you to more easily get on with your day, it means you can bond with and comfort your baby when you’re on the move without the need for disturbing them. Still need convincing? We’ve rounded up 7 brilliant benefits of babywearing. And don’t forget, you can try out our range of baby carriers in selected JoJo stores, complete with a weighted doll to provide a realistic demo.
SOCIAL & COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
If you’re wearing your baby rather than having them lying in a pram, cot or on a playmat, they will have more opportunities to be engaged with you and the world around them. They’ll be better able to hear you as you interact with the supermarket cashier, chat on the phone or even mutter to yourself, helping with their language skills. They’ll also be able to see your facial expressions which will help them learn how to understand emotions. Plus, your baby will be more exposed to sounds, movements and scenery, which will stimulate their senses.
Babywearing means you can go pram-less so you don’t have to worry about navigating uneven footpaths or long grass, battling crowded train stations or forever looking for the lift, giving you much more freedom to get around as you’d like. If the thought of leaving the pram at home fills you with dread, start off small by running small errands close to home while you build up the confidence to take longer trips, or take the carrier with you on days out so you can alternate.
Research has found that babies who are worn cry less, especially in the evening. Having them within close reach also means you can respond to their needs quicker, allowing them to spend more time in a quiet and alert state – the optimum time for learning and cognitive development.
Whether it’s getting the endless laundry done, cooking, going for a walk or tending to an older sibling, having your hands free makes your life a lot easier. Getting on with the day’s tasks while wearing your baby will also stimulate your baby’s senses and help develop cognitive and social skills as we mentioned earlier.
DON’T TOUCH MY BABY!
New parents tend to be in one of two camps: those who don’t mind strangers stroking their baby’s cheek and those who can’t stand it. Of course, if you feel uncomfortable you should make it known, but for many of us it’s too awkward to say anything so we just grin and bear it. If you have your baby in a carrier or sling, it’s much harder for people to have access, and those chubby cheeks can remain undisturbed!
It may take some practice, but if your baby is in a sling or wrap and snuggled up against your chest, they will have easy access to your breasts, allowing you to feed on demand with less effort, and even multitask once you get the hang of it. Plus, if you don’t love breastfeeding in public, a sling will provide some privacy as you nurse.
THE FOURTH TRIMESTER
Even if you don’t intend to wear your baby in the long term, it can be beneficial in the first few months after the birth – also known as the fourth trimester. Your baby has spent the last nine months being swayed by your body’s movements, hearing your voice and being close to your beating heart. Babywearing helps provide that familiar feeling, thus providing reassurance and comfort to your little one.