Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gift of Babywearing

If you haven't had the fortune to discover babywearing yet, you should!  Babywearing is not only a gift for your child, but for you as well.

Babywearing has tons of benefits, but the most important is probably how it can make life just so much easier for you!  My toddler was a bit on the needy side when she was little.  She had colic when she was born, plus I had a toddler to run after, so using a baby carrier was a life saver!  I don't know how I would have survived those first three months without one.  It allowed me to keep my baby happy and content while keeping up with the busy activities of the day.

When she got older and started crawling and being more mobile, babywearing allowed me to take my oldest to the park and playdates without any protest.  She was much more content to be in the carrier and watch the action than she ever would have been sitting in a stroller for an hour or more.  She was also able to nap easily while we were out and even made it easy to handle her frequent nursing sessions.

By the time she was a toddler and running around with all the other kids, babywearing still allowed us to be out and social much more often then I had been with my first.  She could only handle so much running around before she would get tired and crabby like all toddlers do.  The carrier allowed her to take a break from the action and retreat to a safe place to relax.  Plus she was so used to sleeping in a carrier by this point that she would ask to be in the carrier if we were out and she needed a nap.  Babywearing allowed her to be independent when she wanted to and gave her a safe place to be when she was done.

I encourage everyone to explore babywearing if they have the chance.  Even my husband has embraced babywearing, and "toddlerwearing"!  It gave him a chance to feel more hands on with our baby and has allowed him to enjoy those rare snugly moments you have to take advantage of with a busy toddler.  It's become such a big part of our family life that my children even make their own baby carriers to carry their dolls!  Plus, there is nothing better than the joy I feel while I carry my child so close to my heart!

Some Of The Benefits Of Babywearing
  • Babies that are worn cry less than babies that are not.  Babies are much happier being held than not, so babywearing allows you to hold you baby much more than you would otherwise be able to.  Plus, crying is stressful for both you and baby, so less crying makes everyone much happier!
  • Babywearing helps sooth your baby and make them feel safe.  Newborns are comforted by the warmth and closeness they experience when being warm.  They are able to smell you and hear your breathing and heartbeat like they were ablt to do in the womb.  The motions and pressure of babywearing also is comforting to them.
  • Babies that are worn get to see and experience much more than other babies.  They listen to conversations and watch you go about your activies, absorbing and learning from what they experience through being worn.
  • Babywearing encourages interaction with your baby.  You make eye contact and talk to them more often when they are worn.  It is more natural to talk to your baby about what you are doing and seeing while you are wearing them.
  • Wearing your baby can help you and other caregivers bond with your baby.  Being close to baby, smelling them, feeling their warmth, interacting with them, encourages a deeper bond and also helps your baby bond too.  Babywearing is a great way for dads to become more involved with their babies and helps nuture their own bond.
  • Babywearing makes life easier!  It's easier to keep up with older siblings and life in general while babywearing.  It allows you to have your hands free to tend to other things.  It also decreases the amount of time you need to spend comforting your baby and even putting them to sleep since these are things that naturally occure while wearing them.  Plus, it can be a lifesaver if you're ever unable to use a stroller!
  • Babywearing creates a safe place for baby no matter where you are.  Whether your baby is nine months old and afraid of strangers or 18 months old and is overstimulated or overwhelmed by your surroundings, babywearing gives them a safe place to retreat and feel secure.
  • Wearing your toddler can keep them safe and out of trouble!  Babywearing keeps your toddler close to you and away from things you don't want them getting into.  It has been a huge help when grocery shopping since it keeps my toddler happy and unable to grab everything on the shelf or out of the shopping cart!
  • Babywearing creates more independant toddlers.  Believe it or not, but babies that are more attached and trust you to meet their needs, become more independant and confident to explore their world becuase they are confident that you will be there for them.  Babywearing nurtures this trust and attachment and therefor leads to more independant toddlers.
  • Babywearing is a joy!  Wearing your little one allows you to snugle and kiss your baby even more, which is always a plus!  And as they get older and more busy, may be the only chance you get to snag any snugles at all!

For more babywearing information, visit these sites:
The Babywearer Babywearing
Babywearing International
Better Babywearing: Babywearing Overload
The Natural Child Project: Ten Reasons To Wear Your Baby
Sleepy Wrap: Benefits of Babywearing

Want to wear you baby?  There are tons of companies and brands out there, but here are just a few that I know of that are run by stay at home moms (and one dad!):
SweetPea Ring Slings
Carry Me With Love
NuzzleMe Creations

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