B is for Baby Wearing in our A-Z of Birth and Early Parenting. Baby wearing is one of the principles of attachment parenting.
What is baby wearing?
Baby wearing is using a wrap, carrier or sling to carry your baby around.
Why wear your baby?
Benefits of baby wearing include:
- Babys who are carried cry less - babies who are carried cry on average 43% less than those that are not 1 Happier babies equates to happier parents :)
- Baby wearing means more sleep for the baby, which means more sleep for the parents (here's the hint = sleep while your baby sleeps if you can Mums and Dads)
- Babies who are carried are more portable (it is easier to go to many places without the size restriction of a pram)! It also means you can take baby whatever the terrain.
- Mums who wear their babies are able to do more - baby wearing gives them a free hand to cook, hang out washing - the only thing you can't do is have a shower! (you can get slings that are suitable for swimming though that tends to wake the baby).
Which wrap, sling or carrier should I get?
Often parents will buy or be given a wrap, carrier or sling before the baby is born. My personal suggestion is that you wait until after baby is born. All babies and parents are different - and it's funny how much the personality and likes and dislikes of the baby can affect the right choice for you both.
As a guide as soft, stretchy wrap like a Hug A Bub is great for a newborn (when often they are too small to safely fit into a structured carrier. After that a structured carrier like an Ergo, Manducca or Tula are all popular brands.
Where can I buy a wrap, sling or carrier?
There are a number of retailers wherever you are that sell endless varieties, styles and brands. The important thing at the moment is to ensure that it is not going cause hip displaysia or hip dislocation (the baby's hip coming out of its socket). Don't be fooled into thinking that just because it is for sale - it is safe.
The following diagram is from the International Hip Displaysia Institute and it explains quite well what to avoid.
Local to Perth, Karri Tree Lane sells a variety of wraps, carriers and slings (including rings to make your own slings).
Of course baby wearing is a part of The Modern Doula's pre-natal education (and is included with all birth and postpartum doula packages).
To enquire about having a doula at your birth or postpartum, please contact me.
(1) Hunziker UA, Barr RG.1986. “Increased carrying reduces infant crying: A randomised controlled trial.” Pediatrics 77:641-648 and Dr. Eckhard Bonnet (specialist in paediatrics, youth medicine, environmental medicine and sports medicine). 1998. Krankengymnastik 50 Jg No.8.