When a baby is held in a caregiver’s arms, she is experiencing the world at the same physical level of adults; she sees more, touches more, feels more, and hears more than babies who are carried at knee level in a stroller or car seat.
It shouldn’t be a big surprise to hear that babies like (and need) to be close to their mothers or fathers. It’s kind of their thing. The feeling is mutual (most of the time!) My children were quite content to sit on the floor and amuse themselves, but only for a little while. Then, they wanted uppie (as it’s referred to around here).
I can sympathize. Being on the floor or in a high chair probably gets boring. Life is happening all around and a baby who sits on the floor is missing out on a lot of exciting sights, sounds, tastes, and sensations.
Having said that, babies are heavy. And, they just keep getting heavier. That’s where babywearing comes in! Wearing your baby means using a sling, wrap, or carrier to keep your baby close while relieving your aching arms and impending carpal-tunnel syndrome.
Best of all, you’re hands free! Meaning you can get other things accomplished while you give your baby all of the love, stimulation, and support that he needs.
What the Research says about Babywearing:
Michael L. Commons and Patrice M. Miller at Harvard University, found that infants who are given more physical contact are more likely to develop a secure attachment to their caregiver, and, they will also be more likely to develop secure relationships as adults.
The ever popular North American “let them cry” approach may actually foster more anxiety and stress than independence and security. “I think there’s a real resistance in this culture to caring for children,” Commons says, adding that, “But punishment and abandonment has never been a good way to get warm, caring, independent people.”
Dr. Maria Blois, author of Babywearing (Pharmasoft Publishing, 2005), confirms that babies who are worn are also exposed to more stimuli and thus, tend to learn faster and achieve more brain development than babies who are not carried. When a baby is held in a caregiver’s arms, she is experiencing the world at the same physical level of adults; she sees more, touches more, feels more, and hears more than babies who are carried at knee level in a stroller or car seat.
Finding the Right Baby Carrier:
There are many baby carrier companies out there, and each parent will have his or her own preference. Most caregivers have a wrap and sling in their baby care collection and use each one for different purposes.
For instance, I tended to use a sling when I was baking because I didn’t want my baby to be able to stick his hands in batter (tested that theory). Instead I would wear him on my back or a side sling.When walking or hiking, I used my soft carrier, for even body weight distribution.
There are so many great carriers out there, my favourite happened to be Beco Gemini. I used it for over 3 years! Yes, even 3 year-olds want to be carried -especially on long hikes 🙂 Make sure to read reviews for the ones you’re interested in and then start your process of elimination till you find the right one for you! Definitely get one for your husband or partner because some carriers have sizing differences.
Bottom line: if it isn’t comfortable, you won’t wear it. And you really need to wear one because babies want to be carried a lot. If you can, spend the extra money to get the one that gets the best reviews, it is so worth it!
Make sure to read the instructions and safety tips that come with your carrier. Even though some things seem like common sense, it’s best to double check when it comes to your precious cargo.
No matter which one you choose, your baby will experience a secure, safe, and nurturing environment that will ultimately liberate both you and your child.
Reference:Powell, Alvin. “Children Need Touching and Attention, Harvard Researchers Say”. The Harvard University Gazette. April 1998.