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“Babywearing, as the name suggests is the practice of carrying or wearing your baby in a sling or a carrier” Babywearing may sound new to urban mums, but it has existed as a tradition globally since time immemorial. Women in India and all across the world wore their babies for centuries, unless with the advent of strollers, prams and nannies, mothers began to drift away from this tradition. However, since a past few years natural mothers have decided to resort back to old tradition of babywearing for its umpteen benefits. I am one of those mothers who have chosen babywearing and depict a modern version of Rani Laxmi Bai. I am not a babywearing expert, but a mother who is grateful to babywearing. Because of the revolution it brought in my motherhood journey, I encourage other moms to choose babywearing as well. Whether you are a mew mom or a mom of a toddler, if you have decided to go the wearing way, this is what I want to tell you.
Why Choose Babywearing?
My favorite reason to wear my baby is convenience. convenience, in terms of being able to do other chores while your baby is still close to you. Convenience, in terms of being able to fulfill your baby’s demand of being carried, without the ache in your arms.
Soothes colicky baby – As a new mom, I would often wonder why does my baby cry. The obvious culprits appeared to be hunger, soiled diaper or sleep. Having nullified these possibilities, colic was what we concluded led to constant crying. Babywearing was a foolproof way of soothing my crying, colicky baby. Over a period of time, the crying reduced too. When you wear your baby, he is placed close to your heart, this provides instant comfort. Baby is held in an upright position that aids better digestion and reduces colic. Statistically, infants who received supplemental carrying (not only in reaction to fussiness) cried and fussed 43% less overall, and 51% less during the evening hours.
Worn babies are smarter – when you wear your baby, you grant him an opportunity to view different scenes and hear different sounds. You are most likely to talk to your baby, when he is worn. Hence, you stimulate his senses and promote language development by wearing your baby.
Babywearing promotes breastfeeding– it takes a while for a new mother to be able to understand the hunger cues of her baby. When you wear your baby, he is constantly close to you and you are able to understand his ques better and quicker. You can nurse as per your baby’s demand. With practice, you can also learn to nurse your baby in the carrier itself.
Enables skin to skin contact – Babywearing aids skin to skin contact between the baby and the mother. This builds immunity, maintains the baby’s normal body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure.
Promotes physical development – I was always apprehensive of placing my baby in a stroller because of how it curved his body and tampered his natural body movement. When you wear your baby right, she is held in an upright position, that promotes natural growth and development.Helps moms loose post baby fat – Wearing your baby and walking provides enough resistance to be able to lose 100 calories with a 10 minutes brisk walk. Hence, this mamma, with an extremely pleasant babywearing experience, concludes that babywearing makes both mother and baby happy.
Why you must choose an ergonomic baby carrier?
Now, that you know the benefits of babywearing, you are allured to pick an easily available baby carrier. Unfortunately, few of the commercially available baby carriers are non ergonomic in nature. Mothers often wonder, is babywearing safe. The answer is YES absolutely!However, choosing the right carrier is equally significant.
What is an ergonomic baby carrier – We are well aware that tampering or altering baby’s natural position may lead to severe complications. Ergonomic Baby carriers are designed keeping in view the natural comfortable posture of the baby. These carriers hold a baby just like you would. They do not only provide comfort to the baby and the wearer but are also beneficial for baby’s growth and development. A baby carrier which is soft in nature and facilitates a perfect ‘M position’ of your baby’s legs and hips is ergonomically correct. Non ergonomic baby carriers have been suspected of causing hip dysplasia and may strain the baby’s delicate spine.
There is plenty to choose from.
Once, you have decided to baby wear, there are several ergonomic baby carriers that you can choose from. The three major types being wraps, ring slings and SSC. Each carrier has a different learning curve. You as a wearer may like one and your fellow mom may be more comfortable with another.
As mentioned above, there are different types of carriers and you may want to try a few before choosing the most appropriate one. Having said that, you need not spend an exorbitant amount to wear your baby. You can wear your baby in a sari or a dupatta as well. There are plenty of tutorials available on the web and you can always seek help from the experts. – Join babywearing mom communities like Wrap Your Baby – Babywearing In India to connect with like minded babywearing mammas. – Connect with a Sling Library in your city like the Mumbai Sling Library and attend their next meet up. – Try out different carriers at the meet up and choose the one you and your baby are most comfortable in.
How Can I Wear My Baby Safely and Comfortably?
When I first attended a babywearing workshop it sounded very complex. But within a few weeks I realized it is no rocket science. With a few basic tips and practice, every mom can babywear to her comfort and convinience. Just like you would take time to understand the nitty grittys of babywearing, your baby may take her time to get acquainted with being woren as well. Don’t get disheartened if your baby cries and wants to be taken off the carrier the first few times you wear her. Try yet another time Momma, and trust me it’s going to be worth it. When you wear your baby make sure he is – Well fed (not hungry) – Clean (the diaper/nappy is clean and dry) – happy (to get your baby acquainted with babywearing you must associate it with happy times, take your baby for a stroll, sing and dance with your baby) – Wearing comfortable clothes ( wearing your baby when he is dressed in onesies or rompers or tight clothes will make her uncomfortable.
TICKS is a simple acronym to remember when wearing your baby, it’s a basic safety message distilled: Tight – baby should be worn comfortably tight In view – baby must be in line of the wearers view at all times. Close enough to kiss – the wearer should be able to kiss the baby’s head comfortably without bending. I LOVE doing it over and over when my baby is worn. Keep chin off the chest – the baby’s chin and chest should not curl up. Supported straight back – the back of the baby should be straight and supported. Basically just like you would hug your baby.
When Can I Start Wearing My Baby?
You can start wearing your baby right from birth in a wrap or sling. If your baby is already a few months, you can start babywearing as soon as you hear of it.
Till What Age Can Babies Be Worn?
An SSC can carry babies upto the weight of 22 kgs. With almost a year and half toddler, babywear has become an inseparable part of our lives, and what I know is my carriers ain’t going anywhere for a very long time. I hope babywearing makes your mommy voyage as stress-free and joyous as it has made mine. If you like this post, do share it with your friends and spread the babywearing love.