Babywearing: Less Crying in Babies
There is not one parent on the planet who would not appreciate having a way to soothe a crying baby, or better yet, prevent much of the crying from ever happening in the first place!
Babies spend 9 months growing inside a mother. They get used to the sounds, movements, warmth, and even smell. It follows that baby will want to be near the mother to continue the sense of familiarity as it transitions to the world. Babywearing offers both mother, other caregiver, and baby an awesome opportunity to continue and create a new connection.
The idea behind babywearing is not new. In modern terms it relates to attachment theory, that a baby/child with a healthy attachment to a parent is going to feel safe, secure, and confident. It is also a widely used method around the globe in areas where strollers and car seats are not common. Interestingly, babies in these more rural or tribal areas aren't as fussy either.
How Babywearing Soothes
When a baby is born he is still developing awareness of himself in relation to the space around him. As he stays in contact with what he knew in utero he is able to safely start soaking up his surroundings and life itself. If he's separated for long periods, especially while unhappy, much of his energy is spent on surviving. Instead of observing his world, he is locked up in an unsafe feeling.
Babywearing provides an opportunity for your baby to stay connected to you in a very basic way. The womb is almost extended through the close babywearing apparatus and the baby gets to acclimate with confidence.
Caregivers other than Mom can also create a bond with baby through babywearing. Many parents find that babywearing increases the baby's ability to receive love from someone other than mom as well.
The Many Benefits
Just so they're all in one spot, here is a list of the many benefits of wearing a baby:
- Continue the in utero connection
- Create a new connection/attachment through bonding (if mom didn't feel strong connection in utero or if other caregiver is wearing the baby)
- Allow baby to transition from womb to world in safe space
- Develop ability to recognize and respond to baby's cues for hunger, change of scenery, diaper/elimination, desire for stimulation or quiet
- Provide a place for baby to sleep, uninterrupted (as opposed to laying down in a bed and waking up in 5 minutes)
- Have baby close to you for ease of feeding
- Creates a perfect environment for baby to observe you and your day to day activities, which nourishes baby's desire to learn about the world
- Babies who are fussy or have frequent spitting up benefit from being upright for a period of time after feeding and babywearing makes this possible with ease
- Babies who are carried cry less because the need for connection is met and cues can be responded to quickly
- Have your hands free! To do whatever you need to do. Sure you have to put a hand on baby's head to protect it as you crouch down, but this becomes habit as you get used to baby wearing
When & How to Start
The key to reaping the full benefits of babywearing is two prong:
- Find a very comfortable baby carrier. Two I highly recommend are the Moby Wrap for infants (0-6 months) and the Ergo Baby Carrier (0-5 years!). There are similar carriers out there that may work just as well. Both of these carriers provide excellent support to the baby and the parent which allows for a very nice connection enhancing experience!
- Start the day your baby is born. Really. How do people develop a habit? By doing something consistently. Starting when your baby is first born ensures a smooth transition from womb to carrier. You've just been wearing your baby inside, now you can transition to outside. You might feel like that's too much to ask, but parenting certainly does not stop at birth! Even if for 15 minutes per day, simply start using the carrier. As you do you will find ways to creatively feed while using the carrier, as well as do many household chores.
If You Need Support
Babywearing groups may be available in your area. To find out visit theBabyWearer.com which is also full of resources for those on the babywearing path. If confidence is an issue, please view the parenting links below!
Even though babywearing may not be widely accepted in your part of the world it is a natural way to soothe your baby and grow together with love. Becoming a parent is a responsibility, but it is also an opportunity to learn about yourself and create a new relationship with someone very near and dear to you!
About Rainbow Recognizer
Amy Phoenix is a gentle, yet direct parenting guide and healing facilitator dedicated to sharing insights and practices to free frustration and anger, heal the past and nurture conscious relationships – to appreciate all aspects of life. Visit her at www.innatewholeness.com.