- Family and Parenting
Baby Sling Carriers are Good for Moms Too
What is a baby sling carrier?
Baby sling carriers are one of the best pieces of baby gear a parent can use. It is more convenient to carry on trips than a car seat or stroller and you can use it anywhere. Here is a little background information on baby slings and the history of the popular method known as "babywearing" being used by many AP parents. You'll be surprised at how easy they are to use. It also lessens the pressure on your back and arms when carrying your baby. Infants are carried in the front where you can see their face, and older babies or toddlers can be carried on your back or hip with much less strain on your back muscles.
Babywearing is Not New
Mothers in China, India and Africa have carried babies on their backs for centuries. It is a very old practice that has proven to be a very effective way of nurturing their children. They can have their babies physically close while they work, shop or cook meals for the rest of the family. Mom's who wear their babies have no need for strollers and a lot of other expensive baby equipment.
Many modern parents today practice the art of babywearing. If you are not familiar with the term, it means carrying your baby or toddler in a sling or structured carrier. Studies have shown that babies benefit from being in close proximity to the mother's body. They are calmer, have less bouts of fussiness and can nurse or sleep undisturbed right in the sling. This is excellent for preemies and sick babies because they benefit from the mother's antibodies and it simulates being in the womb so babies are naturally more relaxed.
Babies can be carried from newborn up to 35 lb toddler. Many mothers find these to be an invaluable tool to having the ability to do more things while keeping a close eye on their child. Mothers for centuries have carried their babies while working, shopping, or doing household chores. The baby is wrapped in a piece of cloth about the size on a small tablecloth and wrapped around the mother's body either on her back or in front of her .
Because many women in countries like China, India and Africa often work outside the home with their young children in tow they find it easier to attend to their baby's needs while still being able to carry out their other activities like shopping, doing household chores or work-related tasks with both hands free. What is a normal practice in these countries is now very popular with many baby care experts and parents who practice attachment parenting in North America and European countries as well.
Mothers and even dads can carry their babies in a sling or wrap while keeping their hands free to carry on their usual activities, cook, clean and shop for groceries. The close proximity of the baby to the parents body maintains that nurturing bond that is so important in the first few months of life.
Photo curteousy of Wikimedia Commons
Styles of Baby Slings
These are a few different styles of baby slings that work for younger and older babies. Be sure to choose the correct size for your baby's weight to ensure his or her safety. There are slings that fit over-the-shoulder and ones with straps that tie, so you have lots of options.
Attachment parenting may be a new term for some people. Well-known pediatrician, William Sears M.D advocates babywearing (carrying your baby in a sling) to promote better bonding. It is his opinion as well as others that babies thrive when being held close and nurtured by his/her parents. babies can also be nursed in a sling without exposing the mother's breast or the baby's face. This gives mother's more freedom knowing that their baby is in a safe place (on their tummy) while they do laundry, do the grocery shopping or take care of older children. For an older baby, being carried in a sling gives the mother an extra free hand. Mother's absolutely adore these carriers.
Whether you practice attachment parenting or not, you will find these slings to be a great resource for a busy mom or dad. Yes, dad's, caregivers and grandmas can use the sling too. What a great way to spend time being with your baby. Go for a walk in the park or take a long stroll with your older children to the zoo or other favorite place while baby naps peacefully.
Babywearing Information - .....what makes it so popular, and why it is good for the baby.
Information every mother should know to make an informed decision about babywearing and how your baby benefits from being in a sling.
Instructions for wearing a sling
Do You Wear Your Baby in a Sling?
How many like and use a baby carrier?
Avoiding Back Pain and Strain with a Carrier
If you've never tried babywearing then you owe it to yourself to try it. It is so much simpler to wear a sling than carry around car seat carriers and strollers. To avoid back strain when carrying babies and older toddlers, be sure to use the proper sling or carrier for their weight and wear them in the right position.
Infants- in a sling, wrap or pouch carrier in the front where you can see their face at all times. Infant carriers should actually have the baby on your chest, not slung across your belly. The latter type were bad because the baby could suffocate without the parent knowing. If they sit high up on your chest and you can see their face, their positioned right.
Toddlers- Toddlers can ride on your hip or on your back in a ring sling or Mei type carrier with double straps. The shoulder straps support their weight and tie under their bottom for safety.
If you have small children or twins you can carry both at the same time. I once saw a lady carry her toddler on her back and her infant on her chest. I would have thought they'd be very heavy but she didn't seem to be having any problems.
Just remember to adjust the straps and make sure the baby sits in the correct position to avoid straining your back muscles. There are a number of YouTube videos that show you how to wrap and tie them correctly.
Baby carriers are great for taking your baby everywhere without having to carry that heavy carseat infant carrier everywhere. My son was 9 months old and I tried carrying his car seat one day because I had forgotten my sling and OMG, my back just about gave out after a full day of errands. Just to clarify, my son at 9 months was a "Big Boy" and very heavy to be toting around like that. Have any baby carrier stories to share, let me now in the comments. Thanks.