I've said it before and I'll say it again, I do not know how I, personally, would be able to be a parent without babywearing. But before I get into my more
Wearing a baby promotes physical development. When a baby rides in a sling attached to his mother, he is in tune with the rhythm of her breathing, the sound of her heartbeat, and the movements his mother makes - walking, bending, and reaching. This stimulation helps him to regulate his own physical responses, and exercises his vestibular system, which controls balance. (from NaturalChild.org)
In other words, when someone tells you that if you keep wearing your baby all the time they're never gonna walk you can straight up tell them they're wrong. Wearing a baby actually drastically improves their sense of balance and helps get them used to movements beyond uncontrollable arm flailing.
Babies worn in slings are happier. Studies have shown that the more babies are held, the less they cry and fuss... Crying is exhausting for both the baby and his parents, and may cause long-term damage as the baby's developing brain is continually flooded with stress hormones. Babies who do not need to spend their energy on crying are calmly observing and actively learning about their environment. (from NaturalChild.org)
We all know a baby is a lot less likely to be screaming their head off if you're holding them, but despite not weighing much they get heavy quick! Babywearing allows you to hold your baby, and in turn keep them happy, without your arms falling off. And obviously a happy baby is much more likely to be able to observe and learn from their environment than a screaming one.
Babywearing can help improve your breastfeeding relationship with your baby. Breastfeeding mothers who practice babywearing find it easy to nurse their babies more often. This may help babies gain more weight. The shorter the time between feedings the higher the fat content in mother's milk. By wearing baby, a mother can easily respond to his early feeding cues. (from LaLecheLeague.org)
Again, this one just makes sense....keep your baby right near the source (aka your boobs) and breastfeeding will come more naturally.
I could keep going all day, but before this gets too long and boring I'll cut myself off. But, I encourage you to pop over to Boba's website to read this article on the health benefits of babywearing and Onya's website to read this article on why you should wear your baby and leave your car seat in the car!
So now, a few of my personal reasons why everyone should wear their baby...
You can get stuff done. We've all been there...I've been there more than once. Your son's birthday party is this afternoon, and yesterday was crazy so you never got to bake the cake, but your husband is busy setting up for the party and your son will not nap. What do you do? You wear them on your back and bake an awesome cake (yes, this is the exact story of what's happening in the photo above).
You can go places you can't go with a stroller! Stairs and strollers don't get along. Hell, in my opinion, large crowds and strollers just don't get along. Babywearing means you don't have to be restricted to where you can go by the small wheels of your stroller.
It keeps your baby happy and prevents them from running away from you. The picture above was while we were waiting for The Sailor to get back from deployment. We were in the hangar bay (not the best place for a baby to be crawling around) and we were waiting for hours. While other babies were losing their tempers, W was chill hanging out in our wrap. It's also great for shopping trips where you know they'll be content in the cart for the first half, but the second half they'll want you to carry them and then you're stuck carrying a baby (or toddler) and pushing a cart. Not fun. But, what's even less fun is waiting in line at the grocery store with a screaming baby.
You can go out and do stuff. How else would you go mini golfing with a baby? Seriously. You can't maneuver a stroller through any of the mini golf courses I know. It isn't a safe place to let them sit on the ground. Because of babywearing, our family isn't restricted on the fun things we get to do. We even went fishing on Sunday and The Sailor wore W on his back!
You get to bond with your baby without your arms falling off. Seriously - I love the snuggles. Even now at almost 15 months old W will still snuggle with me in a sling or wrap. I will wear him until my back snaps in half just to enjoy the snuggles I get to have with him.
So there you have it. A bazillion reasons (both scientific and just plain practical) to wear your baby. I'm still working on a post about the basics of babywearing that will probably be broken up into two separate posts - one on babywearing safety and one on the different types of carriers. Then down the road I plan on doing a post just about woven wraps because they're intimidating to many parents, but they're amazing.
Do you wear (or plan to wear) your babies? What's your favorite benefit of babywearing?