New parents learn quickly that their babies just love to be cuddled in their arms and get very unsettled when they put them down. In the first few months of the baby’s life mums find themselves carrying their babies while their new crib/cot, designer bedding, and stylish pram remain deserted most days (and nights). Not surprisingly, many feel it’s impossible to get anything done. More and more parents find that a good baby carrier or sling is the perfect solution for these rewarding but exhausting times. With a calm, happy baby strapped to your chest, you can continue with your life.
The Baby Carrier - Benefits for Babies:
- Warmth and security - A sling acts as a "transitional womb" for newborns and provides the warmth and feeling of being surrounded they are used to and require at these initial stages. Regular parental rhythms, such as the heartbeat, breathing and walk, have a balancing effect on the infant's irregular rhythms.
- Baby Wearing may reduce infant crying. Many studies show that increased carrying can reduce infant crying, reduce postpartum depression and promote secure attachment.
- Carrying your baby helps with breastfeeding. It has been found that carried children also fed more frequently, though not for increased duration.
- Babies are usually quiet and alert while being carried. Research shows that carried babies were quiet and alert for more time each day than the control group of babies.
- Carrying your baby enhanced your communication with him which results in a less stressed and happier baby. Baby wearing helps parents stay close to baby, which increases the chances of the baby's cues being heard, understood, and receiving an appropriate response. Dr. Sears posits that if baby's needs are sensitively and quickly met, baby's stress level remains low. This low-stress environment allows baby to focus more energy on learning and thriving across all developmental areas: physical, intellectual, and emotional. Stressed babies spend their energy on crying and fussing instead.This quiet and alert period is regarded by child developmentalists and paediatricians as the time when a baby is most capable of learning (Sears, 1995a).
- When your baby is taking part in your activities, she observes and learns more! Rather than being in a stroller, the baby carrier allows the infant to take a dynamic part in the activity. Babies can observe and interact with the world, while watching and communicating with their parent as well! By observing the parent speaking the infant can also learn how lips move, tongues work, and eyes are engaged when people interact.
- Being carried in a car seat may be dangerous. Many parents who do not use baby carriers or slings tend to carry their young babies in their car seat. This seems easy and comfy at first, since when arriving at your destination you do not have to take your infant out of his car seat - you just unbolt it and go. This practice is not only uncomfortable for the babies - who are forced to sit for long time in an uncomfortable and unnatural position - but also for the parents who carry in one arm the weight of the baby and the seat. In fact, this position is even dangerous. Many newborns (and in particular low birth weight and premature babies) often suffer from lowered blood oxygen levels when restrained in an infant carrier in the early weeks of life. A medical report has concluded: “Because lowering of oxygen saturation values was seen uniformly in all newborn infants, car seats should be used only for travel and travel should be minimized during the first months of life". Please see a link to an article about car seat risks here.
Above all the Baby-Carrier tells children they are loved, safe, secure and cared for!
Baby Carrying Benefits for Parents:
- When you use a baby carrier to carry your baby your hands are free! Baby-carrying holds baby securely, leaving the parents hands free for work and activities. Whether it’s the housework, pushing a shopping cart or going to the office. This can all be done while carrying your baby! This is especially helpful if you have another toddler or child at home. You can easily attend the older child, fetch things and play, while your little one is happily strapped to your chest.
- Breastfeeding is made easier using a sling. Breastfeeding is very beneficial for mother and baby (look at our links for more information) and is one of the best starts in life you can give your baby. Breastfed babies are usually fed more frequently and spend more time feeding than bottle-fed babies. This means mums can spend hours a day breastfeeding! Especially in the first 2 months of the baby’s life. What could be more helpful than a device that helps you hold your baby, allows you to breastfeed hands-free and when on the move as well? That’s exactly what a Kari Me papoose does. It depends on the size of breast and on the baby’s ability to latch properly, but most mothers and babies find that they can use a baby sling to breastfeed.
- Carrying your infant in a good baby carrier is comfortable and not painful. Carrying baby in your arms is painful. Babies love to be carried and so do toddlers! Carrying your infant (yes, even a newborn) on your arms is painful and may damage your back. Usually, many find that the 'heavy load' back pain experienced during pregnancy diminishes within two weeks after delivery, however general or lower back pain may return as you then begin lifting and carrying your infant on a daily basis. The joints of a pregnant and postpartum woman are greatly affected by an increase in the hormone Relaxin. The lower back and sacroiliac joints (located at the lower back on each side of the spine) are particularly vulnerable. Twisting or lifting objects (and baby) incorrectly can place undue stress on this area of the body, which is already susceptible to injury, aches, and pains. For this reason every woman should take care of her back and is advised to hold objects (and babies!) close her your body and to avoid carrying her baby on one hip. This creates poor posture. A good baby carrier is the perfect solution! Read more about the comfort of Kari Me sling here.
- Using a sling is easier for navigation when you are out and about. When you carry a baby in a baby sling, you can walk around freely and not have to worry about negotiating steps, crowds or narrow aisles with a stroller.
- Buying a baby sling is very economical - Slings cost less than most strollers, front-carriers or backpacks. Many mothers consider the sling to be one of their most useful and economical possessions. If you carry your baby in the first 6 months of her life, you do not need to invest in an expensive pram. A simple light stroller to keep as a second option to baby wearing will do.
- Baby wearing is fun and rewarding - And last of all, but not least important, baby carrying keeps your baby close at heart. While carrying your baby in a sling, you feel the warmth of his or her little body, their soft skin, their smell, their little movements; you hear their little voice. How can you let such a sweet dear little thing rest by itself in a pram or cot? You just want to cuddle and kiss them all day, don’t you? That’s what you do when you use a sling for babywearing.