It is the best feeling in the world to hold your baby in your arms. The sweet smell of a newborn, a child resting against your chest. Nothing in the world compares to this. Babies are happiest being close and especially, when held by their mothers.
Babywearing has been practised for centuries around the world. Every ancient civilization finds traces of carrying their young ones in a cloth tied to the caregiver, primarily the mother.
Babywearing is the practice of wearing or carrying a baby in a sling or in another form of carrier. It is a great practice that helps keep a baby happy and build a strong bond between mom and the baby.
Good quality baby carriers are known to be versatile, comfortable and add to your fashion quotient. However, the benefits of babywearing are far more profound.
The nine months after the baby is born is often called as the fourth trimester. Babywearing provides a gentle way of transition from the calm environment of the womb to that of the outside world. Babies continue to be rocked by their mothers' movements and listen to their mothers' heart beats. This helps them regulate their own systems.
Generally newborns will cry more in the first 6 weeks of their life. Closeness with the mother helps calm the little ones. Research shows that babywearing for 3 hours a day reduces infant crying by 43% in the day and by 56% in the evening hours. Hence babies are relaxed, calmer and happier.
50% of all babies experience some reflux in the first 12 weeks. 30 to 40 minutes holding in upright position eases the discomfort of reflux and aids digestion and reducing colic.
Babywearing encourages a new mother to be aware of the baby's early cues and fulfill them immediately. This helps baby to be secured, create trust with caregiver, develop a deep bond and grow up to be a confident person. This stands true for adopted babies too.
Carried babies sleep better, sleep quicker and usually longer. They usually have a organized sleep-wake cycle as compared to babies who haven’t been worn.
Carried babies are in a quiet alert state which is optimal for learning, resulting in enhanced visual, auditory and speech development. This in turn, makes synaptic connections in the brain, aiding brain stimulation and development as the baby's brain is still developing when the baby is born.
Babywearing keeps mom fit. A brisk 30 minute babywearing walk can help shed 100 to 300 calories as baby's weight acts as resistance and strength training. Carrying a baby in an ergonomic carrier improves mom's core muscles which in turn helps improve posture post pregnancy. It also supports baby's physiological development of head, spine and hips when carried in an appropriate position. Premature babies when held close, gain weight faster and soon become healthier. Baby wearing also decreases the risks of positional plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) in babies which can be caused by lying flat on their back for extended time.
Moms who routinely babywear are twice likely to breastfeed following the baby's early cues. This leads to release of Oxytocin which is also known as the feel good/ love hormone. Oxytocin, also known for its anti-anxiety effect, greatly reduces occurrence of postpartum depression. You can also breastfeed 'on the go'.
A calm baby equals to reduced levels of stress for everyone in the family.
So go ahead and start your babywearing journey. Have a happy parenthood !!!
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