When I first wrapped my baby, it was an amazing feeling as if I’d still carry him inside. Not that I was longing for the times I was still pregnant. But still, carrying him so close gave me a sense of nostalgia. Eventually, I became a babywearing mom. It’s amazing how the simple act of carrying your baby can change so many things for the better, both for babywearing moms, dads, and for their babies.
1. Babywearing can help with breastfeeding
Many new moms who would like to breastfeed face difficulties. It is one of the major stress factors in the first weeks after birth. Research shows that the close contact of babywearing supports the breastfeeding relationship. Skin to skin contact is known to regulate the mother’s milk supply and it can be so easily done in a baby wrap or a baby carrier. However, it’s not only skin-to-skin carrying that helps. Italian researchers found that babies who were carried even just one hour a day in the first few weeks by their mom were more likely to breastfeed at 5 months than babies who haven’t been carried.
2. Carrying facilitates bonding
Not everyone falls in love right away with their baby. It isn’t what any new mama would expect, but it does happen. Close body contact while babywearing, especially skin-to-skin, triggers oxytocin (aka love hormone) production and helps hugely with the bonding process. It’s not uncommon that babywearing moms who cannot breastfeed feel that babywearing is like nursing without the milk. And even if their bond is already strong, the relationship between a babywearing mom and her baby can only grow stronger.
3. Babywearing is beneficial for mental wellness
The mix of postpartum hormones and new responsibilities often leads to baby blues and mood swings. Luckily, good old oxytocin is released while babywearing, which reduces stress and anxiety. However, in some cases, the symptoms go beyond baby blues. If so, it is important to talk to a doctor and not rely on babywearing alone alleviating the symptoms.
4. Babywearing makes carrying easier
Moms all over the world carry their children in arms every day to transport them, to rock them to sleep or just to hold them for a minute or two while doing something else with the other arm. Carrying happens anyway and baby carriers make it easier on the body.
5. Babywearing moms have two free hands
Getting things done with a newborn is not easy, they want to be held almost constantly. It’s a running joke that new moms should lower their expectations about what they can manage in a day. That’s why the hands-free nature of babywearing is such a huge deal. It means babywearing moms can do chores, run errands and meet friends so much easier.
6. A baby carrier is less bulky than a stroller
It can be challenging to navigate a big city with a stroller. Similarly, going outdoors and traveling are also more difficult with an extra bulky item. In comparison, a baby wrap or baby carrier is smaller and easier to manage.
7. Babywearing keeps strangers from touching the baby
Strangers shouldn’t touch a newborn or any baby for that matter. There are so many reasons for this, from respecting other’s personal space to protecting the baby from infections. Still, many people just don’t think about this before touching a baby. Having a baby in a wrap or baby carrier helps mom protect the baby from touchy hands.