Babywearing is gaining more and more fans, but the truth is that this transport technique is the most traditional there is (African mums are experts on this subject!). A few decades ago there were no pushchairs and mums needed to have their hands free to work, but they still wanted to have their offspring close to them. How to reconcile the two? Babywearing.
Nowadays, babywearing continues to be chosen by mums because it has many advantages and more and more mums are leaving the pram at home and opting to carry their babies with them. And after the intense experience of birth, the baby also longs to be close to its mother again. It is the mother’s body that shelters, soothes and nourishes the newborn baby – this is where he feels at home.
When the mother carries her baby in her lap, her oxytocin levels are increased, leading to a closer maternal bond. As a consequence, breastfeeding becomes easier, reducing the incidence of postpartum depression and psychosomatic illnesses in the mother. This privilege is not only for the mother… When the father carries his baby on his lap, the paternal bond also improves and the connection between them becomes closer.
Babies carried in the lap are generally calmer because all their primary and survival needs are met. The caregiver can be seen, heard, smelt and touched. In addition, he or she can provide nourishment and perform the movement necessary for the baby’s continued neural development.
Learn about the benefits
The use of babywearing usually makes the initial postnatal phase calmer and facilitates baby’s adaptation to the outside world. This practice, “babywearing”, brings immense benefits for the whole family:
- The mother can talk to the baby and be attentive to the signs (of hunger, sleep or need for affection), facilitating communication between the two;
- The mother’s presence creates a sense of security in the baby and allows him to relate to the world in a more confident way;
- Helps to feed the baby – the contact stimulates the production of breast milk;
- Stimulates the baby’s senses – he is moving, rocking, seeing, hearing, touching and being touched for longer. This is favourable for development;
- It creates conditions for the baby to move his neck, and later his trunk, and makes him exercise the muscles that allow him to control his body and movements;
- It is an ergonomic way of carrying the baby – the baby carrier protects the spine from pressure and shocks and distributes the weight favourably on the mother’s body (the trunk and pelvic floor are weakened after pregnancy);
- It allows the mother to do some tasks while holding the baby in her arms.
To take advantage of all these benefits, it is essential to carry baby in an ergonomic manner – respecting his anatomy and the particularities of his development. A baby carrier allows for ergonomic carrying when
- It has a relatively wide base, which supports the baby’s legs from knee to knee, in the “frog” position (legs bent and open);
- The back support is pliable and flexible (made of fabric or mesh, without padding or stiffness) and can be well adjusted to the baby’s back, so that the baby is tight against the mother’s body.
The most suitable baby carriers from birth are cloths – elastic or woven – and ring sling.