A friend of mine assumed babywearing meant baby clothes, ie. “baby wearables!” So here’s my definition of babywearing: it is the practice of carrying your baby with a carrier of some kind. This can include wraps, backpack carriers, mei tais, buckle/soft structured carriers and slings.
Babywearing has been a cultural norm for many peoples around the world. My first experience that I remember is my grandma carrying my brother on her back via a mei tai, over 35 years ago. She’s now in her 80s and holy cow, she was still carrying my baby second cousins a couple years ago – up and down the Chinatown hills in Los Angeles. (LOL – that’s right, I won’t divulge her true age.)
These days, the trend of babywearing has grown leaps and bounds. This is a wonderful trend, in my opinion. While strollers have their place in our lives, I loved carrying Baby Spawn in a wrap, especially in crowded places. It gave me a sense of security that she was right with me, and no one would come right at her and touch her. (Newbie moms, did you experience that? Random strangers grabbing or kissing your baby?!)
Benefits of Babywearing*
Babywearing promotes bonding. Babies are generally calmer and may even cry less because their basic, primal needs are met – being close to mom (or caregiver). It also gives a sense a security to the baby, being so close to caregiver. Being so close and feeling a parent’s rhythm in walking (and bouncing and heartbeat) reminds them of when they were secure in the womb. Holding a baby via your arms, a wrap or carrier means there is less time lying in a baby carseat or crib or flat surface, decreasing the risk of plagiocephaly.
For many parents, it has made “going about the day” a little easier. It can support breastfeeding and for some, it has helped care for high-needs children. Mothers have been known to have an increased level of oxytocin through skin-to-skin contact or physical contact with baby.
In my own experience, it has helped my baby transition to sleep faster, especially if I needed her to take a nap and she wouldn’t have it in my arms or crib.
Look around this website as well as others such as Babywearing International and BCIA and Babywearing Los Angeles. You can also check out La Leche League International for babywearing and breastfeeding articles.
* These statements are generally accepted, but you should do your due diligence and locate research articles about babywearing online and at your local library. If you have a question about benefits, please contact your local babywearing group. Read our Terms & Conditions and Disclaimer here.