Baby Wearing

When I got pregnant I knew that having a baby would change my life, but I did not want a baby to keep me from getting things done. We started out with a old school Baby Bjorn that a friend bought me off Ebay but just because it is easy to find in stores it is NOT a great carrier. We also tried out a ring sling with our first child, but considering how much both my husband and I wore our baby we decided look into other more versatile carriers, which proved to be much more comfortable for us both. There are tons out there, but we have an Angel Pack , although many of my friends love the Ergo . With my second child we decided to go with a Moby Wrap which was awesome for snuggling close with those precious newborns and then once she got a little bigger she went in the Angel Pack! We also wear our pre-schooler on our back(up to 45 pounds) in the Angel Pack. I tried out a ring sling with my third as well as a fitted sling, so the options are endless.

Read up at Mothering's Babywearing

Come to a Baby Wearing meeting to try learn more and try lots out before buying anything. Join us at Chester County Babywearer on Facebook. My kids love being in the carrier and often fall asleep listening to my heart beat or just getting a free piggyback ride! Baby wearing is great for bonding and very practical. It has helped me to keep the house clean, cook, shop, travel, and get both of my kids out of the car into wherever wearing a back pack, and bags in both hands! We totally recommend it and so do the professionals!

The following article and tons of good information can be found at Babywearing International

Benefits of Babywearing

Medical professionals agree that infants thrive through touch; “wearing” your baby is another way to meet this need. But the benefits of babywearing don’t end there … babywearing offers many other advantages, some of which include:

• Happy Babies. It’s true … carried babies cry less! In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that babywearing for three hours a day reduced infant crying by 43 percent overall and 54 percent during evening hours. (1)

• Healthy Babies. Premature babies and babies with special needs often enter the world with fragile nervous systems. When a baby rides in a sling attached to his mother, he is in tune with the rhythm of her breathing, the sound of her heartbeat, and the movements his mother makes—walking, bending, and reaching. This stimulation helps him to regulate his own physical responses. Research has even shown that premature babies who are touched and held gain weight faster and are healthier than babies who are not. (2)

• Confident Parents. A large part of feeling confident as a parent is the ability to read our babies’ cues successfully. Holding our babies close in a sling allows us to become finely attuned to their movements, gestures, and facial expressions. Every time a baby is able to let us know that she is hungry, bored, or wet without having to cry, her trust in us is increased, her learning is enhanced, and our own confidence is reinforced. This cycle of positive interaction deepens the mutual attachment between parent and child, and is especially beneficial for mothers who are at risk for or suffering from postpartum depression. (3) (4)

• Loving Caregivers. Baby carriers are a great bonding tool for fathers, grandparents, adoptive parents, babysitters, and other caregivers. Imagine a new father going for a walk with his baby in a sling. The baby is becoming used to his voice, heartbeat, movements, and facial expressions, and the two are forging a strong attachment of their own. Baby carriers are beneficial for every adult in a baby’s life. Cuddling up close in the sling is a wonderful way to get to know the baby in your life, and for the baby to get to know you!

•Comfort and Convenience. With the help of a good carrier, you can take care of older children or do chores without frequent interruptions from an anxious or distressed infant—which helps to reduce sibling rivalry. Baby carriers are also wonderful to use with older babies and toddlers; you can save those arms and go where strollers can’t. Climbing stairs, hiking, and navigating crowded airports all can be done with ease when you use a well-designed baby carrier!

References
1 - Hunziker UA, Garr RG. (1986) Increased carrying reduces infant crying: A random-ized controlled trial. Pediatrics 77:641-648
2 - “Current knowledge about skin-to-skin (kangaroo) care for pre-term infants”. J Perinatol. 1991 Sep;11(3):216-26.
3 - Pelaez-Nogueras M, Field TM, Hossain Z, Pickens J. (1996). Depressed mothers’ touching increases infants’ positive affect and attention in still-face interactions. Child Development, 67, 1780-92.
4 - Tessier R, M Cristo, S Velez, M Giron, JG Ruiz-Palaez, Y Charpak and N Charpak. (1998) Kangaroo mother care and the bonding hypothesis. Pediatrics 102:e17.

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