There are many ways to take care of your baby, but one the most practical and nurturing things you can do is to wear him. Babywearing is when an adult caregiver wears a special carrier or wrap to hold their baby on their chest, hip or back. This is a great way to get things done and also bond with your baby at the same time. Babies biologically need to be held A LOT; they need to be close to you to help their internal functions regulate, and to feel comforted in this big, bright world. Of course, “mother’s work is never done” (fathers’ work either, of course!) so you may find that you need to get some things done that require the use of your hands and arms while you’re also tending to the baby’s needs. Babywearing is a great way to keep baby close to you and do all the things you need or want to do.
Many people believe that baby wearing is for “crunchy” moms… this is CRAZY! You don’t need to be a “crunchy” mom…. or even a mom for that matter. Any adult can and should wear the baby and there are a variety of styles of carriers that match anyone’s personality and parenting style. Wearing your baby would be a great way to get some work done from home, go to that super cute but not stroller friendly boutique downtown, and especially if you have older children needing tended to.
Babywearing when done properly will not damage the caregiver’s back, as some people believe it might. In fact, the baby wrap/carrier will bring baby closer to your body, allowing for better posture and center of gravity. It’s actually better on your back than cradling that baby in your arms or carrying a carseat around. There is also the idea that wearing your baby can hurt his hips. There is no medical evidence that says this is true, and no reason to think it is. As long as your baby is being supported properly, babywearing is perfectly safe for baby and parent.
There are many kinds of carriers ranging in style, fabric and prices- and it really is dependent upon you and your baby which one is the best. As a postpartum doula, I have a variety of carriers and wraps that I can let you try out so perhaps you can find the one that best suits you before you make the investment. It is also important to know which carriers are best for which developmental stages. Are you planning to nurse your newborn? Then perhaps a sling or wrap is best for you. If you’re looking for a carrier that you can take on long hiking adventures- you’ll want one that balances the weight evenly on both shoulders like a buckle carrier or a wrap. Each carrier is unique and has it’s own set of advantages, and while some of them may be a bit tricky to figure out you will find that anyone can use any style with a bit of practice. I’ve included a link to a helpful PDF that you can download for your personal use.
Have questions about babywearing or any other infant care? Reach out and I’ll be happy to chat with you!