I will not explain how to carry your baby correctly in this post. We will leave that for another time. My aim right now is to explain why I always recommend babywearing, whether done by the mother or the partner.
I prefer to avoid discussing babywearing’s benefits because that would imply something extra to add, like an advantage. But have you ever seen a picture of a woman from another nationality/culture carrying her baby when they are newborn? Have you ever wondered if that is natural? My way of looking at it is this: babywearing is natural. It is the baseline: a baby who is nine months inside his mother suddenly comes out into the world and, in addition to having to adapt to all the external stimulation he receives, you can see that they are not in contact with their mother, and they do not feel protected enough. That is why, for me, baby-carrying is the natural thing to do.
So why is it important to carry?
- Allows skin-to-skin: indeed, you have heard about the importance of skin-to-skin from the very first moment with your baby. By carrying your baby close to your chest, you will help your baby to regulate their functions: the baby will be calm when they smell you, they will bond with you, and they will better regulate their body temperature, breathing, heart rate, etc.
- It allows you to correct your posture when carrying your baby: we often end up with a bad posture when we hold our babies in our arms. With the carrying system, by adjusting it correctly, you will find that your back is more supported and allows you to position yourself better.
- If worn correctly, it is a comfortable and practical way of carrying your baby. You do not have to walk around with bulky pushchairs, and you can move around more freely.
- You can do other tasks without having to leave your baby lying down. You can clean, be at the computer, walk, eat, go shopping, etc. All without letting go of your baby, and your hands are free.
- Carrying can be done from day one and continue to be used even for older children.
- It prevents babies from lying on their backs in strollers or other devices for prolonged periods, preventing cranial and spinal deformities, such as positional plagiocephaly. Carrying allows the natural development of the skull, spine, and postural muscles.
- The upright position helps with gastric problems such as gastroesophageal reflux, and walking movements helps to expel gas and prevent infant colic.
- Receiving tactile and movement-related stimulation favors the development of balance, body awareness, and posture control. Thus, it helps to work on head control and strengthen the back muscles.
- It promotes breastfeeding: having your baby close to you helps you to secrete oxytocin, which is essential for milk production.
Another time we will go into more detail about how babywearing can benefit parents. But I have already explained some of the details here.
And to conclude: there is no perfect baby carrier. You should choose the one that suits you best and covers your baby’s needs. It should be comfortable and never painful. Check your carrying technique if your back hurts or bothers you.