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Nov 20, 2015 BY Aliya Visram

Guest Post: Baby Wearing 101 – The Benefits of Carrying Your Baby

—  found in  Family  —

Forget fancy strollers and high-tech car seats. Wearing your little one is the latest trend in the baby world!

What is baby wearing?

 The term “baby wearing” has been used to describe the ancient –and recently revived – custom of carrying infants in cloth carriers against a parent’s body. Although it has recently been gaining popularity in western society, many cultures around the world have been using this method of baby transport continuously for centuries.

Benefits

There are numerous benefits to baby wearing for both parent and infant. It’s been shown that infants who are carried are generally calmer because all of their primal/survival needs are met. Their caregiver can be seen, heard, smelled, touched and provide feeding if needed. “Skin-to-skin” contact is maintained and a strong bond between baby and parent is established. 

The rhythm and constant motion a baby experiences when being work has a balancing and soothing effect that can result in less crying and fussing. Furthermore, baby wearing offers parents the freedom to multi-task while attending to their little one – a more “hands-free” approach to child care. In fact, many moms often master the art of baby wearing and breastfeeding at the same time! (Go Mom!)

From a chiropractic perspective, it is also a safer, back-saving alternative to lugging around a heavy, bulky car seat.

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How should I wear my baby?

There are correct and incorrect ways to wear your baby, and certain safety precautions must be considered. The ideal way to baby wear is with baby in front, facing the parent with legs spread apart and legs bent at a 90-degree angle in a seated position. This position is ideal for healthy, natural development of the hip joint and limits potential for future hip problems. 

Other methods that also work well are the side carry method on the parent’s hip, or the back carrying method with legs flexed. Both of these methods may be used as baby gets older.

Here are a few more guidelines and safety basics:

  • Always keep slings and carriers snug
  • Baby should be in your view at all times
  • Baby'’s head should be close enough for you to kiss
  • Keep baby’'s chin off of their chest to maintain a clear airway
  • Support baby’'s back and keep their tummy and chest against yours
  • Do not wear baby while cooking or working with sharp or hot objects
  • Do not ride a bicycle while wearing baby

Studies show that baby wearing provides an ideal environment for child development. 

As with any skill, baby wearing can take a bit of practice but the benefits are amazing!

Do you have questions about baby wearing or infant development? Feel free to contact Dr Aliya here.

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Nov 20, 2015 BY Aliya Visram
4 Comments
Sarah @ Seriously Lovely   •   November 23, 2015

Thanks for sharing this! We were able to try out the Moby wrap at our childbirth/childcare class over the weekend and I know I definitely want to try child wearing when our baby gets here. It's nice to have some guidelines about how to do it properly!

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Amanda   •   November 25, 2015

I think the idea is great, however, you make it sound like a baby is a fashion accessory. "Wearing your little one is the latest trend in the baby world!" Maybe you could change the phraseology in the article to convey your meaning more adequately.

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Tracy   •   November 25, 2015

Great article and thanks for sharing. I have worn my son since he was born and he's now two and a half. We've moved from the front to the back now he is over 30lbs :) Baby wearing has so many health benefits - one of my favourites was the few times my son has had a cold - he slept so much better upright in the carrier when he was stuffed up. I feel its also made him a lot more outgoing socially as he's been up "talking" to people since he was a baby rather than lying down away from conversations in a stroller. Great that you are spreading the word!

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Sandy   •   November 27, 2015

Hi Dr. Visram! I love the idea of trying to "wear" my 4-week old. Any guidelines regarding the max time they should be in a carrier or sling? I've been housebound since my little guy's early arrival, and would love to get a bit more out and about. I'd definitely prefer a sling or carrier over a car seat if we're out with friends or doing some Christmas shopping. But is there a max? Thanks!

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