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What is Babywearing?

what is babywearing

Babywearing is a mean of transport that allows continuous contact between baby and carer, offering multiple advantages and health benefits for the baby.

Physical contact offers tranquility and security to the baby. Ergonomic babywearing also offers several benefits for the physical and emotional development of the baby.

Ergonomic babywearing or babywearing in the best possible way

Babywearing should always respect the natural posture of a newborn baby. The more the carrier respects that natural posture, the most ergonomic it’ll be. The most adaptable and ergonomic carriers are simply a long piece of cloth where we can adjust to the exact shape of the baby. They represent the most ergonomic option for a newborn, although some claim they are hard to use and prefer different options (that we will discuss in another post: what is the best carrier for me and my baby? Best baby carriers of 2020)

Safe babywearing checklist:

  1. Permanent visual contact: can you see your baby’s face?
  2. Can you kiss your baby’s head when looking down? Baby must be at kissing distance
  3. Are face and nose free? The fabric should never cover their natural airways
  4. If baby is asleep, is her face resting on your body? The baby’s head should not be hanging back or down, it should rest against your body when they are sleeping or not strong enough to hold their necks
  5. Is your baby comfortable? Most common mistake is to over dress them. Avoid snowsuits, coats etc. There are other options!

Safe ergonomic babywearing checklist:

  1. Are the baby’s leg in M position? This is such an important one. Baby should ‘sit’ on the carrier, their knees should be higher than their little bums, aligned with their belly button.
  2. Is her bum resting against your body? The picture here probably clarifies this point!
  3. Is your baby’s head supported adequately? The carrier should support your baby’s head and help them support it during movement
  4. Is the carrier respecting the natural form of your baby’s back? The carrier should adapt to your baby’s shape, not force your baby into awkward positions!
  5. Are you comfortable when carrying your baby?
  6. Their bum should be above your belly button (which is your gravity center)
  7. Their weight should be distributed across your back and hips
  8. Carrier should be well adjusted. The difference in having a well adjusted carrier or not makes babywearing the best experience in the world or the most annoying one. Speak to a babywearing consultant, watch tutorials on YouTube and ask as many times as you need to. It’s key to the practicality of babywearing!

Key facts for babywearing parents

  1. Feel safe
    Ok, the baby is not going to fall down, but practice with a toy or soft toy as much as your need. If you are too heavily pregnant ask your partner or friends to practice in front of you. Use a mirror to look at what you are doing, it’s much easier when you see what you are doing. Watch online tutorials, ask your friends or find out your closest sling library and pop in for a visit. Most people working there are super nice and they are used to all sorts of question, so don’t be shy!
  2. Choose the right time
    It’s important for both of you to be relaxed and probably on your own the first time you do this! If the baby is hungry or tired it’ll be extra hard. With experience, babywearing will be an unbeatable way of putting them to sleep or calm them!
  3. Choose wisely
    You don’t need to buy a pricey carrier; you can buy them second hand or rent it from a sling library to see if you enjoy it. We would always recommend to go for a carrier that allows ergonomic babywearing, so you can rest assured your baby will be safe, your back will not be sore afterwards, and you’ll both have a lovely experience.
  4. You are not alone
    From your partner to family and friends, babywearing is an experience you can share. Grandmas and grandpas can babywear, friends can babywear too, brothers, sisters etc. If you are tired, if you had a c-section, if you are not feeling great and need a hand, ask for help. It makes such a difference! 
  5. Keep warm<
    There are different ways of keeping warm when going for a walk in the cold. We definitely recommend one of our Wombat & Co. coats and covers, but you can read more about you to babywear in the cold weather here.
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10 Benefits of Babywearing your little one

babywearing benefits

When done well, there are no contraindications to babywearing. Find out what the benefits are!

10 benefits of ergonomic babywearing for mums, dads and babies

Yes, you need to do a bit of research to find the right carrier, but once you find it there are so many advantages to babywearing that you will become addicted to it!

  1. It soothes your baby: the more you babywear, the more the baby will be soothed by this! They usually fall asleep too!
  2. Sling babies cope better with gas. Ha! The balancing movement of walking whilst being carried helps the bubbles in their little stomachs to go up, so they burp it out! Expects loads of farting and burping when going up and down the stairs; which we all know it’s great when it comes to babies!
  3. It’s great for travelling and public transport. It doesn’t take space, it allows you to carry things with your hands and it’ll avoid strangers touching your baby as much!
  4. It’s good for cognitive and social development, whilst preventing flat head syndrome: having your baby so close to you allows you to respond to their cues and touch them more. They can hear your heartbeat too and the sound of your voice which is exactly what they need. It gives them extra time to develop and focus on learning as they are completely soothed and feel secure.
  5. It’s good for mother/father – baby bond. When carrying your baby you talk to them more, you feel their heat and their cuddles. It is a way to reconnect for them, after leaving the familiarity of the mum’s womb.
  6. You can nurse discreetly – it takes practice but it’s very cool and practical. Don’t worry if you cannot do it at first. Breastfeeding is sometimes hard enough but once you are comfortable and can breastfeed comfortably, give it a go 🙂
  7. You can do other things, you are hands-free! Cooking, cleaning, reading, countryside walks, holding your other children’s hand whilst going for a walk, isn’t it fantastic?
  8. It decreases the risk of postpartum depression. Babywearing makes easy to have social interactions (believe me, everyone will smile at you when they see you and your little one!) It makes meeting friends easier as you don’t have to worry about places being pushchair friendly, it makes going out easier, so you can walk in the forest, in the park etc. All of these factors will give you a boost of confidence, which is so important after having a little one. Also, babywearing increases the chance to do skin to skin with the baby (and yes, we’re doing another blog post about this!), which research has connected to decreased rates of postpartum depression.
  9. It’s cheaper than a pushchair: but guess what, you don’t have to choose; babywearing is compatible with alternating with the pushchair.
  10. Your children grow more confident: being raised heart to heart with a parent means your child will gain a sense of you being there for them. They will know you are there to support them and they won’t be scared to fly solo, knowing there is no place like home!