What’s the first thing you hear when you give birth? Your baby’s first cry…. Aah, the sweetest sound that you’ll ever hear!
What’s the only thing you hear over the next few days, weeks… baby’s ‘constant’ crying, uh-huh, correction, the sweetest sound is now a ‘wailing’! No, it is not because your baby is clingy, and it most definitely is not because ‘your milk is not enough’!!
Your baby rightfully is crying for you, for you to hold him, comfort him, keep him safe like you have all these past 9 months. While it’s an aww moment the first few times, it really does tend to break your arms after some time. It did for the first 2.5 months for me.
And then I discovered Baby-wearing (no it is not a fashion term!). I was trolling Facebook when I followed a friend into a Baby-wearing page and thought of giving it a shot. We haven’t looked back since and LO is now 15 months old.
What is Baby-wearing?
According to Wikipedia, it is the practice of wearing or carrying your baby in a sling or in another form of carrier. In short, it is keeping your baby close helping him transition to a life outside the womb.
Why should I wear my baby?
Contrary to popular belief that the womb was the quiet environment that a baby has been used to, a womb is probably the noisiest place, what with the constant motion in the amniotic fluid, moms beating heart, stomach churning, etc., which is why when baby-wearing, the baby quietens soon as you start walking. The motion helps calm him.
Research shows that keeping your baby close is crucial to his health and development. Such infants produce more immunoglobin protecting them against respiratory infections. The constant touch also improves intellectual and motor development immediately. The benefits are many! The image below drives home the essence of keeping your baby close.
How should I wear my baby?
There are various ways to wear your baby. While Google can easily assist in finding brands, it is not essential to spend a bomb on a carrier. A sari or even a dupatta can double up as a carrier.
There are a few safety rules that one has to be absolutely thorough about, irrespective of the carrier that you choose.
Image Courtesy: schoolofbabywearing
What’s the difference between a non-ergonomic and ergonomic baby carrier?
While it’s good to wear your child, it’s important to chose a right carrier that is safe for you and your child. Take a look at this picture to see the difference between a non-ergonomic and an ergonomic carrier. (Image Courtesy: blessedbethebelly)
Ergonomic carriers are the way to go. Sounds scientific? Well, it is. A carrier is designed not just to carry your baby, it does also help in baby’s development- physical included. The way your baby’s hip is positioned in the carrier will help or harm the hip development. Perfecting the M position is as important a part of baby-wearing as is TICKS.
Okay, now that the research is out of the way, we can greedily discuss the various types of carriers and what they do and how:
When should I baby-wear?
What started off as a necessity for me almost a year back, is now something I am passionate about. Especially since I’ve seen up close how it transformed my clingy, cranky, always ‘hungry’ infant into a confident, independent, creative, intelligent and social toddler.
I highly recommend wearing your baby soon as you hear, read or see about it. And do not be surprised if you bump into me giving someone a download of it in a mall… I really do feel strongly about it. Whether am in the kitchen, traveling (plane, train, anything), even window shopping and the most when the baby has been under the weather, baby-wearing has come to the rescue time and again.
Until what age can I wear my baby?
It does not stop when the baby starts walking. Most carriers allow for a 15-18 kg weight limit and will also allow you to carry a child of up-to 4 years of age.
Why do I recommend baby-wearing?
Baby-wearing has opened up a whole new world for me. Keeps my baby close AND keeps me hands free. It has helped us in soooo many ways including traveling without any hassles.
I do hope you are able to enjoy and explore baby-wearing as much as we have been. The pic below is of the first time ever that I wore my baby. You can see how peaceful we both look.
Which carrier have I tried so far?
I have tried a bunch of Indian carriers so far, you can read my reviews here.