Babywearing. This is literally the ONLY way I was able to grocery shop with my twins (six months old in this picture.) I wore them in different ways at different ages and I hope this review of the hows and whys encourages you to look into the many different babywearing options there are out there for parents these days. They are two now and our sling is still getting a work out, mostly around the house when I’m cleaning up and with light food prep for dinner these days.
Babywearing makes life easier and more comfortable for all, keeping our little ones close while also freeing up hands. Babywearing allowed me to tend to LIFE (including my two older kids) while also meeting my twins most basic needs. The need to be held.
As my babes got older, another benefit I enjoyed was not having to drag not one but two VERY heavy baby seats around. Using my sling was especially helpful with grocery shopping as I’d put one of my babes in the cart and wear the other.
- It’s such a fun way for baby to gain head control. Baby gains as much from sling time as tummy time in terms of strengthening body and head control. So many babies in my weekly infant massage classes do NOT like tummy time. This is a great solution as it keeps baby close to mom and still helps strengthen their neck extensors.
-Soothes a fussy baby. Babies love to be held. And so do one year olds. And so do year olds. You see where I’m going with this. Slings save many a mama’s (and papa’s) back while freeing up their hands.
-Babywearing is especially great for parents early on when dealing with colic and reflux. The sling helps create a womb like environment for baby especially those first few months. Being up on your chest, your baby can feel your breathing, hear your heart beat and gets the skin to skin contact they love. All of these things together lower your baby’s stress levels (heart rates, blood pressures and respiratory rates decrease… a good thing!)
-Held babies cry less. It’s true. The original study by Hunziker and Barr (1986) (at portareipiccoli.com) discovered an average reduction of 51% in crying and fussing during the evening hours, when babies were carried an extra 2 hours daily.
Double ring slings are my personal favorite device for babywearing because they are SO versatile. Basically, you can wear your baby in any position you can hold them in. They are good for all ages/sizes AND work for mom and dad without needing to have straps adjusted, etc.
Be active in your use of a carrier as you would with ANY piece of baby equipment… car seats, cribs, highchairs, etc. Check in with your babe frequently to ensure their position is safe and comfortable.
1) Maintain an open airway, avoiding chin to chest position
2) Always make sure your baby has plenty of airflow – covering a baby’s head and face can cause her to “rebreathe” the same air (not good for baby… so don’t do that.)
Stick With It:
I hear sooo often from moms in my massage classes that they gave up wearing their baby early on because they had trouble figuring out how to make the sling “work” for them. In this video I walk you through front carry in a double ring sling good for 2 to 4 months of age on up until you start to use the hip hold which I started around 5 or 6 months of age with my twins. Stick with it and hopefully you’ll love it as much as I do.
Search baby wearing in the My Mommy Manual search box above and to the right for more on this important topic!!! Here is another type of sling called the Hotsling which is non-adjustable but works well for babyearing, especially the hip hold.
If you wear your baby, tell me about it in the comment section below – why, what sling, and maybe some of the benefits you’ve experienced.
Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy hopes if you liked this article you will subscribe and/or join other mindful mamas here. To keep the lights on, Suzanne runs a holistic health center in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband Shawn. She is passionate about the connection we are and to that end offers Infant Massage, parent coaching and YogaParenting.