Wear Your Baby
From Tips and Steps
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- At first, for newborns and preemies, place a folded receiving blanket under the baby’s head and torso. After a few weeks you won’t need this extra padding.
Infant development researchers who have studied baby care practices around the world reveal that there are many significant benefits for babies who are carried in baby slings. Here are only a few.
- Advanced Mental Development - Baby wearing has been shown to enhance mental development. Sling babies spend a greater amount of time in the "quiet alert" behavioral state, the optimal state for learning. Sling babies are intimately involved in their parent's world, more exposed to and engaged in what is going on around them. Environmental experiences stimulate nerves to branch out and connect with other nerves. It is through this process that the brain grows and develops. Studies have reported that sling babies show advanced speech development and enhanced visual and auditory alertness.
- Reduced Incidence of Postpartum depression - Postpartum Depression is much less common in mothers who wear their babies. This may be due to several factors, including the mother's hormonal stimulation and her baby's reduced crying.
- Dramatically reduced crying - Scientific research has reported that babies who were carried for at least 3 hours a day cried 43% less during the day and 51% less at night (both while in and out of the carrier).
- Easier discipline - The deeper the connection between parent and child, the easier discipline will be. Wearing your baby in the sling will enhance this connection. Credible research comparing well-connected children with poorly connected children has shown that connected children are more secure, settled, trusting, sociable, considerate, co-operative, willing to share, empathetic, sensitive, positive, adaptable, confident, affectionate, persistent and eager to learn.
- Help babies grow and thrive - Because of the calming effect motion has on infants, babies cry significantly less. Because they spend less time crying, this energy can therefore be diverted into growing. It has also been speculated that baby wearing promotes growth hormones and enzymes that stimulate growth.
- Better bonding - Keeps you in direct contact with your baby for constant bonding, your baby can hear your heartbeat and can find comfort in the warmth of your body.
- Encourage sibling harmony - Older siblings may be more accepting and less jealous of a new baby when he or she is carried in the sling. Baby wearing allows the mother to have her hands free so she can mother both children well.
- Less spit up and diaper rash - Being touched and carried has a beneficial effect on a baby's digestive system. Studies have shown that infants who could not feel or see their caregiver had more stress hormones circulating through their bloodstreams. Stress irritates the baby's digestive system causing the baby to spit up more often and increases the occurrence of diaper rash.
- An inexpensive wrap for wearing your baby can be made from a long piece of knit fabric. Simply buy a piece of stretchy knit fabric that is at least 10 yards long and cut it in half length-wise. You will have two versatile wraps.
- Try several different carries. You may find some carries uncomfortable for you or your baby. There are many variations of each type of carry. Experiment with what works for you.
- Experiment with different carriers. Slings are easy to put your baby into and take him out of, but they may be uncomfortable for long periods of time. Wraps may be more confusing to use initially, but are comfortable for long walks. Asian inspired carriers may need to be undone in order to remove the baby. Use whatever carrier best fits the current situation.
- Have a spotter help you put your baby on the first few times you try a new carry.
- Wear baby cautiously in the kitchen. Do not wear baby while cooking or working with sharp or hot objects.
- Do not drink hot beverages when wearing baby, although wearing baby while eating is safe as long as the food is not hot enough to scald.
- When wearing your baby and stooping over, bend at the knees, not at the waist, and hold baby in the sling with one hand.
- Toddlers, if worn at your reaching level, can grab dangerous or breakable objects off shelves. Keep an arm's distance away from potential hazards.
- When going through doorways or around corners, be careful that baby's body does not stick out past your arm and strike the wall or doorjamb.
- Do not ride a bicycle or other moving vehicle while wearing your baby.
- Baby carriers are not substitutes for an approved car seat.
- Do not carry newborns or babies up to six months in an upright sitting position (tummy-to-tummy) for too long at a time if they cannot sit up yet. Since their spines have not yet formed a natural S-shape, it is strenuous for their spines to support the heavy head. They should be in a lying-down position most of the time.
- Maintain a space of two finger-widths between your baby's chin and chest to allow the baby to breath easily.
Related Tips and Steps
- How to Put a Baby to Sleep
- How to Entertain an Unhappy Baby
- How to Soothe a Baby
- How to Fight Jaundice in a Newborn
- How to Photograph a Baby or Infant
- How to Give a Baby a Bath
- How to Prepare for a New Baby
- How to Bottle Nurse a Baby
- How to Wear a Baby Pouch Sling
- How to Get a Newborn to Sleep Through the Night
- How to Easily Give Eyedrops to a Baby or Child
Sources and Citations
- Keren Levi - Inventor of My Baby Nest Baby Carrier http://www.mybabynest.com
- Dr. William Sears - www.askdrsears.com