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Baby on Board! Baby-Wearing Benefits and Tips

I knew I wanted to try babywearing even before I was pregnant. I am a minimalist, and the allure of such a streamlined, hands-free option for baby-toting was a dream.

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sleeping through brunch at Two Borroughs Larder

My little one was due in winter, so we wouldn’t be out and about too much in the first weeks. I opted to forego the stroller for a few months and jump heads first into the SollyBaby fabric wrap. I absolutely love it.

We got extra snuggle time, I got more things done during the day, and our initial trips out of the house went great! Except for the very first time I left the house for his doctor’s office with my regular purse and no diaper gear in sight (because hello, I’ve carried this purse every day for years – what else WOULD I carry?!). The nurses very lovingly laughed at me. And so did I. Anyway, not the wrap’s fault. The wrap helped James sit very quietly and patiently in the waiting room. So there’s that.

But while I initially began wearing James for my convenience, I began to realize we were experiencing several more significant benefits.

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James sleeping in the waiting room

BENEFITS FOR BABY (especially newborns)

Womb-like motion
Where has baby felt that motion before? During pregnancy! Baby remembers what it was like to jiggle around while you made your way through pregnancy. Feeling that same pace again is comforting.

Familiar noises
We all know baby loves a heartbeat. When he is wrapped up close to your chest he gets another familiar cue to relax.

Warmth
One word – cozy! Keep that baby nearby mama’s warm chest and he’ll fall off into a warm, sleepy stupor in no time. You can even use this time for skin on skin with a newborn.

Developmental stimulus
Because baby is (usually) happy in the wrap, he may spend more time in a state of quiet alertness. This is the best state for developing those brain cells! He is calmly observing and experiencing new things. He’ll explore new smells, sounds and sights that he might not see if he were not side by side with mama (or daddy!), experiencing the world as you do.

 

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finally catching a nap during the 6-8 week peak fussiness!

BENEFITS FOR MAMA

Housework
The obvious – getting the dishes done! But really, as a breastfeeding mom, I spend enough time in the rocking chair – sometimes I want to be near James but cheese and rice I need to stretch my legs. The wrap lets me soothe him if needed and still move around the house.

Space limitations
Sometimes there just isn’t enough room for a car seat carrier or stroller wherever delicious burgers are sold. Which is where I need to be. Wrap him up, leave the giant diaper bag in the car nearby and EAT.

Efficiency
With baby close by on a regular basis, mama becomes more attuned to his needs and cues. This helps you to be more efficient at soothing and giving baby what he needs, which makes you feel like a #momboss.

Hands-free Breastfeeding
I haven’t mastered this yet – but it can be done! Or, single-handed bottle feeding. #fedisbest

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While this is my personal experience with a newborn only, carriers can last well into toddlerhood, and there is a carrier for every style
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Fabric wraps, structured carries, pouch carriers and ring slings are a few popular carriers. I recommend joining the Lowcountry Babywearing Facebook group – there are several experienced voices there who can help you find what you are looking for.

*Always follow the T.I.C.K.S rules for safe babywearing:
Tight
In view at all times
Close enough to kiss
Keep chin off chest
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What are your experiences with baby-wearing?  Let us know in the comments below!

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One Response to Baby on Board! Baby-Wearing Benefits and Tips

  1. Kathleen April 18, 2016 at 8:23 am #

    Wonderfully helpful! Looking back on my own baby-wearing, I couldn’t be happier I “wore” all 5 of my babies. At that time there were limited option and a friend made me a ring-sling. Caitlin’s insightful article is great!