Carrying a baby around all day can be extremely straining and prevent new moms and dads from tending to work duties, household chores, and their other children, but some babies want to be held all of the time and scream when they are put down.
So, what’s a mom or dad with a crying baby and arms on fire supposed to do? One suggestion is known as babywearing.
Babywearing is the act of carrying your baby using a wrap or device that leaves your hands and arms free and takes the weight of the baby off your shoulders — and arms. Babywearing allows you to hold your baby while cleaning, cooking, and even working and running errands outside of the house.
Babywearing is a lifesaver for busy moms and dads, and it also has some pretty significant health and developmental benefits, including:
#1. Babywearing Is Good for Cognitive and Social Development
Wearing your baby instead of leaving them in a car seat, playpen, or stroller allows them to be more socially engaged with you and the world. Babywearing allows the baby to hear conversations that help develop their language skills, and being taken to different places stimulates their senses. When you walk, the baby feels it. When you turn, the baby feels it. These changes in movement and scenery are thrilling for babies.
#2. Babywearing is Suggested to Help Hip Health
Developmental hip dysplasia happens when babies’ hip joints are not formed correctly — which can happen before or after birth. A lot of these cases resolve on their own, but if they don’t, the issues can cause lifelong problems.
Research shows a link between babywearing and hip health. The “M” shape that babies are carried in when they are worn is associated with low rates of hip dysplasia. On the other hand, babies positioned with their legs tightly swaddled together have higher rates of hip dysplasia.
#3. Less Crying
“Less crying” are two words that will make any parent jump up and take notice. Another study has found that wearing babies for the first few months can lead to 43% less crying overall and 51% less in the evening hours. That means you can get some precious shuteye, too!
Reduced crying has additional, lifelong benefits as well. Studies show that the more a baby cries, the more stressed they become, leading to increased cortisol levels. High cortisol levels in babies negatively impact their neural development.
#4. Babywearing Can Help Reduce the Risk of Plagiocephaly
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics babies should sleep on their backs for all sleep times—for naps and at night–until their first birthday. Some parents worry that this much time on a baby’s back can result in the baby developing a flat head, known as plagiocephaly. Tummy time is the most often recommended activity for babies to avoid plagiocephaly. Baby wearing can also be effective in keeping the baby off of their back when tummy time is not an option.
The benefits of babywearing are bountiful, both for baby and for mom and dad. These benefits range from developmental benefits to social benefits — not to mention an overall calmer, happier baby and household.
For more information on our swaddle transition products, the Magic Sleepsuit and Dream Sack and how they create a safer and calmer environment for all, click here.