I practiced babywearing with both of my babies. I never thought of it in that way. I first started using a baby carrier so I could take a walk without pushing the stroller and just have my baby close. Then I noticed how much my babies liked it. If I was trying to get something done in the kitchen they would cry about being set down but they would be perfectly happy in the baby carrier. I quickly realized they liked being near me and they liked watching what I was doing for a bit before falling off to sleep. I loved babywearing so I am happy to have Xza Higgins,the Founder and Program Director of MommyCon, the nation’s largest natural parenting convention series to share with us today about the hidden benefits of babywearing.
MommyCon takes a gentle and positive approach to educating parents about the emotional and physical benefits of natural birthing, breastfeeding and babywearing. They advocate values of holistic health, eco-friendly diapering, child safety standards and procedures, and female self-care and wellness. Their mission is to create a community of support, acceptance and non-judgement for women journeying through parenthood. Wow, that all makes perfect sense to me and rings true with how I personally approach parenting. I hope you enjoy learning more about what baby wearing is and how it is beneficial to both baby and parent.
The Many Benefits of Babywearing
Babywearing my two children has taught me that there is so much more to wearing your baby than simply getting them from A to B. It has opened my eyes up to a whole new way of caring for my kids, while also caring for myself. Through our babywearing adventures, I have discovered a multitude of hidden benefits of babywearing.
Maybe it’s no secret, but one of the biggest benefits of babywearing is bonding with your baby. As a busy 21st century mother, it can be a struggle juggling the demands of everyday life. Babywearing allows me to be affectionate with my baby while on-the-go. Holding my child close to me in a carrier allows for extra snuggle time. The skin-on-skin contact also creates an oxytocin rush which calms and centers me. When I’m feeling stressed, I just smell the top of my baby’s head, steal a little kiss, and my stress is gone. That smell, that feeling: I wish I could bottle it up.
If you have a fussy child who just won’t sleep; try wearing them! My first born was only calm and happy when I wore him. This meant that he ate while I wore him, played while I wore him, and slept while I wore him. It was a blessing to know that I could soothe him to sleep by just holding him close to my body. I later discovered that most babies who are worn, sleep more. That magical babywearing sleepy dust isn’t just a fairytale.
Parents can increase their physical fitness by wearing their little one. My back has never looked so toned! I feel like I’m undertaking a cardio workout every day. Even now, I carry my 50 pound toddler on my back in a carrier. Forget the gym – babywearing is the latest fitness craze! Seriously, have you seen the viral videos going around Facebook lately?!
As a working mother, I find balancing work and family life extremely challenging. When my babies want me, they want me. They don’t care about meetings or deadlines. Babywearing has definitely increased my productivity – I can multi-task by tending to my baby’s needs, while also getting work and errands completed. I advocate a “wear your baby to work” philosophy at MommyCon so new moms can work while still being close to their little ones. I also travel across the country a lot for MommyCon events. Babywearing has allowed me to bring my baby (now 1 years old) everywhere with me. I jump on planes, host and organize events, and manage my team, all while wearing my babies. It can be done!
Let’s not forget about much needed mommy-time. I NEED to see my friends and have adult conversations in order to stay sane, because let’s face it – there is more to my identity than the #1 butt wiper. Babywearing has allowed me to meet friends for lunch, attend music festivals, and satisfy a few shopping excursions. Fortunately, more and more brands are taking fashion into consideration in the designs, fabrics and colors of carrier types. This means that wearing your baby can now even be a fashion statement!
Babywearing is wonderful in so many ways, but I want to know: what have been the benefits of babywearing for you?