Advocacy, Childhood

The Benefits of Baby Wearing

As many of you would know I am currently on maternity leave with my second bub. She is a precious little button who loves to be held…all the time! I have just managed to put her down for the first time in two hours so that I could eat my lunch and it got me thinking about babywearing. I have several types of baby carriers and am utilising them everyday so that I can play with my son, put washing on, eat … you know – the important things! My baby is happy because she is snuggled against me and I am happy as I have two free hands. Having only spent limited time in baby rooms of EC services, perhaps it is happening and I am yet to see it, but I do wonder why babywearing isn’t a part of infant caregiving in Australia? I know it was never even mentioned during my studies and I am yet to see it occuring…but why not?

Picture
photo courtesy of www.thestir.cafemom.com
There are many reasons why babywearing is practical and beneficial including – being able to carry a child and have free hands to tend to other things, settled (happy!) babies and most importantly – it can support the development of secure, trusting relationships.
 A large part of confidence is the ability to read baby’s cues successfully.
When a baby is held close in a sling, a parent becomes finely attuned to baby’s
gestures and facial expressions….Every time a baby is able to let his parent
know when he is hungry, bored, or wet without having to cry, his trust in the
parent is increased, his learning is enhanced, and a parent’s confidence is
reinforced. This cycle of positive interaction enhances the mutual attachment
between parent and child, and it makes life more enjoyable for everyone.
The Benefits of Baby Wearing
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 21 No. 6, November-December 2004, p.
204-208
So if we focus so much of our training on caregivers and babies developing secure attachments – why is babywearing not more common? Or is it happening and I just don’t know about it? I think there may be some hesitation regarding back safety and WHS issues, however with the right carrier I find it so much easier on my back and shoulders to wear my bub than carry her in my arms!

I would love to hear from educators – are you babywearing in your service? if so – how does it go?! If not – why? Are there barriers to babywearing?
I am also starting a research project on the concept and if you would like to get involved please let me know!

Nicole