The concept of babywearing isn’t a new one, but it’s not a common practice among parents. Of course, caring for my infant daughters would have been easier eight years ago if I would have known that I could wear my child like a satchel. I could have avoided soreness in my arms and shoulders from having to carry children for five straight years – two girls born two years apart. But now I look back and wish I could have had the opportunity to invest into this practice.
1. Babywearing keeps your little one in plain sight – One of many fears for a parent is the inevitable moment your baby leaves your sight. There is even a discomfort if an aunt or uncle walks out of the room with your little one. With babywearing, it’s a stress you don’t have to face. Your child is literally attached to your body whether he or she is in a satchel carrier, backpack, or front facing pouch. There is no crawling around the corner to disappear into the kitchen if your baby is snugly resting on your body.
2. Babywearing promotes parent-child bonding – One of my daughter’s favorite past-times was to snuggle as close to me as she could. Both girls were always in my lap or on my shoulder. Children need that comfort of the parent in order to feel safe and secure. I have to admit, it made me feel safe and secure for them as well. Though, it would have been so much easier to place them in a babywearing apparatus of some kind throughout my day. Now that they are getting too big to carry around, I miss the sensation of them being close to me.
3. Babywearing leaves both hands free – Many parents understand the one-handed method of living life. You have one free hand and arm while the other is carrying your child. In some instances, you have to juggle the child with the other hand in order to conduct even the most mundane of chores. If I could have loaded my daughter in a backpack while I did the dishes or vacuumed the rugs, far more house-work would have been done during those years. At least, a better job would have been done. It would have been nice to have two hands to hold my plate at a party or barbeque. And it would have been easier to load her up in a babywearing satchel to sit at my desk to work instead of typing one-handed.
4. Babywearing means less crankiness – I have met parents who use babywearing products and every one of them praise how the child has been less cranky. Of course, I calmed the crankiness by picking up my children and carrying them around as I went about my daily routine – again, one-handed. I can see how having the child next to me in such a manner would have quelled a lot of restless days where my daughters were extra needy for being held.
If we ever have another child, you can be rest assured that I will be packing them around like a vest. Although I was still able to develop a great connection with both of my daughters, sometimes I wonder what things would have been like if they would have been closer to me than the stroller. I know the amount of stress I felt would have been eased if I had them attached to me instead of crawling out of sight at the park. But I survived the infant and toddler years regardless. Consider babywearing for yourself and see how it could change your life.
Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of http://www.nannypro.com/. Learn more about her http://www.nannypro.com/blog/sara-dawkins/.