Have you ever wished you had octopus arms? Juggling baby, dog, diaper bag, vacuum, two-year-old, and whatever else you have in your life can be completely overwhelming! While I don’t know anyone who has come up with tentacles for parents yet, I do have a solution for the baby part: babywearing.
While the idea of “wearing” your baby may sound pretty strange lexically, it is one of the most helpful and most timeless methods of keeping your baby close and safe, and having your hands free for other tasks. People have been wearing their babies in various fashions for centuries all over the world! Why is babywearing so prolific? It works.
So, you may ask, what exactly are the benefits of babywearing?
First and foremost, it allows you to be hands-free! This makes all of your daily tasks much easier. While you’re wearing your baby, you can sweep the floor, prepare a sandwich (however, it is a good idea to avoid using a hot stove while wearing your baby), play with older children, use your wallet, type… all while having your baby close. Caregivers do a very good job at learning how to do things one-handed, but think of all the things you could do if you happened to have two hands again!
Bonding and soothing: babies thrive off of close contact with loving caregivers. Wearing your baby is a wonderful way to be close and cuddle. Also, some babies just don’t want to be put down! If your baby is fussy, colicky, tired, or just in need of some closeness, wearing your baby is a wonderful way to achieve that without feeling chained to your house or your favorite armchair.
Babywearing helps your baby regulate his or her functions and keeps the germs away! According to Dr. Sears, babywearing can help regulate your baby’s body temperature, breathing, and “regular parental rhythms.” Kangaroo care, or skin-to-skin wearing of premature babies, is growing rapidly in popularity as its benefits are becoming more and more apparent. For preemies and older babies alike, there is little better than being close, visible, and kissable. Also, as family-visiting season approaches this summer, you may cringe at the idea of your baby being passed around and everyone touching his or her precious little hands…that go right into the mouth. If you are experiencing a time when you would prefer to have your baby out of others’ hands, what better way to do so than by attaching him or her to you?
Finally, once you get the hang of it, babywearing is easy. Babywearing means not having to bring (or, goodness knows, fold) your stroller on public transportation. It means not having to push a stroller down unshoveled or poorly paved sidewalks. It means being able to carry baby and simultaneously perform household tasks. It means taking the stairs, a much easier time going through airport security, and even eliminating the need for a double stroller for an older toddler with baby. Carriers fold up small, are light and easy to travel with, and, let’s face it: they minimize the need for octopus arms.