‘Babywearing’, as it is termed by experts, has many benefits, both to baby and babywearer. With a sling, both arms remain free to use which enables the mother to continue going about the daily routine – thereby lessening the chance of post natal depression. It also promotes skin-to-skin contact throughout the day, which is a great way to strengthen the bond between baby and parent.
There are also many benefits for the baby. Well established German paediatrician Dr Eckhard Bonnet claims that babywearing eases colic and promotes digestion, since baby is held upright when carried which eases burping without spills. He continues that carried babies develop greater physical strength, sense of balance and co-ordination. Apart from the physical benefits to baby there are the emotional ones. Babies feel reassured by their mother’s heartbeat, body smell and natural body rhythm. This will help baby develop self assurance, creativity, frustration tolerance and deep trust.
Paediatrician Dr William Sears and his wife Martha in their book “The Baby Book: Everything you need from birth to 2″ claim that baby wearing improves the circulation and respiration system of the baby. This in turn enables deeper, more peaceful and longer sleep, which is vital for baby’s brain development and maturation. A random test conducted by paediatricians at Harvard University showed that carried babies cry less both during the day and at night by as much as 50%. Looking at the evidence, a carried baby is more contented and calm baby.
With so many different slings available on the market, how on earth do you choose one? There are a couple of important things to take into consideration. Make sure that the sling or carrier fully supports your baby’s head and neck and that is has a wide seat that stretches out to baby’s knees. A wide seat allows baby to be carried ergonomically, which helps correct hip development and doesn’t put any pressure on baby’s developing spine or pelvis. A good sling or carrier also allows the weight of the baby to be evenly distributed over both shoulders and the entire back, helping in the prevention of potential back strain and injury of the babywearer. And of course, make sure that the carrier is age appropriate. Most will be suitable from birth, but some carriers will need a special insert or may simply not be suitable for premature babies.
When looking at material – choose a fabric that is light, absorbent and therm-regulating which means that when the weather is hot the fabric will feel cool next to your baby’s skin and when the weather is colder, the fabric is warming. Babies do not regulate their own body temperature well and it is important not to overheat them. Bamboo is a great option. It is lighter and more absorbent than cotton, making it cooler to wear. It is also cashmere soft, naturally anti-bacterial and has a natural UV filter. For the eco-conscious parent, there is the additional benefit of bamboo being a renewable and sustainable material.
One particular sling on the market that carries your baby safely and securely -even if born premature- is the Hana Baby Wrap. This is a wrap around carrier made of bamboo fabric with added organic cotton and a touch of elastane. Hana Baby Wrap’s design offers full support to your baby’s head, neck, spine and pelvis and ensures an even distribution of your baby’s weight over both shoulders and back.
You can find our more about Melissa & her baby wrap on www.hanababy.co.uk.
You may also like to read Babywearing is Trendy
We have teamed up with Hana Baby Wrap and now you can get £10 refund after buying a Hana Baby Wrap from their website www.hanababy.co.uk . Simply email Hana Baby Wrap on info (@] hanababy.co.uk with your purchase details and the refund code BW121208 – offer expires 1 March 2012 !