Babywearing fosters attachment
Many studies have looked at the benefits of babywearing, which include reduced crying and increased attachment. Research shows “kangaroo mother care” reduces newborn deaths by more than 50 percent, and is more effective than incubators for stable preterm babies. Please see The Baby Wearer for links to various other studies.
It is recommended that slings not be used for babies younger than four months of age. See US Consumer Product Safety Commission Warning About Sling Carriers for Babies and API’s sling safety tips. Below are my experiences of five types of baby carrier used with my daughter.
It is recommended that slings not be used for babies younger than four months of age. See US Consumer Product Safety Commission Warning About Sling Carriers for Babies and API’s sling safety tips.
The first baby carrier I tried was a BabyBjörn. I got on well with it and used it newborn to approximately 4 months, when it dug into my shoulders and I needed something more supportive for long walks.
There have been issues with these carriers putting pressure on a baby’s spine. Please see Infant Carriers and Spinal Stress.
I used a Natures Sway sling up to around 6 months. Great for short hops around the shops as so easy to get on and off, but not good for extended use due to lop-sided weight on one shoulder.
My favourite: I used a Puku Pouch wrap up to around 10 months when I needed more back support. Retrospectively I’d have used this one from newborn as I loved it. It’s basically one long piece of fabric which you wrap around yourself.
Looks complicated but really isn’t, and was very supportive of both baby and my posture. Best bit is it folds down really small and can be popped in your bag when not in use.
Another favourite: I started using a Patapum toddler carrier when my daughter was 10 months old. The toddler carrier is suitable from 18 months, but I used it early and it was fine. One of the best carriers in terms of my comfort.
A godsend in airports and for long walks, when little one needs a rest and you’re half way along a hillside track. Very easy to use with the child on front or back. Best of all, this one will last until my daughter is at least 3 years old.
One for the Dads: “The Chickadee Ring Sling was one of the few slings designed for a man (or very big woman). I’m 6’2″ and it fitted me with room to spare. It takes a bit of adjusting at first, but then holds its position and fits like a glove every time. An excellent sling up to about 18 months (sitting up, facing you).
“It’s hard to describe just how wonderful it was being able to “wear” my baby girl – something I’ll remember forever. And I’m sure she loved being snuggled up on dad’s chest as I walked on the beach too.
“A baby lying down in the sling (with their face up near your face) is surprisingly well protected from the elements. On really cold days I put my daughter into a sleep bag, then into the sling and zipped my fleece halfway up. Snug as a bug.”