Benefits of Baby WearingBy Nicola Martin 25th January 2015
We are BIG fans of a sling here at Thoroughly Modern Baby, both Lou and Nicki used them constantly for carrying around their babies and with Lou’s second on the way they are a current hot topic of conversation. Mainly because she’s trying to justify not using Skye’s old one and buying one from the new Beco Spring range!
Regular readers will know that it was some 21 years ago Nicki carried her boy around and Sling technology has improved drastically! So too has the research and investment by the major manufacturers; in fact, the concept of using a sling has now been renamed “baby wearing” and it comes with lots of great facts and advice for new mums and dads.
If you’ve never used a sling or wrap before, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about! Have pram will travel! But the truth is that a sling often lets you go places you’d otherwise be unable to get to and frees up your hands to deal with baby and jobs at the same time!
Here’s our Sling Top Ten!
1. Look - No Hands!
By using a sling around the house you can free up your hands to take care of jobs while keeping your baby safe and close to you. Zip round with the hoover, do a washing or get the polishing done while baby is awake and you’ll be able to have some solid me time while they’re asleep! A book, a beer or a cheeky wee snooze!
2. Clean Air and Kisses!
A sling will carry your baby up beside you, close enough to kiss and high enough to enjoy the fresh air! Babies seated in pushchairs obviously travel lower to the ground, nearer to exhaust fumes, animals approaching and city dust.
3. And Toddler Went Too!
With Baby in a sling you will find that getting around with a toddler is much, much easier! Double buggies are great but sometimes they’re just too darn big! Let your toddler enjoy the pushchair, wear baby and you’re good to go for picking up from nursery, getting out for walks or nipping to the shops.
4. Round, Round, Round We Get Around!
From flights of stairs and escalators to wild country walks and long sandy beaches, a baby in a sling is far easier to manoeuvre than a baby in a pram! And Lou, Iain and Nicki are unanimous in their belief that one sling beats four wheels when you’re heading to the shops, particularly if you've got to navigate the London underground!
5. Don't Cry! Soothes Crying and Colic
So, there has been some research that shows that babies worn for at least 3 hours per day cry 43% less during the day and 51% less at night. The study (Hunziker UA, Barr RG, 1986. 'Increased carrying reduces infant crying. A randomized controlled trial") can be found here. I’m thinking we should just have led with this and left it there!
6. Encouraging Development
There are many arguments that cite when a baby spends less time crying and trying to soothe themselves, they spend more time observing and interacting. As number 5 is telling us babies cry less, it stands to reason that they can observe more.
7. Building the Bond
Connecting with your little one from the beginning is wonderful for you and baby. A secure attachment bond lets your baby know you can be trusted and that you are there for them. It has been argued by many experts that slings and wraps help develop emotional loving relationships.
8. Ergonomics, baby!
We have researched lots of brands and have chosen to work with only a few. We looked specifically for slings where weight is distributed evenly between your shoulders and hips, making it easy to carry baby comfortably for longer. The Beco and Boba Baby Carriers hold your baby in the proper natural ergonomic sitting position, preventing back problems and hip dysplasia.
9. It’s All About Transition
After birth, your little one needs to acclimatise to the big world around it. Many fans of babywearing talk about the amazing mirror-experience your baby gets from being close with a sling or wrap. Having been held close in Mum’s tummy, the feeling of being in a sling helps newborns feel safe and secure.
10. Let’s Chat!
It’s thought that babies who have been carried at your eye level are more stimulated by chat and interaction. Scientific evidence shows that carried babies demonstrate advanced speech development and enhanced visual and auditory alertness.
If you are thinking of buying a sling, then use The British Association of Babywearing Instructors handy guidelines here for choosing safely. It recommends the ‘TICKS’ checklist:
- Tight for adequate support
- In view at all times (this refers to your baby’s face)
- Close enough to kiss (your baby’s forehead or head)
- Keep baby’s chin off their chest to ensure breathing isn’t restricted
- Supported back so the baby can’t slump and restrict their airway.
All #TMB Slings have 10% OFF throughout January and February
At Thoroughly Modern Baby we only stock quality, approved brands with impressive track records. Click the links for more details - 10% off in January and February 2015.
Happy Baby Wearing, Lou and Nic X
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