Babywearing Made Simple

by Rachel Bartlett

I formed a habit of carrying my baby, ever since her birth. We're both happier because of this decision. And with a good sling, it's no harder on me than pulling my own weight.

Yes, I'm one of "those". . .a babywearing mom.

The concept of babywearing is as old as time, and is still prevalent today in many cultures. It's a practice on the rise in the United States (luckily for the babies).

Advantages of Babywearing

  • Return to the Womb - A baby being carried in a sling is able to experience warmth, motion, security, and sounds similar to what he heard while in the womb. Parents are more aware of their baby's needs, and can attend to them immediately.
  • Pays Attention to Tiny Backs - A sling will conform to a baby's body, eliminating pressure on his developing spine.
  • Close and Secure - Sling carriers allow babies to see and feel their mother, while increasing the time the mother is able to comfortably hold them.
  • Hands Off The Baby Please - Wearing your baby in a sling protects him from curious strangers and their germs. Most people won't get too close to a baby being cuddled close to his mother's breast.
  • Baby's Number One Choice - Babies prefer being held. (Think of the times you see mothers holding a baby with one arm and trying to push a stroller or shopping cart with the other.)
  • Discreet Nursing - A sling provides for more discreet nursing in public.
  • Optimal Weight Gain - A breastfed newborn who's having a hard time gaining weight will benefit while carried in the sling because he'll smell his mother's milk and be stimulated to nurse more often.
  • Weight Distribution - Slings, as opposed to strapped carries like backpacks or frontpacks, distribute the baby's weight evenly over the parent's back, reducing strain.
  • Calmer Babies - Babies who are carried in a sling have more calm, alert periods. Slinging helps reduce crying and fussiness, and can help immensely with a baby who has colic.
  • Confidence - Carrying a baby in a sling helps him to be more independent and self confident as he grows. A toddler who knows his mom is there for him and will pick him up and carry him when he needs her to is more apt to feel secure in his environment.
  • Look Mom - HANDS! Older siblings will feel less resentful of a new baby who is carried in a sling, since Mom has her hands free to help with the older child's needs.

How to Use Your Sling

It's important to remember that using a sling is something that is learned. It will take a bit of practice to easily use your sling, but soon it will become almost automatic to place your baby in and go. You will have more success if your baby is rested and fed before you start.

Preparing Your Sling for Use