In my last blog I went into more detail about the physical benefits of babywearing, using a mei tai sling or other, similar sling. Today, I’m going to have a closer look at the mental benefits, and how it can affect and improve your baby’s wellbeing.
Firstly (And probably most importantly!), carried babies cry much, much less. One study suggested that they actually only dry for 1% of the time for their first year. This is because they feel reassured by the closeness of their parent and the constant movement and interaction helps to soothe them. Carrying also helps your baby fall asleep.
This physical closeness helps to teach children about healthy touching between a parent and child, which helps them learn to be able to give and receive affection throughout their life. Also, carried children are more involved in their parent’s lives, and it stops children becoming isolated from their parents later in life.
As babies feel much more secure about the relationship with their parent when carried, they initiate separation much sooner. This will lead to much better transitions when the child starts nursery or school.
When carried, babies are at the centre of attention, can hear conversations and see facial expressions. As well as helping their social development, this also leads them to develop a healthy sense of self as well as developing empathy.
Finally, when babywearing, mothers will become more attuned to their baby’s needs, eventually being able to anticipate when their baby will need feeding or changing. This closeness also stimulates the production of the mothering hormone: prolactin. This means that the mother feels much more affection towards their child and may help if the mother is awkward with giving physical affection.
As you can see, babywearing can lead to much happier, secure and relaxed babies; traits which will then continue into adult life, creating confident, well-adjusted adults comfortable with giving and receiving affection. But, let us know what you think! Do you use a sling with your baby, and have you noticed any of these benefits for yourself? Let us know; you can leave us a comment below this post, or let us know on Facebook or Twitter!