Babywearing is the practice of carrying your baby or child in a sling such as our Mei Tai or Ring Slings. Slings have been used by parents and carers across the world for centuries, but over recent years babywearing has become more popular in the UK due to its many benefits for both parent and child.
Infants that are carried in slings are often calmer due to being able to see and feel their parent. Rhythms like your heartbeat or walking will also help to calm them. Previous studies show that carrying your baby for several hours per day reduced the amount of crying and fussing by over 50% in the evenings.
As well as the effects on the baby’s mental well-being, slings can help to decrease the risk of flat-head syndrome which is caused by lying on their back. Your little one’s skull is made up of relatively soft plates of bone that can change shape if they spend too much time laying flat on their back. Wearing your baby upright in a sling can ease the pressure on their head to prevent this from happening. This also reduces the risk of SIDS.
The increased physical contact creates a much stronger bond between the parent and child. Being close to your baby in this way, especially during the first 12 weeks after birth (also known as the 4th trimester) enables you to recognise their noises, movements and read their cues for food, nappy changing etc more easily. Babywearing also helps with their social development as they can see facial expressions and body language easily, promoting early language development.
Wearing your baby in a sling means that your hands are free which can be very convenient when it comes to carrying out daily tasks with a baby who just wants to be held. With your baby in a sling, you could do some reading, fold and sort laundry or play, read and colour with an older sibling. Babywearing can be done anywhere, anytime.
As with anything related to babies, there are some safety issues to bear in mind. It’s important to always keep your baby’s airways clear and ensure that their back and neck are always supported. A good way to remember how to wear your baby is as follows:
One last thing to consider is clothing. Babies in slings don’t need to be overdressed, the sling acts as an extra layer and being close to the parent provides warmth too.
You should ensure that the sling feels comfortable for you, the wearer, also. Poorly positioned and secured carriers could lead to back issues and discomfort so always follow the instructions provided with your sling. You can browse our full range of Mei Tai and Ring Slings here. They are a fantastic way to carry your baby and now you know all of the many benefits that come with babywearing.