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.

Lessens Crying

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.

Prevents Flat Head Syndrome

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.

Increases Bonding

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.

Hands Free

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.

Safely Wearing Your Baby

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:

  • T - Tight.  Baby should obviously be upright and held in tight to the wearer.  This is safe and prevents any accidental falls or slipping.
  • I - In View.  Your baby’s face should be in view so that you can monitor their breathing.  You can also look out for their cues when you can see them.
  • C - Close.  Your baby should be close/high enough to kiss.  You should be able to lower your head to kiss the top of theirs.
  • K - Keep chin off chest.  Your baby should be in a good upright position so that their spine is curved and their legs are in the frog/squat position.  This helps to keep their chin up and prevents it from dropping.  There should be a gap of about two fingers wide under their chin.
  • S - Support.  Your baby should be secure but without the sling being overtightened across their back.  There should be no gap between you and your baby, but it should be loose enough so that you can slide a hand into the carrier.

Palm & Pond Mei Tai Baby Sling - White Floral on Black

Ring Sling - Black Red Stars

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.

Sources:
https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/baby-wearing#safety
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/plagiocephaly-brachycephaly/
https://www.carryingmatters.co.uk/positive-effects-of-carrying-for-baby/


Post By Kelly Trethewey