There are many and wonderful benefits of babywearing for both the baby and the parent.
- Babies who are worn are happier and cry less
- Gives babies feeling of love and decreases anxiety
- Reduces colic and reflux
- Helps brain development and learning
- Improves muscle development, core body strength and balance
- Regulates heart rate, body temperature and breathing
- Helps babies sleep better
- Supports the spine and hip in every developing stage
- Positively Impacts mom’s milk supply
- Decreases cortisol and ‘stress hormones’ for baby and parent
- Promotes bonding between baby and parent
- Allows discreet hands free nursing
- Reduces Post-Partum Depression
- Comforts sick children
- Gives toddlers security
When all of your baby’s needs are met your baby is happier which can make your life as parent easier and more enjoyable.
The optimal position to carry a baby is in an upright position on your chest at a level where you can kiss baby's forehead. This is the best way to keep baby's airways open. The healthiest position for baby's hips is for the hips to fall or spread (naturally) apart to the side, with the thighs supported and the hips and knees bent. A baby, when being picked up, will pull the legs up in the correct position which will place the hip joint into the socket in a perfect position to ensure correct hardening of the cartilage present the first few months after birth. This position is called squatting straddle position. With this deep squat position the baby’s buttock will be lower than the knees. This allows the baby to keep the curvature of the developing spine, which is almost a C at birth (kyphosis).
- Check the integrity of your carrier before you use it. Do not use if has any damage.
- Ensure that baby's airway is not blocked. Ensure that baby's head is facing to the side and that her chin is not tucked into her chest.
- Ensure that the fabric does not cover her face.
- Check baby's temperature by putting your finger behind her neck to check. Remove some layers if baby is too hot or add some layers if baby is too cold. Remember that your carrier is consider a layer of clothing.
- Don't do anything that would put your baby in danger while wearing her such a driving while wearing.
- Don't do anything that you would not do while pregnant.
Here's a great reference for positioning and safety.
Types of Carriers
A Mei Tai is an Asian inspired carrier with a rectangular panel and with two short waist straps and two long shoulder straps. A Mei Tai does not have any buckles. The shoulder straps cross on your back and adjust to your body. They can be used for front, hip or back carriers. They are designed with beautiful fabrics and in many different colors.
A Ring Sling (RS) is a one shoulder carrier. A ring sling is usually made of linen or cotton. A Wrap Conversion Ring Sling (WCRS) is made out of a woven wrap which is supportive and soft. Ring Slings are great for newborns and easy to nurse in. They can be used on the front during the newborn stage. Once the baby has more core strength they are great for hip carries.
Soft Structured Carriers
Buckle carriers are also called Soft Structured Carriers (SSC). They are patterned after backpacks with padded shoulder and waist straps. They are quick and easy to put once they have been adjusted to fit your body.
A strechy wrap is a long piece of fabric made from a strechy material. Strechy wraps are great starter wraps. They are soft, comfortable and inexpensive. They can be pre-tied to pop baby in and out but can also be adjusted once baby is in. Strechy wraps can be used from day your baby is born up until they are no longer comfortable.
A woven wrap is a long piece of fabric woven specifically to carry a baby. A wrap is one of the most versatile carriers. It is one that will grow with your baby and can be worn on the front, hip and back. You can even nurse in a woven wrap. Woven wraps are specially woven to have exceptional performance as baby carriers, offering strength, breathability, the perfect amount of diagonal stretch, and the right texture for holding a baby securely.
Want to learn more?
Attend a class or book a consultation! I am a Babywearing Consultant based in Ventura county in CA. I can help you find the perfect carrier for you and your baby! Check out our Classes and Events page for more info.
- Babywearing International http://babywearinginternational.org
- The Babywearer http://www.thebabywearer.com
- Babywearing Safety https://www.facebook.com/BabywearingSafety
What is Kangaroo (Mother) Care?
Skin-to-skin contact, also called Kangaroo (Mother) Care, is one of the two best things that you can do for your newborn (the other is feeding breast milk). Skin-to-skin contact provides comforting, nurturing touch so your baby is relaxed and adjusts to life without stress. When in skin-to-skin contact, your baby looks at you, listens to you, smells you (he knows your scent), feels your skin, swipes his/her hands and mouth across your skin, swipes his/her hands and mouth across your skin, instinctively goes to a breast and latches onto a nipple for his/her first feeding an throughout the first weeks of life.
Be sure to tell your doctor, midwife, and hospital nurses that you want to hold your baby skin-to-skin until the first feeding after birth is finished. This is the loving way to welcome your baby to the world
Kangaroo Care Benefits
Kangaroo care, or skin-to-skin helps your baby grow and develop by:
- Keeping your baby warm (your breast send heat to your baby) and regulating your baby’s temperature
- Releasing hormones to digest milk and decrease birth weight loss
- Stabilizing your baby’s heart and breathing rates preventing infections
- Reducing stress and helping your baby feel safe and secure
- Promoting better mental function during the first six months
- Creating better interactions with family members throughout the first year
- Learning from his/her mother how to regulate attention and stress activities
- Crating a special bond between you and your baby.
Skin-to-skin contact is a wonderful experience that you will enjoy with your baby. There is nothing else like in the world!
Safe Position for Skin-to-Skin Contact Check List:
- Face can be seen
- Back is covered for warmth
- Head is in ‘sniffing’ position
- Nose and mouth are not covered
- Head is turned to one side
- Neck is straight, not bent
- Shoulders are flat against mom
- Chest-to-chest with Mom
- A little upright, not flat or bed/chair
- Both are watched when sleeping or
- Baby is being monitored
- If no one can watch you and your baby after feedings and when sleep is likely, put your baby and on his or her back on the baby’s own firm bed.
Kangaroo Care Tops & Wraps
Halter Straps Tube
The Kangaroo tube with halter straps is made from a soft, lightweight and stretchy cotton / spandex jersey for additional comfort for mom and baby - and is flexible enough that baby can move and seek for the breast. Semi-side seams with elastic shirring prevents baby from slipping sideways and follow the shape of the baby without unnecessary pressure. The double band at the bottom and inner support to the buttocks / lower back prevents baby from slipping down.
Mei Tai Wrap Tops
The Sleeveless Mei Tai Wrap T-shirt is an elegant nursing garment that also allows you to "wear your baby" (carry your baby) skin-to-skin (kangaroo care) until about 14 lbs for the cotton/spandex jersey version or until 18 lbs for the 100% organic cotton jersey + cotton breezy gauze.
Skin To Skin T-Shirts
A skin-to-skin baby t-shirt to carry a newborn (up to 15lbs), a great nursing top and a post-partum support garment for your belly! Shirring on both sides for a perfect fit - both for mother and baby
A Stretchy Wrap is a long piece of stretchy fabric that you wrap around you and your baby. They are a good option for Kangaroo Care as they can be used to do skin-to-skin contact with your baby.
Preemie/Newborn woven wraps are made specially made for Kangaroo Care or Skin-to-Skin contact. They are soft brushed organic natural cotton wraps that allows for definite boundaries for a preemie or newborn.