We have all seen them. Those mothers in the mall with their baby tied onto their bodies in a style that seems extremely uncomfortable. The child looks as if he is squeezed so tight in there that he can't breathe and must be in severe pain. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. This practice is actually called "babywearing" (all one word) and has many benefits for the baby.
Carrying a baby will result in a calmer baby. The baby is reassured by the closeness of the parent or caregiver. It is proven that babies who are carried more actually cry less. The caregiver is not spoiling the baby, but it is letting the baby get more comfortable in its new surroundings. This is a way to prolong the womb experience by confining and snuggling the baby.
Wearing your baby also produces a healthy baby. For a newborn to be healthy, he or she needs physical contact and motion. The motion stimulates the infants inner ear to control balance, which will help with setting up. Wearing the infant is also a better bio-mechanical position for spinal and muscular development. Gravity aids in the development of muscle tone. The baby's spine is in a "C" shape, but when laid in a car seat, playpen, or on the floor, gravity straightens the developing curves. Wearing the baby will help the proper development of the spine.
All mothers like to think that they have a smart baby. Well, it is proven that wearing your baby helps their developing brain, and makes them smarter. When you wear the infant, they experience different environmental situations that stimulate nerves to branch out and connect with other nerves. This creates a chain reaction where nerves keep branching out to other nerves and helps the brain to grow and develop. The baby will also pick up on the mother's speech and emotions. This will speed up the speech development of the infant by hearing adult conversations and not just "baby talk".
If you are interested in a happy, healthy, and smart baby, wearing your baby is a great way to start. However, with so many different wraps, slings, and carriers to choose from, how would you ever know which ones to get? Let me help. I have tried several different brands and styles. I have paid for all of these out of my own pocket and do not get any kick back for endorsing any product, so I can speak my mind.
My personal favorite is the Baby Ktan. It is so comfortable that you never notice it is on. This version does not dig into your shoulders, and does not hurt your back at all. (plus they are machine washable!) It is also the cheapest of the top line carriers. The wrap is good for newborns 7 pounds up to toddlers at 35 pounds. The price starts at $50, and go up from there.
Perhaps the most popular is the Moby Wrap. This company makes slings, wraps, and the pack style carriers. They come in many different designs and sizes. They are also very comfortable, but more expensive. They average around $100 for most styles, but a few of their styles are $50.
If you are just looking for only a sling wrap, the Maya sling is a great choice. I personally did not like the sling as well as the wrap at all. I just did not feel as secure once the baby was past a few weeks old. They also cut into my shoulders more. If you do get one of these, make sure you do get the correct size for your body or it will be very uncomfortable. The slings will run $75 on their site, unless they have a discontinued style which they will sell for $50.
So the next time you are out at the mall struggling with your stroller and see the mom wearing her baby maybe you will understand her reasoning behind it. She is not some new mom that is trying to be a hippie. I did not realize all the benefits to this until my fourth child. I am not at all a new mom or a hippie, but I do wish to give my children the best start in life, and if that means wearing them, then I will proudly do so.