Baby Wearing – Hippie or Hip?

sling
Rocking a Baby Bjorn (great for older babies but not as much for newborns)

Babywearing, a term coined by paediatrician William Sears, is a huge phenomenon that is getting more and more popular in the Western world. It has however, been something that has been happening for thousands of years before now, and was happening all the time in other cultures around the world to help the mothers get on with their daily routine.  As it increase in popularity, I wanted to get peoples opinions on babywearing – do you love or loathe? Do you think it will give you back ache? Are they just for thise with ‘alternative’ parenting methods?

Before I had any children my sister recommended I read a book called ‘The Happiest Baby on the Block’ that described the ‘Fourth Trimester’ and the theory that the first three months outside, should replicate life in the womb as much as possible. From my experience, I really agree with this theory and think that newborn babies thrive when they are gently rocked, hear and smell their mither closely and gently being ‘enclosed’ all around. So in my opinion, baby wearing is a fab way of meeting that demand, the babies need for closeness.

Are slings safe?

I think it is quite common for new parents to worry that their baby might fall out of a sling or that they wont support the baby’s head enough. A sling though is just like any other piece of baby equipment; if used correctly, it is safe. Check the guidelines on the one you have, or are thinking of getting, but you can always make sure your baby is safe by checking that your baby’s airway is open by placing them in an upright position, making sure the chin os off the chest and they are breathing without difficulty. If you use the sling to mimic the normal ‘cradle in arms’ carrying position, you can’t go too far wrong. This will help their spine and is perfectly safe.

The closeness can really help if you have a baby with colic and I think it can even help reduce post-natal depression. The closeness you will feel with your baby is lovely and so means you will bond quicker.

Are they bad for your back?

If it is a properly designed carrier it will ensure that the baby’s weight is distributed evenly across the body, then no, it isn’t bad for your back. Just make sure that the baby is snug, high and up and if they are facing you, then their legs wrapped around your body. This will help enormously and I think it’s why people still ‘wear’ their babies until they are toddler age, as it doesn’t bother them.

Will it make my child clingy?

In a word, no. Who can say what makes a child clingy? There are however on going studies* that suggest that if children have strong attachment experiences when they are young, they are more confident and secure in later life. They are babies – they’re not meant to be independent when they are a baby, so when people say you’re spoiling them when they are held, don’t worry about it, as you aren’t.

Am I a hippy if I carry my child?

You can’t seem to get away from the stereotype that parents that carry their babies are hippies and a bit weird and never use a pushchair (that’s the stereotype, not my opinion)! But really, anyone can baby wear, if they think it can benefit their child, which there is evidence to suggest it will. There are lots of different kinds of carries that you can buy to suit different aged children and suit different budgets.

There isn’t a right or wrong way  to carry your baby – you could do it all the time or only occasionally. I found that things like housework, something like vacuuming, is so much easier if you’re carrying your baby. It helps to soothe so much. I have also found it useful to use whilst breastfeeding and when I had a winter baby, it helps to keep the baby much warmer when you’re out and about, than just having them in a pushchair.

What do you think to baby wearing? Like or loathe?

Super Busy Mum

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Rebecca x

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*Allan N. Schore, ‘Effects of a secure attachment relationship on right brain development, affect regulation, and infant mental health’, Infant Mental Health Journal, 22 (2001), 7-66

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  • I used carriers for all my children. I enjoyed the freedom it gave me to get on with my day and still be close to my children. I am all for it, but the phrase ‘baby wearing’ does grate on me for some reason! #mmwbh

  • I loved “babywearing” my little girl when she was smaller in a sling. I am not even slightly hippy but I got a lot of comments about how only hippies use them, that I was trying to be controversial etc because I used a sling and here in n.ireland its not very common at all. My thought is do what works for you and for us it was brilliant! #MMWBH

  • Back in my early Mummy days I did ALOT of baby wearing and it made doing the housework and getting about with a little one, whilst running after the older ones SO much easier. I have also tried slings too with my youngest, but now she just loves to walk, so my beautiful wrap is now just gathering dust 🙁 Thanks for linking up with #MMWBH x

  • I never “wore” Gwenn because – and this sounds silly – but whenever I looked at the Stokke carrier we have I just couldn’t for the life of me figure out how I’d get her in it then on me all by myself.

    My husband always asks for help when he uses it.

    Maybe I should’ve gone to a baby wearing class and learned how to use it? I think if we have another I will give it a go.

    x

    #madmidweekbloghop

  • The 4th trimester is an interesting concept and one that seems to ring true in my experience too (little girl is 6 weeks old). We used a sling to start with as she was too small for a proper carrier, but now she’s a bit bigger, we use a Stokke baby carrier. It is the best thing ever and means it is so easy to go for walks and hikes with the dog (baby in the carrier, not the dog!). I also love wearing it myself and will definitely continue to fly the dad babywearing flag.

  • I love baby wearing and my husband does too! I miss not being able to pop my daughter in her sling and away we would go! She’s now two so I am now chasing her around to try and catch her!
    Great post!
    Stopping by from the mid week blog hop. Glad to have found your blog!

  • Fab post lovely. I wear my 7mo (third baby) everywhere and really enjoy the closeness it brings us. Plus it means I can feed him on the move or in the house and do things at the same time. All I will say is that there has been a lot of bad press about forward facing slings, and the general consensus is that you should wear them facing inwards or on your back #brilliantblogposts

  • Love the practice, which we fell into by accident when we realised our baby HATED his pram. It’s become second nature now – even as a toddler he still likes being carried in a back sling (though he’s getting a bit too heavy for me). I have to say I dislike the term though. As you say it’s something parents have been doing for centuries. Trust the West to stick a catchy “name” on it and politicise it… #brilliantblogposts

  • I absolutely LOVE babywearing and I am definitely not a hippy, for me, it is about the only way to manage with a toddler in tow! I also enjoy the closeness just as much as my daughter does! Great post thanks 🙂

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