Welcoming your baby home comes with a flurry of emotions, and amidst all the joyous chaos, your little bundle of joy will want to cling to someone for comfort. Spending nine months as a bun in the oven and then suddenly coming into the world can be overwhelming for your infant, so having you surround them in warmth can be soothing unlike any other.
Feeling your chest, breathing, and rhythmic heartbeat serves as a relaxing lullaby that can lull your bundle of joy to sleep since all the gentle hugs can remind them of life inside your womb.
With that in mind, snuggling your newborn plays a pivotal role in their growth — from filling their love tank and need for close contact, facilitating correct hip development, eases digestion, and making family life more colourful.
What are the Benefits of Carrying Your Baby?
As mentioned above, holding your tiny tot can stimulate their development in more ways than one. Beyond showing your affection, providing physical support and closeness nurtures their emotional, social, and cognitive growth. In particular, carrying babies can promote the following life-changing benefits:
Cognitive and Social Development - Keeping your baby close instead of letting them play alone in a stroller allows the little one to observe the world in motion. In social settings, your baby can hear you talking with friends, family, and other loved ones, all of which may sound gibberish to them at first. But it keeps your baby engaged with their surroundings, allowing them to learn a sense of language and contribute to their social skills.
Expect Less Crying - Babies love to be cuddled and comforted, so having you around can ease their worries as they adjust to the world around them. Not only will this be good for their mood, but fewer chances of crying means there’s more time for everyone to relax.
Prevents Flat Head Syndrome - Babies have soft, sensitive skin and bones that are still progressing, so it’s easy for them to grow a flat head called “plagiocephaly” if they’re left to lay or sit on their backs for too long.
Consistent Weight Gain - Carrying or wearing your baby close to your chest means they can have instant access to breastfeeding, which can encourage them to feed more. Hugging them close is a nifty solution for fussy eaters, too, since being next to your chest can act as a reminder for them.
- Stable Heart Rate and Body Temperature - When your baby is upright, their heart function can work optimally. This leads to a more stable heart rate, which also promotes a steady temperature.
Improve Hip Development - Seeing as their body is still developing, swaddling them too tightly to your body can easily displace their hips and lead to incorrect formation. Going for a wide-based baby carrier is the best way to keep you both comfortable, but more importantly, it ensures your little one grows with strong hips.
Promote Better Sleep - Since babies tend to cry less when they’re snuggled up close to you, then their relaxed state makes falling asleep easier. Babywearing invites your overzealous infants to drift off to la-la land where they can have sweet dreams and wake up refreshed. Additionally, more sleep for your baby means more time to unwind.
Easy Multitasking and Convenience - Not only does your baby benefit from hugging you constantly, but busy moms can freely multitask and act like everyday superheroes that they are with their hands-free to accomplish the next chore.
Lowers Postnatal Depression - Giving birth comes with many changes, and while most are good, some can also feel like a sacrifice. One of the more common “losses” for moms is the postnatal depression that often plagues them and gets in the way of savouring the little moments with their newborn.
With the help of babywearing, the closeness can also comfort hurting mothers the same way it does for the baby. Not to mention, it eases the guilt many mothers feel as they battle their depression since it ensures they meet their responsibilities as a new mom.
Promotes Exercise and Weight Loss - On top of postnatal depression, many new moms also struggle with staying on track of their fitness goals as life with a baby can be understandably time-consuming. Carrying or wearing your baby is like hitting two birds with one stone since it not only comforts your sweetie pie but also keeps you physically active.
Wearing a baby is no easy feat since all the weight can shave off some pounds from your weight, allowing busy supermoms to manage their fitness and maintain confidence in their appearance.
There are more benefits to carrying your baby, but everyone around you can reap all the advantages, as you may have noticed.
Socialising with friends becomes a smooth-sailing experience; your baby can grow physically, mentally, and emotionally, plus your hands are not tied. This leaves you with more freedom to stay productive without being bogged down by the need to stop now and then to carry your baby.
What are Different Ways to Carry/Wear Your Baby?
Carrying your baby by hand isn’t sustainable since their weight can quickly take a toll on your arms, resulting in an improper holding position, unstable grip, and an unhappy infant.
That’s why to reap the benefits of babywearing, and it’s best to invest in carriers that can make staying in close contact a stress-free experience for you and your baby in arms. In that regard, here are some of the best baby carriers worth considering.
1. Hammocks or Slings
A sling is made with a rectangular piece of cloth with both ends tied together to create a mini hammock, one that can provide comfort for your baby as they sit asymmetrically on your hip. Slings are small, foldable clothes that are easy to assemble so that you can keep them anywhere with you. This makes it an excellent carrier to whip out anytime so you can effortlessly bond with your baby.
2. Classic Baby Carriers
Also known as a “kangaroo,” this type of carrier is like a front-strapped bag for your baby. While it’s trouble-free to use and to slip them on is a breeze, it doesn’t support the natural position of babies since it prevents them from sitting up straight and keeps their legs bunched together. Kangaroo carriers are great for doing 30-minute errand runs, but it’s best to replace the carrier as soon as you get home.
3. Physiological Baby Carriers
These are designed with the likeness of a classic baby carrier, though it’s made with better features and extensive adjustability to provide the ideal sitting position for your infant. The comfortable placement promotes proper hip development, plus the wide, padded and multiway straps make the carrier simple to alter according to both of your needs.
4. Carrying Wraps
Just like slings, carrying wraps are made with a piece of fabric, but this one is made with a unique weave that pans between two to five meters in length. Wraps offer more flexibility than hammocks since you can style and tie them any way you like, so long as the results are secure and comfortable for your baby.
The versatility makes carrying wraps one of the most cost-effective choices since you can tie them in a way that allows them to sit by your belly, hip, back, or even lying down. It requires a bit of skill-building, but moms can quickly master the art of tying carrying wraps and unlock its limitless potential.
Different styles are designed with distinct purposes, so one choice isn’t necessarily better than the other. Choose what you think suits you and your baby the most, though there’s nothing wrong with having one of each so you can whip the perfect carrier out for any occasion.
Babywearing Safety Tips: What Are the Proper Ways to Hold or Carry Your Baby
There’s no doubt that many parents naturally want to keep their baby close, but there are proper ways to do it. After all, newborns are like tiny, fragile angels, so it’s essential to know how to hold an infant properly since it’s a vital interaction that can shape your connection. When carrying your baby, you only need to consider the acronym known as TICKS:
- In view at all times;
- Close enough to kiss;
- Keep your baby’s chin off your chest;
- Support your baby’s back;
Keep in mind that newborns are sensitive to everything, which means they need a constant watchful eye when they’re close to your chest. When their chin touches your chest, there’s a high risk of them suffocating since their heads are not strong enough to move up for air.
Don’t let your baby curl inside the sling since it forces their chin onto their chest, which can also lead to suffocation. That’s why it’s important to remain alert since babies can easily be in fatal distress without wriggling or making a noise.
Always Provide Support for Your Baby’s Head and Neck
Baby’s don’t have enough musculoskeletal strength to hold their head up, so it’s essential to wear carriers that can provide proper head and neck support. It’s also recommended to wear front-positioned carriers if they’re a toddler already, once they have further developed their strength enough to maintain an upright posture.
It’s best to start your baby-wearing adventures by keeping one or two hands on your baby to provide greater security. This can help you gain confidence and get a feel of the carrier, allowing you to grow accustomed to baby-wearing and ensure your baby’s safety.
The Bottom Line: The Importance of Carrying Your Baby the Right Way
Parents only want what’s best for their little bundle of joy, but knowing the right ways to provide it can be tricky. Even something as simple as carrying a baby can impact their health and happiness, but Onward can help you create all the right opportunities for your newborn to grow to their full potential.
We offer baby carriers internationally recognised as “hip-healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI), which should give you peace of mind knowing that our products are designed to fully support your baby in the optimal position for healthy hip development.
How Can Onward Help You?
Onward offers top-of-the-line, high-quality, customisable adventure baby carriers, baby accessories, tactical baby carriers, and more. Our products use the same defence and military materials, so you can guarantee that your baby is using the same supreme quality our Aussie heroes in uniform depend on.
After all, your infant deserves premium protection, comfort, and security, so check out our products today to see what we can offer to make parenthood a breezier experience.