How to Wear Your Baby

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Keeping your baby close to heart is a most natural thing to do—and thanks to the passionate efforts of babywearing advocates and the availability of dependable baby carriers, more and more moms are wearing their babies on the road, at work, at the grocery, and in the comfort of their own home.

“Babywearing is going back to basics! It is easy, convenient, and good for both parents and baby,” says Denise Gonzales, one of the founders of IndigoBaby, a one-stop-shop for mom and baby stuff that promotes attachment parenting, breastfeeding, and babywearing.

Wearing your baby has a score of benefits. Here are just some of them: 1. Babywearing makes for healthier, happier babies. Denise explains, “Babies thrive on touch so cuddle them and keep them warm with your body. This regularizes rhythmic patterns like breathing and heart rate, and aids in digestion which enhances growth and development, especially for premature babies.” Of course, healthier babies make for happier babies, and consequently, happier parents too. The less fussy babies are, the calmer and happier parents are too.

2. Babywearing makes for more mobile parents and caregivers. In her book “The Natural Parent’s Guide to Babywearing: Baby Carriers Made Simple,” author Lauren Wayne writes, “Babywearing allows caregivers to continue meeting the needs of their lives—getting chores done, going places, doing paid work, caring for other family members, and exercising. Babies can be worn and breastfed hands-free.” Gone are the days when moms have to be virtually tied to the crib. Babywearing allows moms to make the most of out life while taking care of their little ones.

3. Babywearing makes for more confident parents. First-time parents are often unsure of their ability to take care of their babies effectively. Through babywearing, parents get to know how to calm and soothe their babies. Denise says, “This makes parents more confident in their parenting style and in trusting their inner voice and instinct.” Babywearing has also been found to lower the chances of a mother experiencing postpartum depression as a mutual attachment and interaction between baby and parent is instantly established; breastfeeding has the same effect.

4. Babywearing makes breastfeeding easy. Because of the proximity of the mother’s breast to the baby, breastfeeding is easier and more convenient. The mom can even go about her other tasks while breastfeeding! Wayne adds, “The hormones produced when babies are in close contact with the mother help establish and strengthen the milk supply. Newborns ideally need to feed very frequently, and babywearing keeps the baby near enough to easily feed throughout the day as needed.” Plus, babywearing helps women breastfeed their babies in public discreetly.

Babywearing is the most natural thing, but choosing the right baby carrier maybe a bit of a challenge, especially for first-time parents. Scout around for baby carriers available in the market. Try them on, asking the vendors how to wear them, and making sure you know exactly what to do before taking your baby out on a test drive. Check out the material; your baby may be sensitive to specific fabrics. Ask fellow parents about what worked and didn’t work for them. Read reviews by consumer groups and bloggers.

Here are the major elements that you should consider when choosing a baby carrier:

1. Size: Because babies grow up so fast, it’s important to get a carrier that fits them perfectly. You can do so by measuring your shoulder-to-hip ratio. Take a tape measure, place it atop one shoulder, spread diagonally over your chest and onto the top of your opposite hip bone. Keep the figure in mind when buying baby carriers as they correspond to specific sizes.

2. Comfort: Take note that you will be carrying about 30 pounds on you so choose a carrier that feels comfortable.

3. Safety: Denise says, “Safety is utmost priority so make sure you get one that fits well, learn how to use it, and practice with a doll or baby before conquering the world!”

4. Positions: Lastly, choose a baby carrier that works well for various positions from standing upright to sitting and sleeping.

Babywearing is for everyone! Moms and dads, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters could all wear that bubbly bundle of joy, making for one big happy family.

REFERENCE IndigoBaby is a one-stop-shop for mom and baby stuff that promotes attachment parenting, breastfeeding, and babywearing.

Photos from IndigoBaby; IndigoBaby pouch by Trisha Patriarca.