A baby carrier can range from the super simple, like a ring sling, all the way to much more complicated styles, like woven wrap back carries. It can be hard to know what you really need for your new baby and what's just an expensive extra. You already have the perfect stroller picked out, so do you really need a baby carrier too!
The short answer: yes!
Our guest blogger is Avie Herman, who is not only a Postpartum & Infant Care Doula with Toronto Family Doulas, but a Babywearing Educator as well. She is the mastermind behind Fashionably Frum Motherhood!
The Case For Baby Carriers
No matter your lifestyle or parenting preferences, there will be times when a baby carrier makes caring for your baby easier and more enjoyable. Read on to find out why a carrier is one of our must-haves for life with a new baby.
After nine months snuggled up inside you, your baby still craves closeness. They may want to be held constantly in the early days or insist on being held at inconvenient times through their first year and beyond. Wearing your baby in a carrier allows you to move around freely while keeping your little one close.
You can give them all the cuddles they need while preparing dinner, tending to your other children, or strolling through the mall. Even if you have a baby who's generally happy to sit in their stroller or swing, a carrier can be helpful during fussy times of day, during teething, or when they just insist on being held.
Less Crying, More Bonding
Holding your little one close releases oxytocin, the love hormone, in both of you. This hormone helps your baby settle more easily and facilitates bonding between the two of you. A carrier makes it easy to rock and soothe a sick or cranky baby, and the close contact makes it easy for you to respond to their needs quickly. Baby's close proximity also allows you to interact, make eye contact, and bond, while you move about your day and work through your to-do list.
Whether you're nursing, bottle-feeding or a combination of the two, babies eat frequently, and they don't care whether or not it's a good time! Once you have some experience, you can easily offer baby a bottle or breast, without taking them out of the carrier! This makes it easy to get out and about with your little one and feed on the go.
It's Good for Baby's Development
A good baby carrier can help facilitate optimal bone development, by keeping baby in an ergonomic position. Being held close to your chest also helps their muscles develop, similarly to tummy time, because they are able to use your body as a jungle gym, pushing away from you, craning around to get a better view and balancing themselves (while fully supported) as you move about.
Baby also gets a chance to develop cognitively, by being closer to eye-level of adults and being able to feel like a part of your interactions with others. Being so close to your face also provides more opportunities for you to talk to your baby, which helps their brain develop.
There are so many options for baby carriers - ring slings, stretchy wraps, woven wraps, soft-structured carries, and more. It can seem overwhelming and confusing. Worse, it can discourage new parents from reaching for a baby carrier as one of the tools in their toolbox! But with so many reasons why babywearing is positive for both parents AND baby, it's a skill that is definitely worth the learning curve.
If you are struggling with baby carriers or babywearing and need help from an expert, reach out to us and let us help!