Baby Wearing

22/03/2014

I stumbled across this quote about baby-wearing on a Daddy’s blog and just love it…

Baby Wearing – It’s no longer cool to merely baby carry. Cool parents wear their babies. Scandinavian parents do it, so it must be cool.
http://citymomsblog.com/dallas/pregnancy-vocabulary-for-dads/

Whilst baby-wearing is cool, it’s not the only reason to give it a go. It feels lovely to hold your baby close to you, so what could be better than ‘wearing’ your little one? Pop baby into a cloth sling and there you go, you’re a baby-wearer. Babies just love the warmth …
and security of being so close to you. It doesn’t have to be all the time, just as much or as little as works for you. Baby-wearing feels good for all mamas (and daddies too of course) but also has particular benefits to women suffering postnatal depression as it reduces some of the associated risk factors.

Writer and child and adolescent therapist Jo Cormack tells us more about Baby-Wearing…

Why Baby-wearing is close to my heart (in more ways than one…)

As a mum of three, if someone asked me for my best piece of advice for a new parent, the answer, (without hesitation) would be SLINGS! Carrying your child in a sling, or ‘baby-wearing’ as it is often referred to, is wonderful for so many reasons.
• It helps you bond with your baby
• Your baby will cry less *
• It helps you carry your baby ‘hands-free’ (especially important if you have an older sibling to look after)
• It makes your baby feel safe and secure

Attachment
People often talk about ‘attachment parenting’ – a phrase coined by the well know paediatrician, William Sears. ‘Attachment theory’ itself was originated in the 1950s by psychoanalyst John Bowlby [http://www.simplypsychology.org/bowlby.html] Forming a good attachment with your baby is vital to her mental health ( to learn more about this, read the excellent ‘Why Love Matters’ by Sue Gehrhardt). Attuning to your baby, letting her experience your heartbeat and holding her close, all contribute to the formation of a healthy attachment. Baby-wearing is a great way to facilitate this.

Baby-wearing and me
I started out with a Tomy sling when my eldest daughter was born – back then, slings were much less common than they are now and to be honest, I found this sling uncomfortable so I researched alternatives. That was when I discovered the amazing Tri-cotti. It’s so simple – just two loops of soft cotton that form a pouch for a new –born or a simple cross-over sling for an older child (facing inwards, outwards or on your hip).

My tri-cotti lasted me for two babies but with my youngest, I wanted something more resilient. I had heard lots of good things about the ERGO, so I thought I’d give it a go and I’ve never looked back. Great for a new-born (with the special insert) but also fantastic for my chunky almost two-year old, who loves being on my back when she’s fed up with exploring.

The other day, I was talking to a friend about the possibility of using a local nursery for my youngest daughter. “Well, it’ll be better for her than being strapped to your back while you do house-work all day…” was her response. I was a little stung – she was exaggerating, of course, but I often do chores with my little one on my back. This exchange made me think about how I parent my daughter. Yes, she is frequently quite literally ‘coming along for the ride’ as I go about my day. She isn’t getting the intensive stimulation that she would get in a childcare setting, although we often play and read together. But she is getting something of value– a secure, solid attachment and a safe place to come back to as she explores her world. Baby-wearing has worked for millennia across all cultures – it works because it has so much to offer to both the carer and the baby.

If you want to find out more about baby-wearing, check out this website: www.babywearing.co.uk and visit your local sling library – a great way to try out different slings and carriers and chat to other parents about baby-wearing.

*http://www.didymos.de/en/DIDYMagazine/Opinions-and-Photos/Experts-Opinions/Studies-Opinions-and-scientific-papers-H-Largo/

This is a photo of my husband and our two older girls in the Isles of Scilly – please note – carrying two children in one sling is not recommended by the manufacturer!

JO

If you want to find out more about baby-wearing, check out this website: www.babywearing.co.uk and visit your local sling library – a great way to try out different slings and carriers and chat to other parents about baby-wearing.

*http://www.didymos.de/en/DIDYMagazine/Opinions-and-Photos/Experts-Opinions/Studies-Opinions-and-scientific-papers-H-Largo/

Not only is Jo Cormack a lovely baby wearing mama, she is also a writer and child and adolescent therapist. Her first book, War & Peas (about solving picky eating) came out earlier this year. She blogs at http://www.ea-feeding.com and is on twitter: @Jo_Cormack