Five Reasons to Wear Your Baby!

Five Reasons to Wear Your Baby!

By Michelle Kennedy
Baby-sling

There is nothing I hate worse than to see a mom or dad lugging their baby around in the car seat in a store. I can’t believe a mother would rather lug 12 pounds of baby plus 15 pounds of car seat in an uncomfortable position, like a bucket of water down to the barn. It breaks my heart – the baby is usually bundled in the seat, head rocking and bouncing as the seat bangs into the leg of the person carrying it. 

Why wouldn’t you want to hold your baby? Babies smell good. They’re cute and funny. And when I have one, all I want to do is hold it – and when I can’t, I bundle her into a sling and carry her around. And when I can’t do that (like when taking a shower), I make sure that someone else who loves her is holding her. My God, they are only this little once – and it goes by so fast. Once it’s gone , it’s gone – so don’t waste it strapping them into car seats (unless they are actually in the car) or swings! Hold your baby! When they’re teenagers, they won’t let you near them ( and really, they’re not as cuddly as teens, I have two teens and a “tween” and I can verify this fact)! Anyway, here are five great reasons to wear your baby.

1. Baby wearing is convenient. I’m wearing and breastfeeding my baby right now – even as I write this! Really! Yes. Really. I can do almost anything I need to do while wearing my 3.5 month old baby except the dishes, but I find other reasons not to do them too! 

2.Babies who are worn in slings or carried cry less. There is a lot of anthropological and scientific evidence of this fact, but I’ve had six babies, so far, and of the six the only colicky, constantly crying baby I had was the one I was encouraged to put down all of the time! That was my first baby. Since then, I have either held or worn all of my babies. Kiara – the latest – gets complimented all the time on being such a good baby. I think they mean quiet. And she is. During basketball games or other outings, she just sits in my lap and looks around. She rarely fusses. In fact, when she does scream, it’s usually because I’ve put her in the car seat for a trip. 

3. Babies who are worn, learn more. Yes, another scientific fact! Babies who are worn spend more of their time in quiet alertness. Because your baby’s needs are being met, she doesn’t need to spend so much time looking for attention and therefore can sort out the puzzle around her – learning to adapt to the environment, seeking things to look at, etc. Researchers have also reported that carried babies show enhanced visual and auditory alertness. 

4. Worn babies are smarter. OK, this might just sound like I’m bragging, but this has been proven true outside my own household! Because the mother or father of a worn baby acts like a filter, the baby is guarded from unwanted stimuli that can bombard their wee nervous systems. They also develop their ability to listen very early and therefore their language and development abilities are cultivated earlier. For example, if there is a loud clanging in the house (the toddler knocks the pots off the dish rack), a baby alone in a swing or seat will likely respond by startling and then crying. A baby in a sling, next to her mother, will still startle, but because mother is nearby, will see it’s just a noise and that she is still fine – quickly soothed by mom. The startle then becomes a learning experience that the baby is not so afraid of the next time, rather than being “rattled” every time a loud noise occurs. 

5. Worn babies sleep more! Especially in the beginning. I’ve rarely felt sleep deprived, even as a new mother and when I have it’s usually because I spend the night excitedly gazing at my new love. Wearing a baby keeps them close – think of yourself like a Kangaroo. There is a great saying – nine months in and nine months out. Thinking of the gestational period of the baby as being 18 months makes it easier to reconcile. 

Michelle Kennedy Hogan is the mother of six homeschooled kids and the author of 12 books. 

Mary Eileen Finch

Author: Mary Eileen Finch

Mary Eileen Finch, CD (DONA) lives in Arkansas along with her inspiring husband, Jason, and their three adorable children, Rebecca, Jarod, and Alex. She is a certified labor doula and a vegan of many years.

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