Why carrying your baby in a sling is a good idea.
Being born is stressful for babies.
Imagine yourself, floating in warm water, hearing the heartbeat of your mother all the time. Never hungry, never cold, never alone.
Then you are born. Separated. You make your entrance in a noisy, busy, cold world. The light is so bright. You are suddenly hungry and alone. You start crying.
Crying is the main language for a baby in the first months of his life.
When you think about this big transition they go through, it is completely logical that newborns cry a lot.
They cry when they are hungry, wet, tired or in pain. They cry when the world surrounding them is too busy and they get overstimulated. They cry when they feel alone.
Babies, especially newborns, need the comfort and reassurance of your touch.
They don’t try to manipulate you (they haven’t figured out how that works yet…) neither to annoy you. They cry because they need you. They feel lost.
Babies cannot ‘self-settle’ yet; most of them only stop crying when you comfort them. Crying that parents usually interpret as a sign of hunger or tiredness, is in fact very often ‘skin-hungry’ crying.
You probably found out for yourself, that picking up your crying baby girl for a cuddle is the only thing that helps her to calm down. That, to your despair, your two months old son can only fall asleep in your arms. You want to comfort your little one, but you can’t carry him all day long. There are other things that need to be done! Not to mention the fact that your back and neck start hurting from all this carrying and multi-tasking…
All around the world, babies are carried around comfortably in a sling.
This ‘kangaroo carrying’ of a child is called babywearing. Only in ‘modern society’ we physically separate newborns from their parents, with nap time in separate rooms, strollers, vibrating baby chairs and baby playpens.
We deeply value independence and are very concerned that we spoil our kids when we pick them up every time they cry. We don’t want to raise whiners. But evidence shows that it works the other way around:
A child that knows that his parents respond to him whenever he is in distress, will feel safe enough to explore the world very soon. By responding to crying, you help your child to become confident and independent.
Babies that are regularly carried in a sling, significantly sleep better, cry less and are less fuzzy. You can do other things, while you have your little one cozily snuggled in. Best of all: evidence shows that sling-babies are brighter at school!
Fed up with crying? Desperate what to do? Try wearing your baby with a sheet, right now. No need to buy a fancy sling to get instant results!
You can watch the short video Making a sling from a bed sheet on YouTube (The midwife that posted the video doesn’t allow embedding in a blogpost)
Or watch this tutorial about putting a newborn in a sling:
For comfortable and fashionable babywearing during the first years, there are some great and beautiful slings on the market.
There are different ways of carrying your child in a sling. The ring sling goes over one shoulder, the baby wrapper over both shoulders. How you carry your baby is a personal choice.
If you’re buying a baby sling, consider to buy (at least) one in a neutral color; most men don’t feel at ease carrying their son in a pink sling with butterfly or flower print!
|If you’re not a fan of adjusting a sling, you could also go for an ergonomic Babycarrier like this.|
We would love to hear your stories about babywearing, or get informed about your favorite baby carrier! Please share your knowledge and experience in the comment box below.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”