I was recently asked to write something for a soon-to-launch website about the benefits of baby wearing. After the first wave of excitement passed, I was left stuck for words because, well, why wouldn't you want to carry your baby? Plus there are so many sites out there who already give you very well researched and scientific reasons, so what was I going to add to the argument?
Well, how about some very unscientific reasons.
Newborns have their own smell which is genetically designed to make your mind bliss out like a purring cat. Wearing your baby allows you to indulge in sneaky head sniffs on a regular basis. Once you have these mastered, you can progress to sneaky face rubs. Because the feeling of baby fuzz on your cheek? There are no words.
Babies also have a fairly effective audible warning system when they feel vulnerable. It’s a noise developed over millennia to make women within a mile radius hyperventilate and any lactating mamas clutch their boobs for fear they might come out in sympathy. On the flip side, babies love to be cuddled close and safe from any lurking wolves and will usually relax when they feel cocooned. This is exactly why slings are often said to come with “sleepy dust” and when you are most likely to hear the baby hedgehog snuffle of contentment.
As a working parent, babywearing becomes an important part of bonding during the evening and weekends. It is an incredible way to connect with your baby after a hard day, and catch up on some cuddle time while you eat dinner and stick the washing on. Just don’t spill your food on the baby; they don’t like it when hot pasta sauce splots on their head.
Once your baby gets older and more mobile, babywearing becomes a wonderful way to contain the crazy. Any parent will be able to tell you stories following their toddlers round the house about 10 minutes too slow to stop the next train wreck. When you've got your toddler strapped to your back? No train wreck! You can tidy the house and it stays tidy. Also, with a baby on your back you are burning extra calories while you are tidying AND you are pretty much guaranteed to have a sleeping child by the time you finished which means you can stand (or perch awkwardly on a stool) and enjoy the hot beverage of your choice while surveying your tidy house. Hold onto those moments, they are precious.
And finally, when you wear your baby, strangers in public places won’t hate you. Think I’m lying? Head into a city, shopping center, museum, or onto public transport on a weekend and tell me that you don’t feel like you’ll stab the next parent who rams their stroller into your ankle. Wearing your baby removes the entire problem before it starts. More than that, people are now compelled to look your gorgeous offspring in the face which more often than not means they will end up smiling at you, from both the relief of not being ankle-rammed and also because babies are cute, especially happy ones.
Why do you wear your baby? The less scientific the reason the more I want to know. Just tell me I'm not the only person addicted to sniffing my baby!
Mum, activist and parenting junkie. Passionate about empowering women and living a good life with my family. http://www.maybediaries.com/
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