The benefits of babywearing, according to a neuroscientist
Not a lot of research has been done on babywearing benefits, but this neuroscientist and mom has a few hypotheses that make perfect sense
Babywearing has been enjoying a lot of popularity in mainstream culture as of late, and it’s easy to see why. Busy mothers can accomplish so many things while keeping their baby close to them by using a sling or a carrier. It makes everything so much easier for parents, and has also been said to be good for your baby.
Blogger and neuroscientist Science Dr. Mom recently wrote about the benefits of babywearing, based on her expertise on neuroscience and human physiology.
Here’s what she wrote:
1. Babywearing is convenient and less stressful for babies and caregivers
Wearing your baby allows your baby to feel as secure as he would be if you were holding him in your arms, while giving yourself freedom to accomplish what needs to be done. Having your baby so close to you also allows you to meet their needs quicker.
According to a 1986 study, babies who are carried more throughout the day are less fussy compared to babies who are attended to only during feeding and in response to crying. To be exact, the study found that babies cried and fussed 43% less with increased carrying.
Find out about other babywearing benefits, according to Science Dr. Mom, on the next page.
2. Babywearing might be able to help with post-partum depression and baby blues
Many women experience depression after giving birth, due to hormonal changes, fatigue, and the struggles that come with learning how to be a mother. Not much research has been made on the effects on babywearing and postpartum depression, but plenty of mothers who have struggled with postpartum depression have come forward to talk about how much babywearing has helped them.
Wrote Christie Chapman for Babywearing International:
The only way we all survived those rollercoaster days was with the help of babywearing. With Natalie strapped to my chest, I could not ignore her needs. I could nurse her without even having to hold her (and on those worst days, I probably couldn’t have held her).
I could follow my manic impulses without missing her very polite little cues. And when I was completely touched out from caring for two grabby little people under the age of two, I could put her up on my back, high enough to see her in the mirror and feel her breath on my neck, but not have to actually feel her skin on mine or gaze into her painfully beautiful brown eyes. And she would still be soothed, and her brain would still be nurtured by the motion of my body.
3. Babywearing could help with development—your baby’s and your own
Having your baby so close to you helps your baby learn language by listening to you speak. By watching your expressions, they also learn facial cues and emotions. Plus, your movements challenge and develop their vestibular system.
Babywearing is also mentally stimulating for the wearer, as learning how to use a baby carrier or sling can be quite a challenge. It also strengthens your core and requires a lot of balance, providing well-balanced learning opportunities.
(Lead image: ubuntubaba/Instagram)
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