|Elenore in her homemade sling, one week old|
International Babywearing Week is an opportunity to help focus the world's attention on “babywearing.” Babywearing simply means carrying a baby or young child on one’s body using a cloth baby carrier. Not only does babywearing allow parents to have both hands free while carrying their children, but research is also shedding light on how this practice has numerous benefits for children.
This year's theme is 'Safe Babywearing: Enjoy the Benefits.' There are many benefits to both caregiver and child when babywearing is done safely. For a full list of safe babywearing tips, click here.
*Text courtesy of Babywearing International
I believe that as parents we have the responsibility to provide the richest and most beneficial environment possible, especially in those first months and years when our baby is fresh from the womb. Babywearing I feel is the best mimic of that time, and so important for the "fourth trimester" when our babe is still so dependent upon us for everything. Here are some of the great benefits of babywearing:
- creates confident parents -there's no better feeling than when your baby is calm and content because you have met all her needs
- allows you to safely move about with your baby regardless of terrain- you can stroll down uneven sidewalks, narrow lanes, walk up stairs, or climb mountain
- is convenient- there is no awkwardness like when carrying a heavy plastic car seat with one arm!
- enables better communication between you and your baby - (without your baby having to cry!) as you become attuned to her facial expressions and other gestures
- provides security-access to food, warmth, and love
- is good for your soul -it encourages you to get out and get some exercise and some fresh air into your lungs
- makes discreet nursing possible-without having to find a place to sit
- helps you to interact with your other children and hold your baby close at the same time- very practical if you have other little ones
- allows you to decide who may touch or interact with your baby
- aids digestion- the constant motion and the upright position eases acid reflux and colic
- allows you to go places, together!- you can go anywhere and feel secure.
- learn more- not over stimulated, but calm and alert, which is the optimum state for nervous system development
- are allowed their necessary period of exterogestation which is often overlooked (click to read The Best Place After the Womb: Exterior Gestation and the Need to Be Held)
- become independent faster- when your baby feels loved and cared for then they are confident and trust that you will be there to meet their needs (American Anthropologist research)
- regulate their own physical responses -better motor skills, coordination, and sense of balance from observing you and listening to you (read research on PubMed)
- are calmer - when you are close to your baby and can quickly respond to all of her needs there is no reason to be cranky!
- cry less -less stress hormones from crying means your baby is happier and more peaceful (read The American Academy of Pediatrics' research)
- get a better view of the world- babies pushed in strollers or in car seats only get to see the adult world at knee-level
- sleep better -babies fall asleep quicker and sleep for longer periods of time (Harvard University research)
*Text courtesy of sleepywrap.com
I have done some research, and there are many ways to carry and products out there to help facilitate that, but those that I feel are the healthiest, safest and most user/baby-friendly are the Sleepy Wrap for little ones, and then the soft structured carriers for when they get older, the ERGObaby and the Boba. I have been able to use all of these carriers and compare them to others, and though I am not blessed to own any of them as of yet, I do feel that I still can say they are the best!
And so, in order to help me and anyone else interested have the chance to own one of these for free, I am posting some giveaway links here. I never thought that I would be the person to get into this type of thing, in fact I had never heard of it until I lived with my sister-in-law who has a review blog of her own, and where I got to try these and many other products. But I have been very blessed in my life from winning many giveaways that filled our specific needs just at the necessary moment, so I feel happy and willing to share this with others.
Here are some blogs that are hosting giveaways for the Sleepy wrap:
- Mom to Bed By 8
- The Crafty Nest
- Sleepy Wrap is celebrating International Babywearing Week by doing a giveaway as well here.
- This Mama Rocks
- Mommy Living the Life of Riley
- Boba is celebrating International Babywearing Week by doing a giveaway as well here.