Human babies are not best adapted to being left alone and so there are a whole host of benefits associated with carrying your newborn baby. By using a sling or baby carrier to help support your back and keep your hands free you can fit carrying into your day more easily, and with a huge range of carrier options out there you’ll be sure to find one that suits you and your family.
Here are just 5 research-supported reasons why using a sling or baby carrier can benefit you and your newborn. There are links below so that you can find out more, and for even more about the benefits that using a sling or baby carrier can offer both parents and babies, see our Benefits of Babywearing and Related Research pages.
1) Reduces stress and crying in your baby, promoting healthy cognitive and physical development:
Caring physical with your baby contact reduces stress (thereby promoting healthy brain development), helps premature babies to gain weight more quickly, and helps babies to regulate their temperature and to digest more effectively. Regularly carried babies cry less and are provided many opportunities for them to share in everyday social interactions and experiences without overstimulation. http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/famsci/fs611.pdf
2) Safe for daytime naps:
Research suggests that having daytime naps in a sling or carrier is safer for your baby under 6 months than for them to nap in a room alone. http://www.isisonline.org.uk/resources/isis.online/pdfs/ISISPDFSlings.pdf
3) Helps to establish successful breastfeeding:
Using a sling supports the natural process of breastfeeding and helps mothers breastfeed for longer. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1651-2227.2012.02758.x/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage&userIsAuthenticated=false
4) Helps you to bond with your baby:
Not only does close contact benefit the baby, but it also releases oxytocin (and other hormones) in the Mother’s body, promoting a positive emotional state, aiding bonding with your baby and reducing symptoms of postnatal depression. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091302207000179
5) Protects your back and pelvic floor:
Using a well fitted sling or baby carrier will allow you to carry your baby without needing to adjust your posture to compensate for their weight, which could put undue pressure on your spine and your core and pelvic floor muscles (particularly important for a postnatal mum): http://www.lifftslings.com/uploads/files/lifftslings_biometric_report_final.pdf
For help with using slings and baby carriers safely and comfortabley from birth to preschool, and for lots more dicussions and photos join us on Facebook.com/SouthLondonSlingLibrary or Twitter @SLSlingLibrary. x