People have been wearing their babies for thousands of years. There are so many benefits to practicing this with your newborn. In fact, babies who are worn typically cry 40% less than babies who are not worn.
While there are many benefits to wearing your baby, it’s also important to be safe. That’s why we talked with Kaytee Crawford is a babywearing educator and owner of Doula Kaytee. She is also a certified birth and postpartum doula, lactation and childbirth educator, and trained and certified perinatal educator. We talked with her to get her expert advice on babywearing.
“I really encourage both parents to wear their baby,” says Kaytee. “Sometimes it can be hard at first, but if you keep practicing it will get easier.”
Tips for safely babywearing
Babywearing is very safe, and sometimes can even be safer than in-arms holding, especially if a parent is tired.
WEAR THE CARRIER CORRECTLY
It’s important to wear the carrier correctly. To find advice on this, Kaytee recommends a professional consult, or joining a babywearing group on Facebook or in-person.
- Wear the wrap so the baby is high enough on your body so you can monitor their breathing and their coloring.
- Wear the wrap so your baby is fully supported.
Pick the right carrier
Because there are so many different types and styles of carriers, you have to make sure yours is the safest for you and your baby. Kaytee recommends, if possible, trying different kinds and brands of carriers to find the one that best suits you.
“Everyone has different wants and needs, every body has different needs,” said Kaytee. There are multiple different wraps out there so you can get a feel for what’s the right fit for your baby and your body.
If you’re buying it online, look for photos of a body type like yours so you know the carrier will fit you correctly.
Finally, make sure the brand of carrier you buy has been tested by an accredited testing facility and follows the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard.
THE GENERAL RULE
The general rule of babywearing is: if you wouldn’t do it holding your baby, don’t do it while you babywear. While babywearing may feel like it gives you the freedom to do many things, you still shouldn’t do it if it’s unsafe. For example, running on a treadmill, just because you can do it while babywearing, doesn’t mean you should.
BENEFITS OF BABYWEARING
There are many benefits to baby wearing, here are just a few!
- Increase in bonding.
- Can help your breastfeeding/chestfeeding journey.
- Soothing to a baby with a lot of crying or colic episodes.
- Helps baby and non-gestational parent bond.
- This can count as tummy time.
- Babies interact and get stimulated when they’re so close to their parent.