Tuesday, March 10, 2009

If Your Baby Loves Being Carried Then Carry It

Babywearing - a slightly strange hippy kind of term. It takes something simple like carrying a baby and elevates it to a kind of lifestyle choice. Do I babywear? I'm not sure how I would measure up against the vegetarian, hemp wearing Earth Mother brigade but I do use slings in preference to a pushchair, and around the house. And there's a major reason - babies love it! A simple walk to the shops becomes a dazzling slideshow of colours and sounds to a baby carried front-facing at adult height. You wouldn't believe how fascinating a hip-slung baby finds washing up, teeth cleaning and vacuuming. Your normal day to day jobs become entertainment to the carried baby, and when she goes to sleep, you get to do something fun instead of squeezing chores in.

A baby naturally wants to be carried a lot. This makes a lot of sense - being so helpless on its own, it is the safest place to be. It also gets to stay snuggly and warm and, if carried by its mother, close to a source of food. There is an odd pressure in society to put babies down as much as possible to help them learn independence. However, without going deeply into the subject here, it has been shown time and time again that babies whose needs are met do grow up into independent adults - it is the babies made to feel insecure who grow up with problems.

I would not be without my Mothercare front carrier (yep, Mothercare) or my ring sling now and anyone whose baby is a bit colicky or just hates being put down would be well advised to try strapping one of these on and seeing the effect on baby. It's just another way that behaving as nature intended makes life so much easier.

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