Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE to hold my babies. Currently, I have a 45 pounder and a 20 pounder so either I am superwoman or I enlist the help of accessories. So, since I love holding my babies, I also love my slings. When my 45 pounder was just a wee-one, I only had 2 carriers: a baby borjn and a ring sling. The Bjorn was good but I couldn’t wear it for too long because it hurt. Since I didn’t know how many different carriers were out there, we just did out best. I found out about the ring sling thought my local LLL and my world suddenly changed. It felt so good to hold my son and it was so easy to get things done. I could hold him and still have 2 hands free to do whatever I needed. Since this sling worked so well for the 2 of us, I didn’t investigate further.
When my daughter was born, all I wanted for our baby shower was cloth diapers and slings. Now, I have 6 slings (including the bjorn and my original ring sling). I have used them all and to me, they all have different functions so I use them for different occasions. There are so many benefits to “wear your baby” that I though I’d take a moment to share them.
1. 2 free hands – really useful when you have another 1 or 2 to chase
2. Easier on the arms – even though I love my “mommy muscles”, I’m not super woman
3. It helps put the baby to sleep – when my youngest can’t or won’t sleep, we go on a walk. It worked for the oldest too!
4. They are safe – I know exactly what they are getting into (or not) because I can see and feel exactly where they are.
5. I feel like super mom!!! – I can cook dinner, wash laundry, and feed #1 all while holding #2
6. Just about anyone can wear #2 and she will calm down very quickly.
Aside from the personal reasons to wear your children, there are emotional and physical benefits for the child as well. On his website, Dr Sears states:
1. Sling babies cry less.
2. Sling babies learn more.
3. Sling babies are more organized.
4. Sling babies get “humanized” earlier.
5. Sling babies are smarter.
I can personally attest to all of these!
There are a few things to consider when you choose to wear your baby. First, do your research. Attend a baby wearing class, use the internet and go talk to local vendors to see the different slings available. Consider what you are going to use the sling for (besides wearing the baby). Are you going to be mostly running errands, going for long walks, will different people be using the same sling, and what age is your baby? All of these are important for picking out the right sling for you and your family.
Once you have decided on a sling, or two, you should probably figure out how to use it safely. Read the instructions that came with the sling, attend and Attachement Parenting International Support Group or a LLL group, get someone to help you while you are getting used to your new sling, and make sure you have the proper positioning. The baby should always be chest to chest with you; nice and sung. Below are some great online resources and be sure to check our schedule for our next free Baby Wearing class.
Have a great day and go hug your babies!