Babywearing featuring Ivonne Gomez [video]
For a better part of human history our infants have been carried, swaddled, or hugged next to us. The newborn is basically right up next to the mother or caretaker. Baby carrying offers numerous physiological and psychological benefits for the child and parent. However, it seems that people in our current society did not get the memo. Far too often mothers are searching out the perfect stroller or portable carrier. These devices cost hundreds of dollars. And, in my opinion, are not worth it.
The little babies enter this brand new world dependent on mother and father or whoever their caretaker is. Infants are not independent. Basically, they are just as dependent as they were inside your belly except now they are on the other side. The parents are the infants safety net, reassurance, and confidence until the infant develops enough to think on his or her own.
Benefits of Baby Carrying
- Breastfeeding is easier because of the proximity and hands can be free at times.
- Communication and socialization are enhanced because the baby will see you (the carrier) interact with the world.
- Development of motor skills and the vestibular system are supported through the infant becoming constantly aware of the mama’s balance and motor skills and orientation in space.
- The physical contact between mother and infant promotes oxytocin release, which can alleviate postpartum stress and anxiety.
- The physical contact and connecting energies can promote a long lasting bond between child and parent.
- Ideal biomechanics of the parent are supported because they are not lugging around an oversized carrier or hunching over to push a stroller.
Tips for Carrying a Baby
- The higher on the mother’s body and the closer the contact the easier it is on the mother’s back and overall posture. Think along the lines of a front squat, goblet squat, or even a squat clean. The closer the weight and the more the elbows are up, the easier the movement.
- Support the baby’s spine and head. You may think this is common sense, but I have seen some baby bobble heads. Support the child’s spine until they can hold up their own neck and look around.
- No dangling straight legs for babies. Make sure the baby has frog legs as in the baby is about to hop a way or do a jump squat.
- Know how to use the carrier. If you don’t, go to a baby store and ask. There are tons of people out there happy to help you learn how to carry your baby.
Video features Ivonne Gomez of Hip Mommy.