THE FIFTH IDEAL OF ATTACHMENT PARENTING:
This article was published, citation information below.
Ang, M. (2006). The Fifth Ideal of Attachment Parenting: Babywearing. In Infanity magazine, July 2006 issue.
Babywearing, the fifth ideal practise of attachment parenting, refers to the practice of carrying your baby, typically in a baby sling or soft carrier that keep baby close. Babywearing meets baby's need for physical contact, security, stimulation and movement; all of which promote optimal brain development.
Why Wear your Baby?
There are many reasons for baby wearing: babies who are worn cry less, are more calm and content, sleep more peacefully, nurse better, gain weight better, enjoy better digestion, and develop better. Baby wearing enhances parent-baby bonding, is practical, facilitates breastfeeding, helps working parents reconnect with baby, makes transitions from one caregiver to another easier, and allows you to meet baby’s needs while still getting things done. . Here are more of the benefits of Babywearing :
Good for baby's mental development. Babies spend more time in a "quiet, alert state" when carried - the ideal state for learning. Their senses are stimulated while being carried, yet there is a place to retreat to when needed. When carried, your baby sees the world from where you do, instead of the ceiling above his crib or people's knees from a stroller. The extra stimulation benefits brain development. .
Good for baby's emotional development. Babies are quickly able to develop a sense of security and trust when they are carried . Babies who are worn when young need to be carried less than their stroller-riding peers as they get older, because they are more secure and confident. They cue their parent to get down and explore and play instead of tugging on Mommy begging to be picked up. [3, 4].
Good for baby's physical development. By being so close to your body's rhythms, your newborn "gets in rhythm" much more quickly. Your heartbeat, breathing, voice and warmth are all familiar. [2, 5].
Babywearing also brings many benefits to parents. For me personally, as a full-time mother, the one single “baby aid” I have found indispensable is our baby sling. We don’t use or own a stroller because we have no need for one. We have no maid in our home, either full- or part- time. This is our personal preference. So housework is shared between my husband and me. Babywearing has meant relatively stress-free living for us. I can sweep and mop floors, mend fences, and do other household chores with baby safely tucked close to me – she’s happy and I’m happy. I have both hands free to use as I need to. When she was much younger and breastfeeding much more frequently, wearing her in her sling meant I could go anywhere at anytime and do anything I wanted to while she contentedly nursed and napped. I was able to attend committee meetings, formal dinner functions and a host of other activities most people with young babies wouldn’t dream of attending. I even gave professional talks and led formal group activities while wearing my precious baby. My husband and I have gone on 3-hour nature trails with him wearing our happy baby. Certainly, he does his fair share of baby wearing as well. The bonding with our baby is something special – she and I see eye to eye, cheek to cheek, we hear ear to ear. When she is tired she merely rests her head on my chest. No need to fuss or cry. No need to waste energy trying to get mommy’s attention. Instead all her energy can be focused on observing and learning.
How can I wear my baby? WearYourBaby.com tells you everything you need to know about how to wear your baby, from all the types of carriers, slings and wraps available to how to wear them and even how to make your own. I highly recommend you visit this website to get started. You don’t need to buy any expensive baby carrier – a simple piece of cloth will do. I cannot go into details as to how to wear your baby here, but I will share a few photographs of how we wear ours.
Maria Blois. (2005). Babywearing. Pharmasoft Publishing.
Anisfeld, E., Casper, V., Nozyce, M. and Cunningham, N. (1990). Does infant carrying promote attachment? An experimental study of the effects of increased physical contact on the development of attachment. Child Development, 61, 1617-1627.
Ludington-Hoe SM, Swinth JY. (1996). Developmental aspects of kangaroo care. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 25, 691-703.