Babywearing – why it’s great for your child & you

This week’s exhibitor blogs comes from The School of Babywearing who will be on the Juno Magazine at Baby Expo Milton Keynes.

Handsfree, the joy of baby wearing

The School of Babywearing is a social enterprise set up to provide information to parents about the use & benefits of slings & baby carriers. We offer accredited Babywearing Peer Support & Babywearing Consultancy training and support sling groups, meets and libraries across the UK.

Baby slings are thought to have been one of the first ever inventions – how else could we have carried our babies around with us and got on with the work we had to do? Today we have lots of other options for placing our babies into pushchairs, car seats and other devices but none offer the warmth of human touch, the gentle stimulation to of the baby’s balance system that comes from being walked around and the reassurance of knowing their parent is right there, making those comforting noises that the baby was used to before they were born.

Today, around the world, babies are carried by their parents and brothers and sisters. In the UK, we often lay our babies down in pushchairs or place them in car seats, swing seats or other devices. But we may notice that they seem happiest when held in our arms.Slings and baby carriers offer a way for parents to be hands-free while holding their babies in a natural position.

The world from a different view

Some of the benefits for parents of ‘babywearing’ (using a soft sling or baby carrier to hold your baby against your body in a natural position) are that they can pick up easily on their baby’s cues and respond quickly to their needs. Breastfeeding Mums will find that having baby close will boost their milk supply (and Dads of breastfeeding babies can use a sling to give Mum a break once in a while). Babywearing builds up your core strength and helps you gently tone your body after birth.

Babies who are worn upright tend to be more settled and to sleep for longer. When they are awake, they may be calm and quiet for longer periods. Premature babies gain weight faster when they are carried by their parents and have better temperature regulation. Babywearing can help with babies who have reflux or colic, as digestion is improved when the baby is kept upright. And being held in a sling counts as tummy time as the baby uses their muscles to make small movements to hold themself in position and this helps neck and chest strength. Babies today are at risk of developing flat head syndrome if they keep their heads in one position in a cot or car seat. Time in a sling can help prevent or alleviate this.

There are many different types of sling and baby carriers, with some suitable for use with premature babies and others for chunky toddlers,pre-schoolers and older children. To find the right one for you, attending a local sling meet or borrowing a sling from a sling library can be really helpful, as can an appointment with a Babywearing Consultant who can give you one-to-one advice about what’s right for you. To find your local Babywearing expert, visit www.schoolofbabywearing.com, e-mail: enquiries@schoolofbabywearing.com or call 0300 800 1471. Or see us on the JUNO magazine community stand at babyExpo!

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