Why Wear

If you still need to be convinced, even after seeing how handily that slinging parent juggled the groceries, and the toddler, and the baby at the store, then here are 10 reasons why you should "wear" your baby close to you (instead of just setting him down in a stroller or a playpen):

1) Bond with Baby.  Babies love to be touched, caressed, and hugged. Babies who are worn are happier and are known to cry less. In fact, in cultures where it is the norm to wear babies all day, it's often rare to hear a baby cry, as long as their needs are met.

2) Help Baby sleep. Be the human "rocker" and lull your baby to sleep, to the sound of your heartbeat and with your gentle touch. No need to bundle that bundle of joy into a car seat for a long ride in order to get to sleep (what a waste of precious gas too!); you can wear and walk your baby to sleep. And why invest in a swing or a rocking bassinet, when you can do the job yourself?

3) Aid in Baby's physical development. A baby’s sense of balance is developed through fluids in the ears. When he is constantly rocked and swayed to your own movement, his balance develops more quickly. Wearing your baby also helps his neck and back muscles develop.

4) Aid in Baby's cognitive development. You are your baby's favourite companion, toy, and teddy bear. Baby loves to touch your face, hair, and clothing, and of course, will have a close-up and constant observation of your voice, facial expressions, emotions, body language, and smell. All of this is a great bonding and learning experience for your child, as she interacts and communicates with you close-up. A baby who is constantly held and spoken to, will grow up alert and responsive!

5) Allow Baby to interact with the world. Why give them the same old view from baby level (which is usually other people’s knees, or the sky, if they’re always reclined in their stroller)? Babies who are worn on their parent’s body are able to see, hear, and interact with all the interesting people and things in our world, at eye-level. Watching mom or dad talk, cook, do the dishes, or walk in the garden will provide Baby with a much more enjoyable and stimulating learning experience than any plastic toy dangled from the top of the stroller. As a result, you'll find that your child will grow up very alert and responsive!

6) Help encourage later independence. Babies who are held when they most need it, later learn to trust people around them much more, and understand that their needs will be met. Contrary to popular belief, babies who are held often will not end up "clingy"; rather, they learn that Mom or Dad is always there when needed. This likely will lead to a greater sense of security, and thus, greater independence as your child grows.

7) Keep a close eye on your little one. When Baby's busy little hands are "discovering" everything around him, you’re only inches away to prevent accidents. In addition, when your baby is held close to you, you can quickly and easily check to see if little hands, feet, or ears are too cold or too hot. (Can you imagine having to stop several times on a walk, lean over the stroller, adjust several layers of blankets, etc.?)

8) Make breastfeeding easier. No need to run over to pick up Baby—she's right there, next to the food supply!

9) Gain an extra pair of hands, and lose that awkward baby "pushcart"! It just makes sense that when you’re wearing your baby, your hands are free to do everything else, from preparing a breakfast for yourself, to chasing after your other child(ren).  And of course, you won't have that big, awkward stroller to pull out of the car trunk or wrangle down narrow store aisles, onto escalators, onto crowded buses, etc.. (In fact, did you know that more and more public spaces are "banning" the large, so-called SUV strollers, due to the space that they take up, and the inconvenience that they pose to others?)

10) Get a good work-out! You’re getting some great exercise when you wear your baby and walk, bend, or do housework at the same time. You’re building up your baby "free weight" slowly over the months, and strengthening your arms, shoulders, back, and legs.  Do something good for yourself while you’re doing something good for Baby!

Think this is all talk? Both of my children, from a very young stage of babyhood, have always received comments from strangers regarding how "alert", "bright", and "happy" they were. A coïncidence? You decide.

© 2008 kissed baby (cxd baby). All rights reserved. This information may not be copied, duplicated, or distributed without written permission from kissed baby.

My sling arrived Monday. I am really enjoying it. (my 6-month-old is, too!) The directions that you included were great. This sling is much easier than the padded one to adjust. [...] I only have one complaintI can never go anywhere without someone commenting on my wonderful sling!!!!!!
—L.H., Sautee, Georgia

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