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Babies Need Touch
By Philippa de la Haye
What is Babywearing?
Babywearing is exactly as it sounds - wearing your baby in a sling or baby carrier. These days, most parents own some sort of baby carrier as part of their repertoire of baby equipment, but why is it such a useful thing to have? There are obviously times when a baby carrier can be more convenient than a pushchair but there is also evidence that using a sling has great impact on your baby's well-being.
Why Wear your Baby?
Babies who are carried cry less
Most babies love to be carried, and
babies who spend a lot of time in a sling or carrier tend to cry less
than those who don't. Many new parents can find it overwhelming when
their baby demands constant contact and people often worry that they
are 'spoiling them' or 'making a rod for their own back'. But a newborn
baby is incapable of being manipulative. When they cry at being
separated from you they are simply acting in accordance with their
instincts for survival.
It's good for your baby's development
Research shows that baby-wearing has
many benefits for your baby's health and development. Keeping your baby
close to you provides your baby with physical contact, security,
stimulation and movement. All of these things provide your baby with
the ideal conditions for development. Babies in a sling spend more time
in the state known as 'quiet alertness' so they are awake but
contented. This is the optimal state for learning for a newborn.
It's good for your baby's health
Newborn or premature babies who are
carried in a sling against their mother's body adapt to the environment
outside the womb more quickly. The close contact helps to regulate
their body temperature, heartbeat and respiration.
Babywearing promotes bonding
Carrying your baby close to you
helps them to recognize your unique smell and the sound of your voice.
The close contact enables you to learn to recognise your baby's signals
more quickly which helps you to be more responsive to their needs.
Babywearing can also be a special way for fathers to bond with their
newborn babies. As your baby cuddles up to his Dad in a sling he learns
the different sound of his voice and the feel of his body.
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