What is Baby Wearing? Options & Benefits

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A cornerstone of the attachment parenting method, the act of babywearing is gaining popularity as parents continue to search for ways to help their new child adjust to life outside of the womb.

This trend, while currently growing in practice, is not new. In 1986 a team of pediatricians in Montreal, Canada conducted a study on 99 mother/infant pairs. The study found that children who were carried/worn regularly through the day were 43% were less fussy than their counterparts.

Researchers have gone on to theorize that infants who are worn, due to their calmer state, are able to begin learning about the world around them sooner and with greater comprehension. Because they are more focused on their surrounding, they’re better able to study shapes, colors, and facial expressions of those around them. They’ll also begin to learn the cadence of human communication as well. Many worn babies display the ability to track with their eyes as two adults speak, showing a comprehension of when one person stops talking and the other is expected to reply.

The thought process is that, by being worn, the child feels more familiar with their surroundings as they are still held in a warm, restrictive space with the same swing to the walk that was experienced while in utero.

Babywearing presents a practical way to interact with your child while you continue with your day-to-day routine. Simple tasks such as cooking, sweeping, grocery shopping, and laundry folding can all be easily accomplished while your child rides on your body. Apart from allowing you to get things done, this allegedly can also increase your newborn’s brainpower! Being involved in their parents’ world causes the newborn’s brain to begin to make neural connections that help the brain grown and develop.

There are many popular styles of baby wearing devices that can offer a variety of fit and comfort choices for both baby and parent. Popular choices include slings, pouch carriers, and back/front pack carriers like the Baby Bjorn.

Babywearing can continue into the toddler years through the use of larger, more supportive carriers. At this stage, baby wearing purportedly continues to advance speech skills, as the child is often more actively involved in dialogue with their parent. While they often desire less time in their carrier as they age, these occasions also allow you to keep your toddler close and safe in busy environments.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.