Babywearing is the practice of carrying a baby or toddler inside a sling or carrier that is worn like a garment. At greenBee, we offer woven baby slings, stretchy baby slings, and the very popular Manduca baby carriers. We wanted to tell you why we carry these outstanding babywearing products and what advantages they give to you and your little ones.
Support For Your Baby's Developing Spine
When a baby is first born, her muscles are not strong enough to support the spine. This is why she cannot lift her head, raise herself up, sit up, or walk. This is also why her backbone is rounded into a c-shape. Without full support for her spine at this sensitive stage, spinal injuries may occur and her backbone may not develop a proper alignment.
To support the spine of a young baby, you'll sometimes see careful Mums holding their baby with their entire hand and forearm placed along the length of their baby's spine. However, this can be tough to accomplish every time the baby is carried or moved. A babywearing garment like a sling or a baby carrier makes it much easier to support the baby's back at all times in these early stages of spinal development. It also comes in handy to support the spine of a sleeping older baby when their muscles totally relax.
Puts Your Baby In the M-Position
The M-position is the best position for proper hip development. In this position, the baby's knees are bent and position so that they are higher than their bottom. In other words, the baby's knees form the pointed tops of the M-position and their bottom forms the bottom point of the M-position. The legs dangle down to form the arms of the M-position. To better visualize the M-position, imagine the way a frog holds its legs before it jumps. In fact, the M-position is sometimes called the frog position.
When a baby is first born, their pelvis contains a lot of cartilage which holds together several bony pelvic plates. As the baby develops, the cartilage in his pelvis is converted into bone. Usually, by about the 9th or 10th month, this ossification process is complete. During this time, if the top of the femur bone (upper leg bone) is mostly positioned in the center of the socket, hip development will be normal. In the M-position, the femur bone is naturally positioned in the middle of the socket so it is very conducive to normal hip development. However, if your baby's femur is misaligned by being forced into another position when being carried or swaddled, his hip joint may not develop properly. This can delay walking, and even cause lifelong problems with your child's gait. This dysfunction can lead to back issues as well. In other words, it is quite important to ensure your baby is positioned correctly for normal hip development.
Redistribution Of Baby/Toddler Weight To Your Hips
When you carry a baby or toddler in your arms, most of her weight falls on your neck, shoulders, arms, and back. This is why so many Mums have chronic soreness and achiness in their bodies. As the baby moves into the toddler stage, the physical strain of the baby becomes even greater and can cause you, your spouse, and anyone else who carries your child serious health issues.
Babywearing products like carriers and baby slings are designed to redistribute your child's weight to your hips which makes carrying your child much easier and far less likely to cause injury. Of course, some babywearing products do a better job at this than others. The babywearing products we carry at greenBee all receive rave reviews in this department. Of particular note, the Manduca baby carriers do a fabulous job of redistributing even the weight of a heavy toddler up to four years old!
Creates a Strong Bond Between Baby/Toddler and Mum
Babies are born with a natural instinct to cling to their Mums. Moreover, multiple scientific studies show that babies that are held close to Mum in a babywearing garment are healthier and happier. As babies and toddlers snuggle to their Mum, they can feel her warmth and hear her heartbeat. Just as a ticking clock comforts a kitten, the heartbeat of a human Mum soothes her little one. This is why babies who are carried in babywearing garments cry less often. They also tend to be better adapted socially as toddlers and show less behavioral problems.
Mums who carry their babies in babywearing garments have been shown to produce more oxytocin and prolactin. Often dubbed the "love hormone," oxytocin fosters a stronger bond between Mum and baby. It also helps keep Mum psychologically stable and lowers stress. In fact, there is an inverse relationship between oxytocin and cortisol, the hormone responsible for raising stress levels in humans. In addition, oxytocin stimulates the movement of milk into the breast. Prolactin is also an important hormone in producing breast milk and in the mental well-being of the Mum.
Frees Up Both Hands
When carrying a baby in a sling or baby carrier, this frees up BOTH your hands while at the same time knowing that your baby is 100 percent secure and safe. This allows you to do other tasks such as tending to other children, household chores, or shopping while the baby is comforted by your closeness. In fact, many Mums report that their babies sleep soundly in their babywearing garments while they are actively doing other things! It is also possible in babywearing garments for your baby to nurse while you do other tasks. This is one of the primary reasons so many Mums consider the Manduca baby carrier and the baby slings we offer a godsend.
We Didn't Forget Dads
We want to mention Dads in this post too as many Fathers have discovered the joys of baby carriers too. As Dads share an increasing amount of the child rearing activities, they too need babywearing products that will accomodate them. The Manduca baby carriers that we offer have been very highly rated by Fathers because of their rugged design and because they easily adjust to the larger frame of a man. They are also so easy to adjust, Mums and Dads can easily use the same baby carrier.
Babywearing garments have been used for thousands of years. Considering the wide range of physical and mental benefits for both the baby and the Mum, it is easy to see why they have remained popular. This is why we are proud to carry the highest quality babywearing products at greenBee.