Baby wearing benefits
Last revised on September 18, 2018
Author: Heidi Holvoet, PhD
Less crying, more sleep, reduced colic and
reflux are just a few of many baby wearing benefits.
When choosing your sling, you'll find a huge amount of choice. There are many good ones out there and you'll find one that suits you best. When making your choice though, as a rule of thumb, get the best you can afford as it will ensure the maximum of the benefits discussed below, effectively, safely and comfortably.
Let's have a look at benefits by age for your baby and advantages for yourself too!
Your newborn feels safe and secure
when safely wrapped and hugged close to you in a soft stretchy fabric.
This makes a good wrap sling THE best place to be, after the womb, for a
Photo courtesy by Hug a
- If your wrap cloth is made of a suitable breathing fabric, baby is kept warm without overheating, thanks to
your own body heat combined with the fabric.
- Baby is kept in a flexible swaddle, her head
resting near the
familiar sounds of mom's heartbeat and voice (through her chest
cavity), or dad's soothing reassuring breathing and heartbeat.
Notice how high up the baby in the
picture is? That is
the place to be, and it's one of the aspects to look out for when choosing your carrier.
- Baby feels contained thanks
to being wrapped closely (but not too tightly). This is an often
overlooked need for feeling safe and secure.
a newborn baby has many "startle reflexes": a response that feels like
falling. This reflex occurs when baby does not feel the familiar,
reassuring boundaries she was used to.
Less stress hormones are released when baby feels safe and
secure in this way. Less stress means less stress-related problems like
colic, acid reflux and excessive crying.
Relaxed and content babies also sleep better than their
Young baby, bigger baby and toddler
A growing up baby or toddler
still needs the safety and security as
when just born.
Happy and relaxed, baby sleeps
better, suffers less
from colic, reflux, crying
and is less prone to teething pain
and other typical baby comforts.
- Continued close bonding with mom and dad becomes even more
Being able to explore the world, to be a real part of it, to
meet people and things, ... while safely carried close to mom or dad is
THE confident path
- One of many practical advantages: carried correctly in a good wrap
you can safely have baby nap
for a prolonged time in the
sling - excellent for nap assisting when setting up the right daytime sleep schedule. No risk of mal-development for the spine.
Most carriers don't
offer the comfort and safety to be able to do this so please be
careful and choose a good quality one.
For yourself, wearing a happy and relaxed baby means:
- You feel
happy, relaxed and more confident about caring for your baby.
- You can keep an active social and work life.
A good wrap technique (of a good sling) makes it comfortable (no-strain no-pain) and
safe for you to carry baby for a longer time (as long as you want or
- High oxytocin and prolactin hormone levels thanks
to the close contact with baby increase feelings of love, connection,
help improve breastfeeding and, not in the least: physically help you sleep well too.
- Reduced symptoms of baby blues. Research supports
that close contact with her baby reduces the risk of post-natal
depression in a mother.
Newborn or bigger baby, carrying your baby close has a positive
influence on baby and yourself. Regularly carried babies are most
content overall, have improved bonding with parents, and are shown to
grow up to be independent and confident children.
The risk of spoiling by carrying too much is none to worry about. As
long as you do it
consciously and offer plenty of crib and play mat opportunities as baby
grows, you are fine.
Happy baby wearing!
 Infant-Mother Attachment: The Origins
and Developmental Significance of
Individual Differences in Strange Situation Behavior.
Sarah Mosko, James Mckenna, Lynn Hunt 2004 Lamb, M. E.,
Thompson, W., Gardner & Charnov, E. L. (1985). Hillside, N.J.: