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What Surprising Research Says on Carrying Your Baby. This Is Awesome.

 

Learn about 10 surprising benefits of babycarrying, on the blog This Parenting Thing. Click to read now or pin to read it later! #BabycarryingRevolution #WearAllTheBabies #BabyScience

 

Do you wonder why babycarrying is popular, when we have other alternatives these days?

Or are you a parent who feels that carrying a baby is a good choice with every fiber of his body but would like to know more about it and be able to explain why?

Carrying babies is becoming a welcome trend in Western society, whether in arms or in varied slings.

We fanatics often forget to mention, or we deviate the conversation not start a debate, the science behind carrying young children. But there is very convincing evidence in favor of the movement to not only “Wear All The Babies,” but also to do it All. Day. Long.

Why Babywear: 10 Surprising Reasons to Carry Your Baby Full Time

Babycarrying 101: 10 Surprising Reasons to Practice Babywearing, Blog This Parenting Thing (3 free ebooks)

1. Would ALL babies be born too soon?

As striking a revelation as it may be, it is a position adopted by several ethnopediatrics. Studying the changes brought by bipedalism, the anthropologist Meredith Small says that evolution made our babies to be born “prematurely” at 9 months so their heads are small enough for the mothers’ pelvis..

That explains a lot!

First, it explains why babies are not autonomous enough to properly grip or why they move so little at birth, their temperature is poorly regulated, maternal food in milk form is the most appropriate, and more. It would be at their 6 to 9 months that they reach the equivalent of our closest relatives, the apes babies.

I believe that this information also helps us to adapt babywearing after these first months towards one more active, where the babies can grab, or respond to their continuum of holding on to their caregivers.

Carrying in-arms or in a baby carrier during the first months would therefore become the second pregnancy, the “external pregnancy”, or “fourth trimester” that they lack.

2. The best finding EVER.

“Babies are made to be worn on the hips as shown by the natural opening of their legs!” I say to my husband, as if it’s the most interesting information ever.

{Crickets.}

I am {without a doubt} passionate about carrying babies, because this is one of my greatest discoveries in my mothering years. But I stand strong by it because I think it’s one of the most important information for the well-being of children.

In his book A Baby Wants to Be Carried, author Evelyn Kirkilionis discusses her research on the anatomy of babies. According to her, the natural position, without effort, is for them to be in a frog-like position, or knees up to about 100 degrees and preferably apart 45 degrees. This is the position they naturally take on their back (we should not force their legs down for that reason).

This position is exactly what is offered on mothers’ hips.

Furthermore, a 6-month-old baby would begin to squeeze her legs and turn her feet inwards to grip and stay there!

Babycarrying also provides a good way to be back in shape after a pregnancy. It is interesting to note that in cultures where babycarrying is practiced, back pain would not be common.

The frog position is also the one desired to restore cases of hip dysplasia.

3. You’re always cold; you need a baby.

“I don’t know why I always have cold extremities,” says my sister in a family discussion. Many women in our family have this particularity.

“It’s because you need to get yourself a baby! “I tell her, {half} jokingly.

Women often being cold is a proof to my mind that we are made to carry babies. This is also supported by the fact that my boyfriend thought it was really too hot in the summer to carry our daughter.

Even our breasts temperature would change to accommodate a baby.

As we know, a baby often has cold extremities, and studies agree that kangaroo care helps regulate their temperature. But another piece of the puzzle is that babycarrying helps mothers too.

Babycarrying 101: 10 Surprising Reasons to Practice Babywearing, Blog This Parenting Thing (3 free ebooks)

4. Do what the Parenting Bible says.

Jean Liedloff is author of the book The Continuum Concept (in my opinion, THE book everyone should read) and has long observed the Yequanas, a tribe living naturally, with a high level of happiness. She observed that carried babies can discharge their energy by the carrier’s movement throughout the day, making them calmer (and happier) babies rather than tensed ones.

She has demonstrated, as many other anthropologist also observed, that carried babies, full time during the in-arms phase, are the cornerstone of a happy and peaceful society.

5. Because your baby will be thankful. Really.

Although colic is a term for various problems, it does not change the fact that the baby suffers. Babycarrying is even better in the form of skin-to-skin, warming the acky belly of colicky babies and allowing a more upright position that relieves reflux.

The baby is also more quiet and peaceful because he craves “organization” and all his senses are activated.

And nowadays we do know that we can’t really spoil a baby if we pick him up when he cries. Not doing so might injure him permanently, making his brain sensitive to future trauma. And babies who have all the snuggles they ask for grow up to be happier adults.

6. Babycarrying may be the best investment in his life.

Touch is a critical sense for the baby, arguably the most important one, and by being carried it is constantly stimulated.

With regular but changing and varied contact, it is constantly stimulated and it creates connections that develop the brain.

We are born with almost all the neurons we have as adults, and from there we “just” need to create millions of connections; babycarrying would greatly help.

In addition, newborns who otherwise would not have access to it are part of The Action. It’s like a roller coaster of feelings, while staying in baby “containers” is often unstimulating and make them signal their boredom.

Evelyn Kirkilionis even argues that the pendulum motion of some baby containers is so monotonous that it would force them to fall asleep not to be bored.

Other arguments are that children who access more quickly their development stages, or milestones, have a greater opportunity to develop. And like the famous book How to Parent says, offering the best to children in their first years would properly develop their brains for future usefulness.

Another benefit is that babycarrying, by careful monitoring and the light sleep it promotes, helps avoiding the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Babycarrying 101: 10 Surprising Reasons to Practice Babywearing, Blog This Parenting Thing (3 free ebooks)

7. This is what he asks [or cries] for.

Sure, there may be exceptions, but they are rare. Generally babies are soothed and comforted by one form or another of carrying.

They like to be close to their parents’ smell; their sense of smell is highly developed.

They are reassured at the sight of their parent. As the newborn’s sight is not well developed, the parent ensures he stays close enough and responds to his signals.

Babies are also reassured by the protection offered in-arms. They do not instinctively know that home or means of transportation are safe, away from the parent, as they are still programmed not to be in danger in more natural circumstances, where predators lurk.

Babies calm down when held or carried, confirming that nature made us to be worn at a young age. Strollers or car rides are alternatives for these predispositions to be worn.

It would take as much as 9 months before the baby understands that a parent or an object exists even if he doesn’t see it, touch it, or hear it. Physical proximity calms the baby’s and the parents’ anxiety.

8. Have something to do?

No need to wait until the baby is finally asleep to go about our business.

Many parents work well in their regular jobs by babycarrying. As a matter of fact, I created this article doing so.

You can do it almost anywhere, summer and winter, and in the latter case preferably in the parent’s coat for better temperature regulation. For example, you can do it during long walks, in the bus, or in crowded places.

9. Do you want what’s best?

This seems obvious, but studies show that even a small babywearing episode provides better attachment bonds at 12 months.

I observed that several carried babies have difficulty separating from their main parent provider at only a few months, which indicates a good attachment experience. This very strong bond tends to leaf, later on, to an earlier autonomy because they are sure to be safe with a caring parent if they need him. For example, African children, who are in general carried a lot, are leaders in the age to walk.

Babycarrying 101: 10 Surprising Reasons to Practice Babywearing, Blog This Parenting Thing (3 free ebooks)

10. Babycarrying could be the most effective tool for a gentle revolution worldwide.

The late John Holt, an education leader, advanced one or two generations of happy babies could change the world.

A Native American saying tells that it’s necessary to measure the impact of our choices on the seventh generation.

A revolution supporting babycarrying brings hope for a better world for us and our descendents.

Will you support it?

 

Wear Baby Free Poster: 10 Reasons to Carry our Baby #WearAllTheBabies #BabycarryingRevolution @ThisParentingThing

Wear Baby Free Poster: 10 Reasons to Carry our Baby #WearAllTheBabies #BabycarryingRevolution @ThisParentingThing

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Resources, books

A Baby Wants to Be Carried
Colic Solved!
The Continuum Concept
Our Babies, Ourselves
Growing Up in a Culture of Respect
How to Parent

 

Did you or do you carry your baby? If so, what is most memorable for you? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

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Marie-Eve Boudreault

Mom of 4, write, blogger since 2009, with a bachelor's degree in sociology and a passion for childhood anthropology, I share my latest stories, inspiration, blogged books, and research on natural parenting blogs I founded, mainly on my other baby, This Parenting Thing.
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4 comments
The Baby K'tan Babycarrier Review You Might Need to Read - This Parenting Thing - 11 months ago

[…] (the one called “hug”) position is excellent as you keep an eye on him at all times and he is in the supportive frog position that prevents hip dysplasia. For the same reasons, I would not use the baby facing forward (“adventure”) position […]

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pokemongo - 8 months ago

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