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Carrying your baby

Carrying your baby

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A new idea?

Carrying a baby using carriers, wraps or slings may seem like a new idea, but in fact families have always carried their babies this way.

It is only relatively recently in our Western culture that we shifted from carrying our babies everywhere using scarves, shawls and slings and began to pop them in prams, buggies and cars or a pen or cot whilst we get on with our daily life.

Carrying babies can make life a lot easier for parents, but also has important benefits for the health and development of babies.

Why carry your baby?

  • Far from ‘spoiling’ your baby, lots of physical contact is really important to them – aiding their development, growth and encouraging positive attachment.
  • Carrying your baby comforts them, as they can more easily see you, smell you and hear you.
  • It’s good for you too, for exercise and strength – every day that your baby gets heavier, your muscles get stronger. Some parents even take part in “Slingswing” classes too, for fun baby-friendly exercise.
  • Buggies, pushchairs and car seats can be heavy, bulky, difficult to manoeuvre and store, whereas your child alone is much easier to move around.
  • Carrying your baby in a carrier, wrap or sling leaves your hands free to do other things, giving much more freedom of movement.
  • Your baby feels more involved in your daily life – seeing more of the world around them, whilst still having the security and comfort of being close to their parent.
  • Babies who are worn as babies tend to be more independent, assertive and more socially aware as children.
  • Dads can enjoy the closeness and bonding with their baby that carrying them brings.
  • Having skin to skin with baby, for mum or dad, is easy when baby is in a sling. See our “Importance of skin to skin” webpage, to find out more about the value of skin to skin.
  • Carrying your baby can help with breastfeeding too – encouraging baby to feed, making discreet breastfeeding easier and allowing mothers to feed whilst on the go!

Especially good for the early days

‘Wearing’ your baby after birth is often called ‘Kangaroo care’. See our “Kangaroo care information sheet” to find out how carrying your baby close in the early days regulates their temperature, breathing and oxygen levels, calms and soothes, aids their restful sleep, reduces pain and stress, lowers the risk of infection, promotes breastfeeding and usually means shorter stays in hospital.

How do I find out more?

For more information on the variety of different ways you can carry your baby, how beneficial it can be and how to find your local sling library and local sling ‘communities’, visit the Babywearing UK, School of Babywearing and Infant Sleep Information Source websites.

Safety first!

It is very important to follow the ‘TICKS’ guidance sheet below to make sure you keep your baby close and keep your baby safe while carrying them in sling or baby carrier.
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A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham