Q&A With Dr. Aliya: What Is Baby Wearing & Should I Do It?

Dr. Aliya explores the new trend of baby wearing and what benefits it may have for you and your baby

Q. I’m pregnant with my first child and am interested in baby wearing. What are the benefits to wearing my baby and is there a correct way?

A. The phrase “baby wearing” is used to describe the revived custom of carrying infants in cloth carriers on the parent’s body. Although it has recently been gaining popularity in western society, many cultures around the world have been using this method of baby transport for centuries.

Benefits

There are numerous benefits to baby wearing for both parent and infant. It’s been shown that infants who are carried are generally calmer because all of their primal/survival needs are met. Their caregiver can be seen, heard, smelled, touched and provide feeding if needed. 

“Skin to skin” contact is maintained and a strong bond between baby and parent is established. The constant motion and rhythm has a balancing and soothing effect on infants, resulting in less crying and fussing.

Baby wearing offers parents practicality and freedom to multi-task while attending to their little one—a more “hands-free” approach. It is also a safer and back saving alternative to lugging around a heavy, bulky car seat.  

How should I wear my baby?

There are correct and incorrect ways to wear your baby and certain safety precautions must be considered. 

The ideal way to baby wear is with baby in front, facing the parent with legs spread apart and bent 90 degrees in a seated position. This position is ideal for healthy, natural development of the hip joint and limits potential for future hip problems.  

Other methods that also work well are side carry on the parent’s hip or back with legs flexed, both of which may be used as baby gets older.

Here are a few more guidelines and safety basics:

  • Always keep slings and carriers snug
  • Baby should be in your view at all times
  • Baby’s head should be close enough for you to kiss
  • Keep baby’s chin off of their chest
  • Support baby’s back and keep their tummy and chest against yours
  • Do not wear baby while cooking or working with sharp or hot objects
  • Do not ride a bicycle while wearing baby

Studies of parent-child attachment, parental satisfaction and infant health all point to baby wearing as an ideal solution for parents to provide an optimum environment for child development.   As with any skill, baby wearing can take a bit of practice but the benefits are amazing!

Do you have a question for Dr. Aliya? Send an email to editor@babypost.com with Dr. Aliya in the subject line and check back every Thursday to see what Dr. Aliya is writing about each week!

A health practitioner, chiropractor and acupuncturist with a distinct integrative care approach, Aliya brings extensive experience in peri-natal and pediatric wellness to her clinical practice at Restore Integrative Health in Toronto. She is also a runner, yoga instructor and new mother.

Follow her on Twitter @AliyaVisramDC or on Instagram @DrAliyaVisramDC

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