What is Babywearing? – Tips and Benefits

Today I want to talk about a topic that I love and that is very related to breastfeeding, BABYWEARING, taking advantage of it is the international week of babywearing I decided to make this post to tell you what it is and so you can put it into practice.

What is babywearing?

Babywearing is the term used to describe the action of carrying the baby on us, or what is known as “ergonomic carrying”, babywearing is not a trend that emerged today, it existed in ancient times and can be said that is as old as the man, but the most representative are always the African tribe that carries their babies in their bodies, and the most beautiful thing is that this practice is carried out from generation to generation.

Masai women, traditional babywearing

It is made by several types of baby carriers such as the baby sling, mei tai, ring sling, ergonomic baby carrier backpacks, etc. We will be preparing reviews of each of them.

What is babywearing used for?

Imagine a baby who spent nine months inside his mother, listening to her heart, going out into the world, a completely new world, strange, mysterious, in which he does not feel safe, where can he find that security? In the breast of her mother of course! close to her body, listening to her heart, that heartbeat that accompanied him all that time.

This is known as exterogestacion, the second gestation of the baby or extrauterine gestation, alluding to the first 9 months outside the mother’s womb.

A baby raised in arms is a baby that feels safe, healthy and happy.

What are the benefits of babywearing?

The benefits are innumerable, both for the baby and for the mother, what does the mother gain from this practice?

FREEDOM, that freedom that we often can not have, because we want to be with our baby, we want to breastfeed him, we want to sleep by his side, but this implies having to abandon other daily tasks, taking the baby in a baby carrier gives us that freedom, of being able to do our daily routine normally with our baby accompanying us at all times.

We can clean the house, cook, shop, go for a walk, etc. without leaving our little one aside.

Most women who opt for babywearing say they feel like supermoms.

What are the benefits for the baby?

  • It promotes breastfeeding at free demand: by using a baby carrier we can breastfeed
    anywhere and at any time, the baby can practice breastfeeding at the free demand and we can do our daily tasks.
  • He gets used to mom’s routine: the ported baby gets used to her mother’s daily routine, he becomes more sociable, since he constantly listens to her mother talking to other people, gets used to everyday noises, does not get scared easily and can sleep even with noises.
  • They have less colic: the position and the constant balancing favor that the baby does not suffer from the terrible colic.
  • It is proven that babies who are ported, are calmer, and happier.

This is a picture
of Leonardo and me, you can see in his little face how happy he is off
being attached to me, and I am happier to have him around all the time.

  • Does it favor the bond between the mother and the child: the benefit in that sense is for both, the baby is happy to be attached to his mother and tell me, which mother is not happy, loves her baby and wants to hug him and fill him with kisses all the time? I think all of them, and I’m included in that category.

What types of baby carriers are there?

There are mainly 4 types of baby carriers, each has specifications for use according to the age and weight of the baby.

  • Sling: The sling is a long fabric of about 5 meters, there are elastics, semi-elastic, rigid and woven, there are also for warm climates that allow breathing.

It is used by means of knots, the best known to be the wrapped cross, but there is also an inverted cross, a hip, a back knot, etc. The knots we choose will be determined according to our needs.

The sling can be used from Newborn and is one of my favorites. It may seem a bit complicated at first but with practice, you become an expert.

  • Mei Tai: The mei tai is like a combination of the sling and the backpack, it is a square of fabric with 4 strips that go to the waist.

They are recommended after 4 months or more, when the baby has control of his head, although there is also evolutionary mei this that are adapted to carry a newborn.

  • Ring Sling: Ring sling is also recommended from Newborn, it consists of a long fabric and two rings can also be used in different positions.

The only thing that must be highlighted is that it is not a baby carrier indicated for use for prolonged periods of time since it distributes the weight to asymmetrically on only one shoulder. But they are ideal for walks, very comfortable and easy to use.

  • Ergonomic backpacks: Ergonomic backpacks are the easiest to place and the most
    practical, their use is recommended for babies over 6 months or those who can sit (depending on the brand we choose), although there are also evolutionary ergonomic backpacks that can be used from Newborn.

All the baby carriers mentioned can be used until 2 or 3 years of age of the baby, but there are also backpacks and mei tais for toddlers that can be used even up to 5 or 6 years of the child.

Why is it called “ergonomic portage”?

Not all baby carriers are ergonomic, some parents think that carrying your baby in any baby carrier is good but this is not the case.

They sell many ” hanging backpacks” that are much cheaper and many parents use them, what they do not know is that they are highly harmful to the baby.

They do not respect the the natural shape of their body, because they are hanging, their legs are hanging and the backpack exerts pressure on their genitals, that position can cause problems in the baby’s hip known as hip dysplasia.

In the image, you can see how a baby looks in a hanging backpack and an ergonomic backpack.

The ergonomic baby carriers, on the other hand, respect the natural shape of the baby’s body, the knees are positioned above the tail and the back has a C shape.

What should I keep in mind when carrying out babywearing?

There are some safety measures or guidelines that must be followed to properly use an ergonomic baby carrier. Remember that it does not matter if you bought an ergonomic baby carrier, if you misuse it, it could still harm your baby.

The golden rules as I call them are these:

  • The baby should have the legs open, with the knees higher than the height of the tail.
  • The back has to have a curvature like a letter C.
  • The head of the baby should be at the height of a kiss, which means this ? not so high that it bothers us our visibility, and not so low where we have to bend down a lot to get a kiss on his head.
  • Always check that the baby is breathing properly, that the fabric does not cover his airways, especially while he sleeps.

I collect these YouTube videos where are explained the ways to use each of them if you want to see it.

How to use a Baby Sling

How to use a Mei Tai

How to use a baby Ring Sling

How to use an ergonomic backpack

I am preparing another post about the best baby carriers and a review of them if you are interested in using them.

Thank you very much for reading, please follow us on our social media so we can be in touch.

If you have any questions about babywearing or about breastfeeding please leave it
to me in the comments, I will be very happy to help you.

Happy Breastfeeding!

12 thoughts on “What is Babywearing? – Tips and Benefits

  1. Hi Pao! This is a very powerful post with tons of great information. I did not know that all baby slings are not created equal. It is very useful to know that the position of the knees is very important.
    I grew up in Africa and all the babies were carried by their moms in a sling made from a sheet. The baby was either behind the mom or to the sides. Is there any particular risk with having the baby behind you?


    1. Hi Mike thank you for commenting on your experience, about that question, you can carry the baby in the back even from newborn but it’s very tricky to do the knot and the newborns are so dedicated, but like you said the African tribes carry their baby on the back. You just have to pay special attention to hold the baby’s head with the fabric of the sling and check if the position is correct if it’s not blocked his airways and everything should be fine. 🙂

  2. This is a very useful information for every mother. I didn’t know that such positioning and choosing the right baby carriers to exist.

    You have given a FANTASTIC Review of not only the existing carriers in the market but also how to use them and choose the ones that are health friendly for the babies.

    This is indeed, a very good niche and I look forward to reading such useful information.
    Wishing you good luck and a HUGE Success.

  3. I think this is wonderful. I’ve heard many parents say that they didn’t want to ‘spoil’ their child as a result, they put them down and just let them cry it out. That may be true in some circumstances, but my husband – yes, husband – said the following, “The baby goes from being in mom’s belly for 9 months and then we expect the baby to just learn separation overnight.” That made a lot of sense to me.

    Thanks for this article.

    1. That’s so true but I can assure you No baby can be spoiled from receiving love NEVER, a baby becomes spoiled just when his parents start to give him things instead of paying attention.
      Thank you for reading 🙂

  4. Hi Pao 🙂 This is a very interesting subject because I see women carrying their babies all the time with these carriers. I can see why these are needed and how different they are made. It’s great for breast feeding and it’s wonderful the way you described the different safety features and how it’s comfortable for the baby too.
    I could never understand though how a woman can carry the baby. That’s strain I would think on your back and shoulders.
    My daughter is giving birth in 4 months. I’m going to forward this to her. She will need one of these for sure! Thank you for your expert article!

  5. Great post! There are so many more options now than when my daughter was an infant. I think they are the most amazing and helpful products for bonding with baby.

    I was able to get a sling, but it was very strange to use and made huge bulky knots so I had to be careful how I set myself up with it. However, my baby was happy in it. I got it from a Health Unit nurse who had just returned from missionary work.
    I also was given a pack, but I do not think it was the ergonomic kind and it had an annoying amount of straps.
    Thank you for this up to date information.

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing your experience 🙂 I’m sure your baby was happy because she was near you, every baby is happy listening to his mother’s heart.

  6. As a father of a daughter that was born 10 weeks premmie, I cannot hoghlight enough how good it is for baby to be carried around like this close to its parents. In the hospital they used to get us to do what they called ‘Kanga cuddles’ as it helped the baby so much.

    Great post and well done on highligting this in such as informative way.

    1. Hi Paul thanks for sharing your experience, that is so true, the skin to skin contact is so important to regulate their temperature and make them feel safe, its demonstrated that doing that technique make them recuperation faster. 🙂

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