Friday, November 19, 2010

Baby Wearing

So thinking back to my son's Mai Tai carrier gave me an idea for a post. Baby Wearing! What carriers are best, at what age are they great? What are the benefits of Baby Wearing?
For our son I had all intentions of baby wearing. My friend had made me a Mai Tai and and Ring Sling. They matched and were very adorable. She owns a company called Coopadilly Creations. You can find them on facebook ( ). I had every intentions of using the ring sling from NB on and the Mai Tai to fill in. Instead I gave birth to a almost 10 lbs baby, so the ring sling killed my back in the NB position. I tried the Mai Tai and found I liked that so much better. As he got older though and could sit up and hold his head up I found that the Ring Sling was much nicer. I could wear him on my hip and not only did I feel secure but it didn't hurt my back. Unfortunately just as I had made this discovery, no more than a few months later he began walking. Now he insists on walking everywhere, so I think my baby wearing days are over at least until our next one.
Here is a picture of of the three main ways we tried baby wearing. I couldn't find any good pictures of us baby wearing. The two main ones we used were the Mai Tai and the ring sling side toddler hold.

So what are the benefits of baby wearing?
Babies cry less. Research has shown that babies who are carried cry (on average) 43% less overall and 54% less during the evening hours (1). In cultures where babies are carried almost continuously, babies cry much less than those in non-carrying cultures (2-6).
Good for baby's mental development. Babies spend more time in a "quiet, alert state" when carried - the ideal state for learning. Their senses are stimulated while being carried (yet there is a place to retreat too). When carried, your baby sees the world from where you do, instead of the ceiling above his crib or people's knees from a stroller. And the extra stimulation benefits brain development.
Good for baby's emotional development. Babies are quickly able to develop a sense of security and trust when they are carried. They are more likely to be securely attached to their care-giver/s (7) and often become independent at an earlier age (8).
Good for baby's physical development. By being so close to your body's rhythms, your newborn "gets in rhythm" much more quickly. Your heartbeat, breathing, voice and warmth are all familiar. Research has shown how this helps newborns (especially premature babies) to adapt to life outside the womb (9).
Good for babies whose mums are depressed. Babies who are not held need more verbal interaction and eye contact, just to be reassured that you're there. Carrying your baby is a great way to connect with her (and provide stimulation too) without the "burden" of having to interact (10). Of course your baby is "right there" to enjoy whenever you feel like snuggling, kissing or talking.
It's great for other people who look after your baby:
Partners who work away from home, relatives and babysitters all have a ready way of connecting with and soothing your baby when they wear him too!

    1 year

    So this blog hit 1 yr old on the 9th of this month. I have been so busy I forgot until today. In honor of that though and in honor of Thanksgiving I am going to put something I am thankful for green related or not in here everyday until Thanksgiving.
    I am thankful that for one year now I have been able to reach even a few Mommies and either helped them become greener or at the very least gave them things to think about. It's been a really crazy year. It's hard to believe that a year ago I had the idea to start this blog while my NB son was strapped to my chest in his mai tai carrier and we were walking around a crafts festival talking to local green producers. It's also hard to believe that my little tiny baby is not the hulking 3 ft tall walking, talking, running, toddler I see before me now. So for all you Green Mommies out there, I hope that your holidays are lovely and that in the coming year we all continue to be Green.

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