& MORE BENEFITS
The kind that, after oh, 14 babies suffocated in, the CPSC finally put out a warning about. But rather than talking about what specific carriers are worrisome and what good positioning looked like, they instead issued a blanket statement warning parents against using slings for infants under 4 months..."
Please note that it is "bag-style" carriers (such as the Infantino and PreMaxx) that caused the CPSC to issue a warning against ALL baby carriers. There are MANY safe, good quality carriers out there. At HB, we're happy to talk to you about your carrier and help you get a proper fit and carry.
Is Babywearing Safe?, Babywearing International
Correct Positioning, M'Liss Stelzer, R.N.
Babywearing Safety Facebook Page
Not All Slings Are Created Equally - Baby Sling and Manufacturers Speak Out
CPSC Warning (includes positioning illustrations)
Benefits of Babywearing from TheBabyWearer.com:
Babywearing = keeping your baby happy + getting on with your life...
It's also great for your baby!
- 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 everyone who looks 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! Many people are discovering how well babywearing works in their lives. Try it for yourself and see!
1. Hunziker, U. A. and Barr, R, G. (1986). Increased carrying reduces infant crying: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics, 77, 641-8.
2. Barr, R. G. (1990). The Early Crying Paradox: A Modest Proposal. Human Nature, 1, 355-389.
3. Barr, R. G., Konner, M., Bakeman, R. and Adamson, L. (1991). Crying in !Kung San infants: a test of the cultural specificity hypothesis. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 33, 601-10.
4. Brazelton, T. B., Robey, J. S., Collier, G. A. (1969). Infant development in the Zintandeco Indians of Southern Mexico. Pediatrics, 44, 274-290.
5. Lee, K. (1994). The crying pattern of Korean infants and related factors. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 36, 601-7.
6. LeVine, R.A., LeVine, S., Dixon, S., Richman, A., Leiderman, P.H., Keefer, C. and Brazelton, T.B. (1994). Child Care and Culture: Lessons from Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
7. Anisfeld, E., Casper, V., Nozyce, M. and Cunningham, N. (1990). Does infant carrying promote attachment? An experimental study of the effects of increased physical contact on the development of attachment. Child Development, 61, 1617-1627.
8. Whiting, J. W. M. (1981). Environmental constraints on infant care practices. In R. H. Munroe, R. L. Munroe & B. B. Whiting (Eds.), Handbook of cross-cultural human development, New York: Garland STPM Press.
9. Ludington-Hoe SM, Swinth JY. (1996). Developmental aspects of kangaroo care. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 25, 691-703.
10. Pelaez-Nogueras M, Field TM, Hossain Z, Pickens J. (1996). Depressed mothers' touching increases infants' positive affect and attention in still-face interactions. Child Development, 67, 1780-92.
International Babywearing Week 2008
This Babywearing Fact Sheet contains information about babywearing, it's benefits and the Babywearing Week celebration.
Excerpt from "Mamatoto: A Celebration of Birth"
-written by Carroll Dunham and the Body Shop Team...
Benefits of Carrying
"Studies in Uganda have shown that babies who are carried in upright positions are quicker to walk, and develop faster in other areas too; the upright position heightens a baby’s visual alertness while developing muscles in the back and neck. Carried around all day, babies become familiar with their worlds as they watch from their secure vantage point. Because they’re held close and upright they stay calmer – studies show that they cry less than babies that aren’t carried regularly. Western parents are discovering that the sling is not only a liberating means of transporting babies, but also a perfect solution to the dilemma of how to cook supper and at the same time soothe a baby during those fussy evening hours."
Want to Learn More?
TheBabywearer.com has loads of great articles and links to babywearing research on their website, as well as a great section with personal stories, humor, and tips for babywearers.
Historical & Cultural Significance of Babywearing
"When we look back 8000 years, we find evidence that our ancestors always carried their babies close to them. It’s believed that baby-carrying devices may have been the earliest form of human tool. Some were made from animal skins. Today Mei-tais are still shaped like animal skins. The infant can curl up to sleep, rocked by its mother’s movements. Waking it can sit up and bounce, or play with mama’s hair, learning quickly how to nurse. The baby on the hip is at the same height as the fascinating world of older children, a constant source of entertainment. Used on a daily basis, the sling serves as stroller, playpen, rocking cradle, bouncing chair and infant seat rolled into one – a mobile child development center."
- From "Mamatoto: A Celebration of Birth" by Carroll Dunham & The Body Shop Team
"...With the emergence of scientific motherhood, and advice from parenting experts, parents were being encouraged to allow their children to become independent. They counseled that constantly carrying infants fostered dependency, contributed to being spoiled and hindered normal growth and development. This thought process opened the door to the use of manufactured infant carriers.
There has been a resurgence of the practice of baby carrying. For many it's called babywearing, and for others it's a part of what is known as attachment parenting..."
- Accompanying Narrative; Babycarrying: Celebrating a Timeless Tradition; Travelling Exhibitions, Inc.
"Touch meets a baby's needs for physical contact, affection, security, stimulation, and movement. Skin-to-skin contact is especially effective, such as during breastfeeding, bathing, or massage. Carrying or babywearing also meets this need while on the go. Hugs, snuggling, back rubs, massage, and physical play help meet this need in older children."
- Attachment Parenting International
"In recent years, more and more research has been conducted that details the benefits of attachment parenting, of which babywearing is one component. The Baby Book, by William and Martha Sears not only mentions babywearing, it had its own whole chapter! In Our Babies, Ourselves, Dr. Meredith Small concludes that keeping babies close has clear benefits for development. And in The Vital Touch, Dr. Sharon Heller looks at the ways nurturing touch contributes to children’s development, and how their absence may create or intensify problems."
- Marie Spadaro, Curriculum Director at Attachment Parenting International
Want to Learn More?
Read this article, "Baby Carriers - Cultural History" posted by Marion Badenoch Rose on the "Aware Parenting" Blog. This is the best article we've read on the cultural/historical significance of babywearing. It addition to historical information, the article includes a description of indigenous carriers by country/region.
HB loves babywearing!
Happy Bambino provides babywearing support to the Madison area. In the last four years, more than 700 customers have attended our monthly Art of Safe Babywearing class.
We know it usually takes a little bit of support to find and learn how to use the right carrier. That's why we spend an average of 15 minutes with each customer we help with carriers. In the past 5 years, we've sold over 5000 baby carriers - that translates to over 1250 hours of direct one-on-one babywearing education! Wowza!
Why are we so passionate about babywearing?
For starters, worn babies cry less and fall asleep more easily. Babywearing also promotes bonding, satisfies a baby’s need for interaction, and boosts parents' confidence. Holding babies is natural and universal; baby carriers make it easier and more comfortable, allowing parents and caregivers to hold or carry their children while attending to the daily tasks of living.
Happy Bambino was a proud sponsor of International Babywearing Weeks 2008 and 2009 as well as the Jennifer Rosenberg Babywearing Advocate of the Year Award (2008) and the Best Babywearing Outreach Program to Women in Need Award (2009).
HB Co-founders, Alison Dodge & Lea Wolf spoke at the second International Babywearing Conference in Chicago in 2008.
In 2009 we organized our first baby carrier drive for carriers to donate to young parents enrolled in the SAPAR (School-Aged Parents) program for Madison high schools.
Happy Bambino's Babywearing "Wall of Fame"
Happy Bambino was thrilled to join in the celebrations for the first annual International Babywearing Week, November 12-18, 2008. “Babywearing" simply means holding or carrying a baby or young child using a baby carrier. IBW Press Release
International Babywearing Week was presented by Babywearing International, Inc. (a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote babywearing as a universally accepted practice) and TheBabywearer.com (an Internet babywearing information resource).
The weeklong celebration was created to focus the world’s attention on the timeless and beautiful practice of babywearing. Local babywearing groups across the country and around the world are commemorating the week with special events and activities.
Happy Bambino was a proud sponsor of the first International Babywearing Week (2008) and the Jennifer Rosenberg Babywearing Advocate of the Year Award.
At home HB celebrated with an Art Exhibition that included:
- The traveling exhibit: Baby Carrying: A Timeless Tradition
- Commissioned artwork by local artist Rebecca Peragine, "Babywearing Across Time and Culture" (featuring babywearers from the Happy Bambino Community)
- Babywearing "Wall of Fame" - a tri-panel compilation of babywearing images from Madisonians around the world
In addition to the exhibition, HB hosted an Advanced Babywearing Class and a Babywearing Fashion Show, in collaboration with the Madison Babywearing Group.
Following is the text of the proclamation. The official copy is on display at Happy Bambino.
INTERNATIONAL BABYWEARING WEEK PROCLAMATION
November 12-18, 2008
WHEREAS, “Babywearing” is the practice of carrying or holding a baby or young child by means of wearing a baby carrier, which may be a simple, unstructured, piece of cloth or a more structured baby carrier with straps, buckles, rings, or other fasteners; and
WHEREAS, Babywearing has many benefits for children, including significantly decreasing crying and fussiness; easing the transition to sleep and promoting healthy sleep patterns; accelerating the growth of infants; increasing the amount of time spent in the “quiet alert” or “learning” state; and increasing the sense of security and attachment to the caregiver; and
WHEREAS, Babywearing benefits parents and other caregivers, significantly decreasing the stress associated with crying and anxious babies and young children as well as allowing them to more easily and comfortably care for their children while attending daily tasks of living; and
WHEREAS, thousands of volunteers working in their communities utilize their time and talent daily to make a real difference in the lives of children and caregivers through Babywearing education and advocacy; and
WHEREAS, during this week, all over the nation and world, service projects will be performed and volunteers recognized for their commitment to Babywearing advocacy; and
WHEREAS, our nation’s children and their caregivers are among our greatest treasures; and
WHEREAS, human touch, facilitated through Babywearing, is an important part of nurturing children and caregivers and has an important role in our future as a caring and productive nation;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mayor of the City of Madison, Wisconsin does hereby proclaim the week of November 12-18, 2008, as
INTERNATIONAL BABYWEARING WEEK
In the City of Madison and urge my fellow citizens to welcome, encourage and support the practice of Babywearing in their communities as well as their volunteer Babywearing educators and advocates.
Signed and sealed this 24th day of October 2008 at City Hall by Mayor David J. Cieslewicz
Babywearing is Awesome!
Babywearing has many benefits for parents and babies (see benefits tab below).
Contrary to recent media reports and a warning issued by the CPSC, baby carriers can absolutely be used safely! Babywearing has been done safely for millenia (see cultural & historical significance tab below) .
Safe babywearing includes:
1) Using a good quality carrier that is 2) properly fitted to the adult and
3) following instructions for positioning.
More safety information can be found in Happy Bambino's video:
"Safe Babywearing" and on the safety links tab below.
Happy Bambino offers a FREE Workshop on the Art of Safe Babywearing.
Sign up today!
Here is a great article on the baby spine development and baby carriers.