Why would I choose to carry my baby? This is an easy question, but there’s no one-word answer.
My first, and most important point, is how it makes me feel. I enjoyed cuddling my newborn; a lot! There aren’t many things that compare to casually strolling around with your brand new sleeping baby on your front. It’s warm, it’s cosy, it’s so natural. I know my little girl loved it too from day one, she was happy to fall asleep on me in our first mei tai, and it was often the only thing to calm her down. As she grew older, we both enjoyed the little chats that babywearing, and having her at my eye level brought.
Babies want to be kept close and know they’re being looked after, the real world is an unfamiliar and daunting place at first. Your baby will be involved with more of your conversations with other adults, less likely to suffer from flat head syndrome, and evidence suggests your body heat will maintain their temperature too, even if they’re unwell. Babywearing will also help you if your child suffers from digestive problems and colic.
Babywearing is genuinely more convenient. I can hop on and off buses and the London Underground with no bother. I’m not the most patient person so I hate waiting for lifts with a pushchair, uneven pavements, tree roots or a walk in the countryside are no extra concern at all. Now my daughter is older and walks everywhere, I find it much easier to carry a baby carrier with me in case she gets tired, and still have my hands free to hold her hand.
I also used my slings a lot with my daughter when she was a baby to allow me time to prepare dinner, or tidy our house.
Another thing to consider, as everyone seems to ask what I’d do if I slipped, is that I’m considerably better able to catch myself and break a fall if I have my hands free. I often see parents pushing a pushchair with one hand, and holding a tired toddler in the other arm.
I’ve included a couple of links at the bottom to research collated by Didymos (click here to be taken to the Didymos article) and Storchenwiege (click here for the Storchwiege website). There’s some useful information on them, so take a look when you have the time.