The fourth trimester is of utmost importance. This is the period of the first three months after the birth when the baby is in dire need of its parents, because it is not fully physically developed. Babies are born with a weak eyesight, poor thermoregulation, and a very low muscle tone. They need physical support for their backbone, neck and legs, their nervous system is also immature, so the touch, warmth, and sounds (such as pulse, voice, and movement) of their mother’s body calms them.
While carrying the baby in a sling, we support the correct C-shaped curve of the child’s back. The knees of the baby should be positioned higher than the bottom and wrapped from one end to the other with the sling. The position that the legs and bottom is called “M position” or “froglet” position.
Babywearing has numerous benefits for the babies:
- When carried, babies are calmer and sleep longer, both during the day and the night.
- Their digestion is better due to the upright position during babywearing, and the reflux and colic symptoms are relieved.
- Babywearing helps reduce the crying periods of the child almost by half. There are studies that show 43% reduction in the crying sessions of babies in general, and more than 50% in those during the night.
- The contact with the parent helps improve thermoregulation, heart, and lungs functions. Also, when a child listens to their parent’s breathing, it learns and acquires this rhythm, which also reduces the risk of the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Babywearing helps improve the baby’s muscle tone.
- Babies who are carried interact with the environment easier and better.
- Prematurely born children, who are carried in a sling, gain weight faster and have better developed thermoregulation function.
Babywearing has benefits for the parents too:
- Parents who carry their children can enjoy a closer bond and learn how to respond to their child’s needs faster. They are more resistant to postpartum depression and show less symptoms of such. Also, it has been proven that physical closeness of the mother and the child stimulates the production of oxytocin, which has positive impact on the psychological and emotional health, both of the mother and the child.
- Babywearing makes breastfeeding easier outside and even on the go. Also, the close contact boosts lactation.
- Using a baby carrier means that you have two free hands, which makes everyday life so much easier. If you have an older child, the use of a baby carrier allows you to take care of its needs too, and reduces the competition for the parent’s attention.
- Carrying your child will help you continue living as before to a great extent, you will be calmer and will deal with everyday chores at home and outside easily.