To take your baby with you, consider this light and easy-to-use carrier.
Many young mothers are enthusiastic about carrying their baby in a sling, which is as reassuring as it is practical. Elise Drouin, mother, specialist in childcare and baby-carriers, offers her advice on the subject.
Where do baby slings originate?
Elise Drouin: Baby slings have been in use in Asia, South America, and Africa for a long time. Depending on the country, the techniques differ, but the benefits of prolonged closeness are universally recognized. The wrap is surely one of the simplest means of carrying: no pressure, no metal or plastic buckle. From birth, a baby can be carried safely until he or she becomes too heavy.
How does it benefit the baby’s development?
At birth, the baby has just spent over nine months in warmth, feeling all the movements of its mother, hearing her heart. Being coiled up against her allows the baby to regain these sensations, to be rocked, and to calm down. In addition, the warmth of the mother, what the baby feels, what they see, what they hear, stimulates their senses. Thanks to these moments of intimacy, parents and babies discover each other, touch and communicate. This enveloping contact can help strengthen the bond.
Do you see any benefits for the baby’s health?
Carrying the baby in a sling is recommended in order to keep their legs in a good position, thus allowing a harmonious development of the hip joints and the pelvic bones. In addition, it allows the child not to rest on the genitals. The child is seated and their legs are at the same height as the pelvis. In cases of gastric reflux, it also provides relief and relaxation. Last but not least, on the street, the child sits higher than in a stroller and is therefore less exposed to exhaust fumes.
Does the mother, or the other carriers, also benefit from it?
There are multiple benefits in using a sling. No more embarrassment for strollers on the bus or subway. Crowded sidewalks are no longer a problem. Another advantage for the father or mother is that back pain is almost non-existent because the weight is distributed over several areas: shoulders, chest, back and hips. In addition, the wearer keeps his or her hands free to go about domestic chores, cuddle baby or take care of an elder. Often, parents let their baby cry because they have other emergencies. With baby carrying, these dilemmas are over … very convenient at crying time in the evening! Around 8-9 months, when separation anxiety arrives, contact will reassure the baby. Finally, discreet breastfeeding is quite conceivable when the baby is in the wrap.
How do you put the child into the sling?
Positions vary according to age and development. A newborn baby can be carried close to you, facing you, in a cradle or hammock position. At about 4 months of age, the baby begins to wake up to the world and will be happy to look around and you can face him or her looking away from you. Around 8-9 months, when it can hold its back and head well, you can carry the baby on your hip or on your back, as preferred.
How is a classic baby carrier different?
In addition to the advantages already mentioned, the wrap lets you adjust it to each and every circumstance, whereas few baby carriers are really suitable for the various body types and are rarely comfortable for the wearer and even for the child. You can buy a sling in certain specialized stores or order it online. But the most economical solution is to make it yourself. It’s truly child’s play, because it is just a large rectangle of fabric!