Monday, May 24, 2010

Does Babywearing mean carrying your baby all the time?

During the course of promoting babywearing, we are fortunate to be able to encounter firsthand the concerns of parents or caregivers about wearing their babies.

The most often met question is, "I wonder if I will ever need a baby carrier, because I don't want to carry my baby all the time."

Firstly, allow us to clarify the term babywearing and what it means. Babywearing is the practice of wearing or carrying a baby in any forms of a baby carrier including slings and wraps irregardless of the length of time.

Secondly, let us explain that all babies need to be carried at some point, be it for a hug or if they need to be fed or any other reasons. Many times new parents do find that babies are not meant to be left alone on the bed and that they can frequently cry to be picked up. This differs between babies as well as their ages. It doesn't necessarily translate into manipulative action and a baby really cannot be spoilt by being carried.

A baby who has been in utero for the past 9 months really is used to being part of the mother and the motion that the mother engages in a daily manner. As a result, after being born (and detached) from the mother through birth, it may be rather unreasonable to expect that the baby can immediately lie down on his or her back for long hours without needing the same motion, especially since the new world is still very unfamiliar to them. In fact, putting babies on their backs for long hours or leaving them to cry it out for long periods is shown to be harmful.

A baby sling, wrap or carrier can be useful for such moments, as it allows us to carry our baby safely while being hands free to go about our daily chores.

However it is a misconception that babywearing means carrying your baby all the time. While babywearing is healthy and is instrumental in early bonding, it certainly doesn't mean that you need to carry your baby all the time. There will come time when your baby will learn how to crawl (that won't be long) and eventually learn how to walk, and that will be the time to let go and allow him or her to start exploring. At times they may still need to be carried, perhaps for a nap when out on long trips or when they get too tired to walk (remember their legs are short compared to ours) and that's when an ergonomic carrier is still useful. Other times, they will be happy to just get down and explore.

By then, you will probably be glad you decided to babywear. Because babies grow up so fast, they will not want you to carry them very soon (even if you want to).
Babywearing a toddler who needed a nap during a shopping trip


  1. I love this statement you have in your post, that "a baby really cannot be spoilt by being carried"! Yes! It is ridiculous to think that! Baby wearing is the most natural, age-old practice and it is only in modern times that we are taught not to carry our babies for fear of spoiling them. I always tell people who "warn" me of the "ills" of carrying my baby (almost all the time) that if it were really so, we'd have tribes and generations of spoilt children. I say, CARRY THEM ALL THE TIME! Once they're old enough, they wouldn't want to be carried anymore!

  2. Amazing post! You inspire me to stay active, maybe not as active as you per say, but active. To long, happy, and healthy lives for my baby too!
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