I was given several slings while pregnant with my daughter, and I never could have imagined then how useful a sling would be after my bundle of joy arrived. The sling gave me the ability to do many activities “hands-free” while keeping my baby close. I have vacuumed, done laundry, prepared meals (but not cooking on a hot stove!), hiked trails, grocery shopped, played Frisbee with my dog, and safely navigated a few airports, all with my baby girl safely tucked against my chest. With some practice I even learned to breastfeed my daughter in the sling. As you can imagine, slings are a great bonding tool for mothers and babies, but fathers and other caregivers can also wear the baby. I have some pretty funny memories of my Husband wearing our 9 month old daughter in my bright red Moby Wrap! Baby wearing by other caregivers not only provides mom with a break, it also allows those loved ones to connect and build a close relationship with the baby. The “skin-to-skin” contact also regulates the baby’s heart rate and temperature - not to mention the fact that babies are just a lot happier when they are close to their mom or other loved ones. Wearing my daughter in a sling also helped me connect with her during the very challenging 1st 6-weeks of her life when I was exhausted and depressed. But you don’t have to believe just my own experience! Let’s take a look at the research.
The Research: More Secure Attachments
From my own experiences and from research findings, it seems obvious that babywearing has many benefits, but is it really safe? When baby slings are worn properly, they can be safe, but it’s very important to follow a few important safety guidelines. As with any baby product, you must learn to use slings properly and always keep safety in mind. In our next post, we’ll give you a brief overview of the recent safety warnings from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and share some guidelines for wearing slings safely. Stay tuned!
Next time: The Bad: Recent Warnings from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission About Sling Use
1. Anisfeld E, Casper V, Nozyce M, 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.
2. Hunziker UA, Garr RG. (1986) Increased carrying reduces infant crying: A random-ized controlled trial. Pediatrics 77:641-648