I've partnered with BabyBjorn to share the benefits of babywearing with you.
There is a lot to be said about wearing your baby, and thanks to innovative new concepts and advances in technology and materials, it’s easier than ever. I eased into babywearing with a wrap when my son was born 3 years ago and then transitioned to a soft structured carrier when he got a little bigger. I loved having him close while I was able to get things done around the house and he enjoyed being close to me as well. Then, as we started venturing out more, I liked having him in the carrier when we were in crowded places like our local farmer's market or mall. Not only can you rest assured knowing your little one is safe and can't wander off, it's so much easier than navigating a stroller through a crowd. Practical reasons aside though, there are so many benefits of babywearing. Here are just a few you may or may not know.
Benefits of Babywearing
1. Wearing your baby can help reduce fussiness. Before birth, babies are carried snugly inside their mother's womb while hearing the soothing sounds of her heartbeat and voice. Keeping them close to your body in a carrier or wrap gives them that closeness and security that they’re accustomed to, which results in a more content baby. Don't be fooled into thinking that a baby that's held often is likely to be "spoiled." Babies that are held closely are actually happier and better adjusted to the world around them.
2. Babywearing helps with the baby’s development, especially with neck strength. Before the newer "Back to Sleep" recommendations, many babies were placed on their stomachs to sleep. When they were awake, they’d push up with their arms and heads to look around. With the back to sleep movement to reduce SIDS, babies spend a lot of time on their backs and don’t get the strengthening exercises they once did, other than purposeful “tummy time” on the floor. When you’re holding your baby close to you, she’s able to strengthen her head and neck muscles all the time by looking around at her surroundings.
3. Babies in a carrier close to a caregiver can shut off the world when they get overstimulated. It's easy for a small baby to get overstimulated by the seemingly endless stream of people that want to "oh and ah" over them. When you're wearing your little one, they can nestle in closely to you and feel comforted by your heartbeat, your breathing pattern, and your rhythmic movements. After all, they spent 9 months inside of their mother and those are the sounds and movements they're used to. It's also easy for toddlers to get overstimulated by all the hustle and bustle of the world around them. It's reassuring to know they can retreat to the comfort of a baby carrier to relax and enjoy the ride.
4. Babywearing is safer. Have you ever tried to navigate a crowded shopping mall or a packed post office during the holidays while holding an infant (or worse, an infant in their car seat carrier) or while pushing a stroller? Your hands are full, you're trying not to bump into people - it's stressful! Wearing your baby eliminates all of those problems, and also frees your hands to hold onto siblings who may be tempted to run off.
5. You’ll get back to your pre-pregnancy weight faster. The more you weigh, the more calories you burn doing regular activities, and wearing your baby adds some additional weight so you'll burn more calories throughout the day. So, things like cleaning the house and grocery shopping while wearing your baby give you more calorie burn with little extra effort.
When it comes to babywearing, there are a lot of options out there. Wraps, Ring Slings, Pouch Slings, Mei Tais, Soft Structured Carriers, Wrap Conversions... it can be a bit confusing and overwhelming at first. I prefer the ease and comfort of a Soft Structured Carrier, like the Baby Carrier One Air from BabyBjorn. Not only is it very user-friendly, it's an adjustable "one-size fits most" carrier so my husband and I can both use it to wear our baby girl.
I had the opportunity to review the BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One a few years ago when it was first released and we had a great experience with it (make sure you check out that review for all the details of this carrier - it's very thorough). After trying several other soft structured carriers, I thought the Baby Carrier One was probably the most comfortable of them all and my husband agreed. It was easy to put on and resize quickly, and it offered multiple ways to carry our little guy. Unfortunately, as the summer rolled in, it became too hot and humid for us to use the carrier here in Florida so I sent it to my sister-in-law in Washington state. Admittedly, when I found out we were having another baby I started to feel a twinge of regret and wished I'd still had the Baby Carrier One, so it was really perfect timing when BabyBjorn offered to send me their new Baby Carrier One Air in Silver Mesh for our baby girl.
After using the Baby Carrier One Air, I'm thrilled to report that it's just as wonderful as the cotton mix Baby Carrier One. It's so comfortable thanks to the padded shoulder straps and waist belt, and the soft and airy fabric is perfect for our warm climate. Even in November, it's 80-90 degrees on most days, so having the breathability of the mesh fabric helps. It features an ergonomic wide-leg carrying position for baby and it's been acknowledged as a hip-healthy baby carrier by International Hip Dysplasia Institute. Another thing I love about this carrier is that you don't need a separate newborn insert so you can start using this carrier right away (as long as your baby is 8 pounds). There's a newborn seat position and an infant/toddler seating position and it's easy to adjust with just a quick zip. I also like that there are 4 carrying positions (newborn facing-in, infant/toddler facing-in, forward facing for 5 months and up, and baby carrying). My little lady really prefers to be held facing forward so I know she's going to love the Baby Carrier One Air for it's forward facing option.
Since the Baby Carrier One Air can be used with a newborn and until your child is age 3 and/or 33 pounds, you definitely get a lot of value for your investment. It's a higher price point than some of the other soft structured carriers on the market, but I think it offers superior comfort and quality. After reviewing several BabyBjorn products over the past few years (like their Travel Crib Light and Bouncer Balance Soft) I'm a huge fan of their baby gear.
The Baby Carrier One Air is available in black or silver mesh, and you can purchase it on Amazon.com and other major retailers.
Disclosure: I received this item to review at no cost. Amazon links are affiliate links.