I feel like I am incredibly lucky that I have a husband who has been onboard with babywearing right from the start! We were shown how to use a stretchy wrap at our antenatal class and used it both to carry our daughter. He then went on and carried her in a meh dai, a soft structured carrier and now an onbuhimo. Pretty awesome if you ask me!
But why was he so keen to carry our daughter in a carrier? Well, here are 5 reasons or benefits why babywearing is great for dads:
1. Create a strong bond with your child
When I think about babywearing and all its advantages, bonding always comes first to my mind. No matter how old the child or who the babywearer is. Naturally, we all want to bond with our children or grandchildren and babywearing can be such a helpful tool for this.
It can be difficult for new dads to create a bond with their newborn. A mother has already had 9 months to bond with her child and while recovering from birth most mums will spend a lot of time with their newborn.
From the day we started babywearing my husband told me that he wanted to wear our daughter as well. Sometimes we even had a small argument about who would get to wear our daughter. Through babywearing my husband created a strong bond between himself and our daughter. He (and me for that matter) loved to feel her warmth, breath and all those tiny little movements and noises that babies make. Because my husband wore our daughter so much, he was also able to read her cues often even better than me.
2. Give your wife a break
Especially in the early days most mums do a lot of the work around caring for their child. They are usually the ones who breastfeed (and even with bottle feeding they often do most of the work) and therefore wake up multiple times during the night. I remember that my husband and I agreed that I would feed baby at night but would then wake him to change her nappy. This worked well for a while, but while I was already awake, my husband was always still half asleep, when changing our daughter which involuntarily caused multiple pee accidents. This usually ended up in me getting out of bed as well to help him. In the end it was easier for both of us that I did the nappy change after each feed myself and not wake him so he could rest and go to work in the morning.
In return though my husband regularly took our daughter in the carrier and went for a walk with her to give me some time and space to rest and have a break or cook dinner without a baby in the carrier.
3. Get baby to sleep in no time
The most common time my husband would babywear our daughter was in the evening. Once our daughter was fed and changed and was ready for bed, he would put her in the carrier and go off to walk around the neighbourhood, gently singing to her. There were times he didn’t even make it down the road to the park, so quickly did the gentle movement of his walking and his warmth lull our baby to sleep.
I know that he has cherished those evening walks and is sad that those times came to an end when our girl was about 18 months old.
4. Work out and get stronger
Even if you are not one who is overly interested in workouts, you won’t be able to ignore that babywearing will give you a workout nonetheless, especially when time passes, and your baby turns into a heavy toddler.
The great thing about babywearing as a workout is that your strength will grow with your baby (this is obviously the same for mums and dads). You start out with only about 3 to 5kg and gradually increase to 15kg and more, depending on how long you will carry your child.
We love tramping in our little family and my husband, and I wanted to carry on this passion of ours even after our daughter was born. It wasn’t that easy to realize (particularly for me), but we did manage to pull off a few tramping trips which were even overnight. This meant carrying our daughter and all our gear as well. Not an easy task and certainly a decent workout.
5. Get work done
Not only mums need to get things done. Dads do too, and it certainly helps when you can wear your child. In the early days my husband would go for a walk with our daughter until she fell asleep. Then he would come home and get work done on the computer, while still wearing our daughter, because she only wanted to sleep close to one of us.
I also remember this one time, when he needed to mow the lawn. He put her in the carrier on his back, put earmuffs on her ears and got it done. Funny enough she even fell asleep, while he was busy mowing.
Why do you (if you’re a dad) or why does your husband love to babywear?
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