I believe that soon to be mums and dads should be made aware of babywearing well before their baby is due to arrive. In my opinion the topic of babywearing should be part of any antenatal course.
I was lucky enough that the antenatal course I chose to attend introduced me to babywearing. During the course me and my husband where shown how to use a stretchy wrap and we were able to practise. After this session I knew that I would be getting a stretchy wrap for my unborn baby and I felt confident enough to use it.
But why should you learn about babywearing before you have your baby?
The fourth trimester
The main reason for me why parents should learn about babywearing before they have their baby is the fourth trimester.
The fourth trimester describes the first three months after a baby has been born. Developmentally, babies would benefit from staying in their mother’s womb longer than nine months. But because a babies’ brain and head are rather big, they would not fit through the birth canal any later. Therefore, newborn babies will continue to develop their brains and bodies and will need extra support from their caregivers during this time.
When a baby is born, its world changes rather drastically. While it was in her mother’s womb it experienced soft red light, muted sounds, the wave like sound of her mother’s blood and constant gentle movement. But once a baby is born, it will experience bright light, loud sounds and perhaps a motionless place where she is supposed to sleep.
How can babywearing help?
Babywearing helps to recreate a womb like environment for your baby. When your baby is in a carrier, he will be close to you. It will be warm, he will hear your heartbeat, he will be able to smell you, and he will be able to experience a constant gentle movement from your body.
While babywearing is great to get out and about with your child, it is even better for helping your newborn child to adjust to the world around it! Your baby will feel protected and secure when they are close to you which supports your babies’ development during the fourth trimester.
The benefits for parents
But not only babies benefit from being carried during the first few months of their lives. You as their parent will also hugely benefit. Because, when you are carrying your baby and holding it close, the hormone oxytocin will be released. This hormone helps you to relax, feel less stressed and bond with your child. Because it is not only your baby who needs to adjust to a new world, you will also need to adjust to a whole new world of being a parent!
Have you used babywearing to support your baby and yourself during the fourth trimester?
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