Does babywearing make babies clingy?

The short answer for me to this question certainly is a big and fat NO!

But then, I don’t believe in anything that makes babies “clingy”. In fact, I don’t like the word in itself. For me, it has a negative feel to it. As if your baby wanting to be close to you is a bad thing and should be discouraged because how on earth will your baby ever become independent?

Well, my own little girl loved to be close to me from day 1 (and hasn’t changed one little bit in the last 3 1/2 years). In the early days she only fell asleep while being held or carried and only stayed asleep in this position too. She still needs me now with 3 ½ years to cuddle her to sleep. And while this can be exhausting at times, I know that soon enough she won’t need me anymore and I will miss those sleepy cuddles.

Me and my husband have carried her most of the time when she was little, but when she started crawling and walking, she became more and more independent. I was sad, when she didn’t want to be carried anymore. Luckily, our current travels in Canada and Germany have allowed me to carry my not so little girl again. Reminding me of those early days of her life – just adding another 12kg to the initial 3kg.

Fourth trimester and babywearing

The first three trimesters of pregnancy, the time when your baby is closest to you in your tummy, is extended by another trimester: the fourth trimester. This means, that during the first three months of your baby’s life she will want to be as close to you as possible.

Just imagine that you have been living in a nice and warm environment, with not too much noise or light and you have never felt what it means to be hungry. And then you get thrown into this new world, which is cold, loud, bright and suddenly you are hungry too. Wouldn’t you also want to be as close as possible to your former warm, quiet and dark home?

It really is very natural for newborns that they want to be held by us, where they can feel our warmth and where they can snuggle into us for less noise and less light. This is also where their food comes from, so why should they want to be anywhere else?

Babywearing simply is a tool to help you keep your baby close, when she needs it most, while you also keep your hands free to do all those other things that need to get done.

Will my baby ever not need me?

Let me ask you another question? Will you not ever need your parents in some way or another? I’m in my mid-thirties and even though I live on the other side of the world than my parents and we don’t talk to each other every day or even every week, I still sometimes feel that I need them, or at least their advice.

Your baby’s needs will change as they grow. They most certainly won’t need you as intensely as they used to as newborns, babies and toddlers. They will start sleeping in their own beds, they will start sleeping through the night, they will be able to dress themselves and go to the toilet by themselves, they will learn how to eat by themselves and eventually how to make their own meals.

They will also learn how to crawl and walk, and they will want to practise those skills. Which means they don’t want to be carried anymore. But while they are toddlers babywearing may still be a helpful tool to keep your little one close in bigger crowds or to comfort them.

But even when they have learned all those skills and are independent young people, they will still need YOU as their mama! This is what we are here for after all.

So, no. I don’t think that babywearing will make your baby clingy or highly dependent on you. I believe that babywearing can be a great tool to meet your baby’s needs and will in fact allow for your baby to create a healthy attachment, which will then help your baby to grow up to become an independent adult.

What about you?

Has anyone ever told you that babywearing will make your baby clingy? What has been your response?


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