Let’s face it - living in these times, as the world faces this deadly coronavirus pandemic, is stressful for all of us! Many moms are having to take on the extra role of working from home, juggling childcare duties and a full workload. Stay at home moms are facing a new reality where they hardly ever leave the house at all, balancing homeschooling older children and keeping younger children entertained. Moms who work in “essential” jobs must face the reality that they may expose themselves or their little ones to the virus at any time. Stress affects all mothers.
There is one way to proactively deal with stress in both mothers and babies: babywearing.
Although babywearing has been around for centuries, it has lessened in popularity in the Western world. Babywearing is so beneficial for both mothers and babies, and many companies like KeaBabies are seeking to promote healthy parent-child bonding through babywearing. Babywearing can effectively ease stress and promote feelings of safety and security for infants, which is why it is so important in times like these!
One way babywearing helps avoid stress is through promoting secure mother-child attachment. A 1990 study found that babywearing infants promote secure attachment through high levels of maternal touch, enhancing the bond and attachment between mother and child. In other words, the closer your baby is to you, the more safe and secure she’ll feel!
Babywearing may help infants deal with stress due to two factors: touch and motion. Carrying your baby in an infant carrier promotes feelings of wellness due to increased physical touch. A baby being held in a carrier can hear the mother’s heartbeat, smell their mother’s scent, feel the softness of her clothes, and feel the rhythmic pattern of rising and falling as the mother breathes. Babies are also soothed by the motion of being carried. After all, babies spent 9 months in the womb being rocked and carried around! It’s no surprise that infants are soothed by motion, and the motion of babywearing is the perfect way to calm a stressed child.
Another fascinating study conducted in 1986 found that babywearing actually reduces the amount a baby cries - by up to 54%! In the study, the mothers that wore their babies for at least 3 hours a day were able to reduce the amount their babies cried throughout the day. A 1998 study of babies and parents in Africa had similar findings: In a culture where babies are almost continuously held, the babies had significantly less fussing and crying. Babies cry for a number of reasons, but most of the time they can be soothed by being held close to a caregiver. Help your baby feel safe and calm by wearing them in a carrier such as the KeaBabies Wrap Carrier!
Babywearing can greatly benefit moms, too. Studies found that babywearing even benefited depressed mothers, as babies responded positively to a mother’s touch and physical closeness. Even when you are feeling stressed, babywearing can help you nurture your child and promote healthy parent-child interactions. Babywearing also stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone necessary for combating stress by reducing blood pressure and cortisol levels.
If you’re feeling stressed, or your baby seems overly agitated, give babywearing a try! You can wear your baby, even if you’re just walking around your own house. All babies can benefit from babywearing. If you do need to go out to run errands, babywearing can also help keep your little one protected from germs!
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.