Babywearing is the practice of carrying your baby (or even toddler) close to you in a carrier or sling. Not only does babywearing free up your hands to take care of yourself, other kids, and household chores, it can also help with postpartum depression. Research has shown that regular skin-to-skin contact between the mother and baby can reduce PPD symptoms. A Canadian study also showed that babies who were carried for over 3 hours daily (easy to do in a baby carrier - not so much with just your arms!) cried 43% less than the babies in the control group who did not have the extra contact.
Baby carriers are available in various styles, patterns, and price range to suit every parent and age of child. Many cities have babywearing groups or workshops available to learn how to use carriers and connect with other parents of young children. If these are not available to you, carriers can be purchased online and there are many excellent tutorials on Youtube about their use.
Babywearing is also not limiting to moms! Many fathers and other family members can wear the baby to promote bonding, soothe crying, get baby to sleep, and give mom a break. Many families start out buying a basic carrier and end up with several to suit the various needs of different family members. Tandem wearing (babywearing two children at the same time e.g. an infant and a toddler sibling) can help meet the needs of both children at once and increase mobility for the parent.
More information about babywearing is available at http://babywearinginternational.org/ or http://kellymom.com/parenting/parenting-faq/sling/
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