Category Archives: Benefits of Baby Carrying

10 Reasons to Carry Your Baby in a Sling

1: Enjoy Special Moments Together

When you and your child are wrapped in a woven sling there is a wonderful closeness, allowing you both to share special moments together.

2: Reduces Colic & Reflux Symptoms

The upright position in the sling can help colicky babies and those with reflux.

The time spent sitting upright in a sling also has the same effect on a baby’s muscles as ‘tummy time’. This helps them to develop their core strength which is essential for their physical development, from holding their heads up to crawling and walking.

 

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7 Reasons Carrying is Great for Breastfeeding Mothers

Carrying promotes breastfeeding – there’s no doubt about it!
Here are 7 ways that carrying your little one can make an amazing impact on breastfeeding mothers:
1. Carrying = Confidence 
Carrying can give confidence when feeding in public.

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A Father’s Heartbeat

Skin to skin carrying is one of the best gifts a baby can be given. Skin to skin contact helps them regulate their temperature, heart rate and breathing rates[1]. It produces oxytocin in both the caregiver and the baby calming both of them, and the beauty of skin to skin is that Dads can do it too[2]. This is not only fabulous for bonding, but also for occasions where mum may need further support or medical treatment.

Cuddling up under Sekai Quicksilver

Skin to skin from a father is so reassuring – whilst they may have only met moments ago, the warm embrace, the sound of his heart beating close and his familiar voice, reassures the baby that right here – they’re safe, they’re protected, it’s a beautiful home from home.

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Scottish Baby Boxes: How to use my new baby wrap?

We were so delighted when we heard the announcement that the Scottish Government were going to introduce baby boxes for all babies born in Scotland, based on a Finnish Project that’s been running since 1938. I remember researching the Finnish boxes[1] when I was pregnant with my children, thinking they were such a great idea and wishing we had similar here – and now we do!

The boxes contain over 40 different items that the government considers essential for new babies and for parents, and the box itself can be used with the mattress and sheets inside it to become a safe clean sleeping area for the baby.

Scottish Baby Box Announcement, courtesy of the Scottish Government

Whilst it’s a wonderful gesture to receive new items for your baby – the reason for the box and gifts goes much deeper than a simple gesture, as the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said “It’s a simple idea with a proven record in tackling deprivation, improving health and supporting parents”[2] All babies will now have a guaranteed safe sleeping area, clean clothes and basic essentials.

Imagine then the joy at Oscha HQ when we discovered that a baby carrier was going to be included too.

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Why Good Writing about Babywearing Matters

We take a look at Dr Rosie Knowles’ Why Babywearing Matters, Pinter & Martin, 2016.

With interest in babywearing increasing at a significant rate over the past decade, and recent growth of academic studies into the benefits of carrying your child, Rosie Knowles has produced a timely and accessible summary pulling together relevant information about the benefits of this practice that will appeal to both newcomers and long-time carriers.

Rosie Knowles Oscha

Rosie (a GP and Babywearing Consultant who runs her own Sling Library and shop) is well known and highly regarded within the babywearing world, and for good reason – her work promoting carrying not only in her hometown Sheffield (known as ‘Sling City’), but more widely in the UK and beyond, has undoubtedly contributed to a better understanding of babywearing benefits. She is passionate, knowledgeable, dedicated and motivated – any discussion with her on this topic is immediately engaging and heartfelt.

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Hip-Healthy Baby Slings

The International Hip Dysplasia Institute acknowledges Oscha Woven Wraps, Ring Slings, Baby Cairis and Coorie as “hip-healthy” baby carriers (when used as directed). This means that our slings provide the correct support to your child’s hips, which encourages the normal hip joint development that is especially important during the child’s first 6 months.

IHDI Logo

Woven Wrap, Ring Sling, Cairis, Corrie

Woven Wrap, Ring Sling, Cairis, Corrie

The IHDI has reviewed the Oscha products that are suitable for babies under 6 months as the risk of hip dysplasia or dislocation is greatest in the first few months of life.  By six months of age, most babies have nearly doubled in size, the hips are more developed and the ligaments are stronger, so are less susceptible to developing hip dysplasia.

IHDI supports proper babywearing with the hips in the M-position as a method to encourage healthy hip development. Our Coorie and Todder Cairis also hold the hips in this position as recommended by the IHDI but as these products are for use with older babies, they are not eligible to be tested for ‘hip healthy’ positioning.

Infographic

A little information about healthy hip positioning:

If you would like to read more about Hip Dysplasia and baby carriers, you may want to read Dr Rosie Knowles blog post about ‘Busting some Hip- Healthy Myths’. Rosie is a qualified GP and an experienced Sling Consultant. http://www.sheffieldslingsurgery.co.uk/healthy-hips-busting-some-myths/ she explores Hip Dysplasia in detail and recommends different styles of carriers for healthy hips.

You can explore the International Hip Dysplasia website to read more about hip healthy positioning and the research around preventing hip dysplasia here http://hipdysplasia.org/

Babywearing Benefits: Free To Go Anywhere

Carrying your baby in a sling can be liberating, it gives you and your family the freedom to go anywhere. You can embrace the great outdoors, walk the dog or enjoy a bit of light exercise. You can take public transport without worrying about space or navigating through busy streets without bumping into passers by.

We have some enlightening personal stories from babywearing families who have shared their experiences with us. We can just imagine the grins on these little faces…

Using a sling kept me sane in the newborn stage. I was able to get household chores and cooking done while wearing my daughter. My daughter is now almost 21 months old and loves to go on hikes and to the store while I wear her“. Nicole F

For me babywearing simply allowed my life to become more normal again after having a child with a difficult birth. I was able to feel more like myself and do the walking that I always did (but couldn’t with a pushchair), was able to keep my little one close and content for feeding and also through babywearing I have been able to meet some amazing people-it really is quite a special community! I would say to anyone, give it a go-there’s such fantastic advice, support and love out there“. Helen B

Wearing my children has kept me mobile. My husband and I love nature, hiking, camping, fishing and just being outdoors and when we had our first my sis blessed us with a soft structured carrier. I didn’t have to just stay home or sit in the car while my husband went out hiking, we could still go together *and* make new memories with our little baby!” Kristen W

I think the main benefits of slinging are the freedoms it provides: You can move around off-road, down stairs, in crowded places and cluttered shop environments (at least till they start grabbing!), you can cook, clean, eat…” Lisa A

It’s been liberating – once I could wear her I had the confidence to head out the house, having stayed in for most of the first couple of weeks. Wearing has meant we can go places without a bulky buggy […]. Now she’s a toddler who loves to walk and sling is so much easier to take along for when she’s tired and nothing beats a sling nap! Lydia M

Babywearing Benefits: Hands Free

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Carrying your little one in a sling allows you to have your hands free, enabling you to comfort your baby, play with your other children and get along with everyday activities. You don’t have to be on the move, just busy at home or in the garden.

In this blog post, celebrating International Babywearing Week, the personal comments below demonstrate quite how much babywearing has helped families care for their little ones, whilst getting on with everyday life and how it’s made parenting that little bit easier!

With 3 wonderful boys in less than 4 years, babywearing probably saved our life! It’s like having a superpower, I’m able to keep my baby right where he needs to be, we are both happy and comfortable and I can continue to take care of my family and me. “ –Danielle L

When our 3rd child was born, that’s when I truly became a fan of the practicality and necessity of babywearing. I had 3 little ones under the age of 5, little explorers at that, and needed all the extra hands I could get. I fell more in love with woven wraps” -Sophie B

Juggling was an acquired skill that I just didn’t have yet. As a military spouse, my husband was gone a lot for work, deployments, and training missions. Babywearing has helped me to keep my youngest baby happy while tending to the needs of my oldest. It allowed me the freedom to hold both of my children near. It allowed me to spend time with my oldest child who is aware of the absence of her father when he was gone and her emotions were high. I was able to give her the extra love she needed without neglecting the needs of my other child.” – Kaylee F

I love that babywearing allows me to snuggle my baby securely, and still hold my two older girls’ hands as we walk to the park. I love that I can find beautiful patterns and colors that make me feel special and pretty even when I’ve been up all night with a sick child” – Lisa C

Fast forward two years and i’ve recently had my second baby. he is content and easy going even without the baby wearing – but wearing him helps me keep in touch with his big brother and helps me manage two small kids.’ – Jennifer H

Babywearing has become an integral part of my family’s life for the past 3 1/2 years. This past year has been the hardest but most rewarding year of my life as we welcomed our fourth child and the 3rd in the last 3 years. Babywearing has immensely helped me with bonding and nursing my LO but also bond with my other children. Wearing her allows me to participate more fully with my other children but still have her close. It helps me get things done around the house and especially helps when running errands. Since she is my last baby, it’s also helped me come to terms with this reality and just snuggle more closely with her. I am incredibly grateful my friend introduced me to babywearing!” – Courtney K

Illustration by Oscha

Illustration by Oscha.

Babywearing Benefits: Optimum for Development

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Todays blog post, in celebration of International Babywearing Week, explores how carrying your child in a sling can support healthy development for their mind and body.
We have some personal stories from mothers who have observed these babywearing benefits when using slings with their own children.

Babywearing has allowed me the opportunity to view the world through my daughter’s eyes. When I put her up in the sling and step out the door, we experience the world together. I see her interest captured by the blowing leaves and we stop to admire them. We crouch together to smell the flowers. We trail our hands along the tree trunks to feel the grooves. We listen to the cars and trucks whiz by as we mosey to our destination. On the bus, we wave at fellow passengers and watch the city pass by the window. In a time when everyone is looking for the best learning or sensory toy to grow their little ones mind, babywearing has made me see the greatest tools of all: my knowledge, her curiousity and the great world around us.’ Leigh Walker

  •      Babies who are carried show accelerated brain maturation (1)

I can’t find the right words to say how much I love wearing my baby. When we go out, it’s a joy to have him so close to me, see his reactions, talk to him. I’m convinced wearing him has made a huge difference to his social skills. He can look people in the eye and communicate on his own terms, and wherever we are, he catches people’s eyes, smiles at them and they always chat to him, which he loves. He is a very sociable and happy baby. He also had excellent head and torso control very early on and could sit unaided at 5 months. Everyone remarks on how advanced he is and I put it down to babywearing.’ F. Bernard

  • Carrying promotes stimulation of the proprio-vestiblar (sense of movement and balance) and tactile systems, positively impacting cognitive development (2)

When I was still pregnant I knew I would babywear, but I had no idea that this experience would become a major part of my life and reopen a lot of things to me. When Lana was 1 month old she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and we were recommended to use a special harness all the time. Although I started to wrap Lana from her first days, I decided that now I have to babywear every chance I have. I did try the harness a few times, but my baby couldn’t get used to it and she was extremely nervous and cried desperately, until I decided I will wrap her close to me and this will be the treatment. So I wrapped and I wrapped and I wrapped for about 8-10 hours a day (sometimes even up to 12, when I had to go out for the whole day), so I managed to do almost everything I needed to, while my baby peacefully snuggled inside the wrap. So… my baby is 7 months today and the hip dysplasia is completely gone!! And the major part of it is thanks to Oscha – you saved my back, improved my child’s health while I was feeling like a queen wearing your wraps 🙂 ? All that mentioned, I cannot say that babywearing is the only way to treat hip dysplasia, BUT it helped us. Nothing compares to this unique experience of keeping your baby next to you all the time.’ Daria

  •  The likelihood of hip dysplasia is significantly reduced, as carrying in ergonomic slings encourages the optimum posture for development of baby’s hips and legs (3)

My son, Graham, was born 10 weeks prematurely barely breathing, barely with a heart beat, barely with any blood left in his little 2lb 9 oz body, and barely alive. He had suffered a hemorrhage and bleed out, back into me while still in my womb. I didn’t get to hold him until Eight days after he was born. I didn’t get a lot of things that Mothers get after giving Birth but I did get a beautiful baby boy. And greatest of all I got to wear him when the Doctors gave us the go ahead. I got to hold his body close to mine for hours on end while he was still hooked up to his monitors in the NICU. I got to snuggle him all day long when we came home after over Two Months in the hospital. And I got to comfort him each time we were readmitted to the hospital due to breathing issues. Even now, 9 months later, when we are struggling with muscle tone issues that prevent him from riding in a stroller. I still get to snuggle my baby boy because I wear him. Baby wearing has given me everything I felt was taken away from me when my son was born 10 weeks early.’ Ana T

  • Many studies show the health benefits of ‘kangaroo care’ (skin to skin contact) for premature babies – babywearing helps facilitate this care for very young infants (4)

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  1. Dodge, Andrew, 2014, Paths to Family Wellness Issue #4
  2. Sears, W. and Sears, M. The Attachment Parenting Book. Boston, Massachusetts: Little Brown, 2001.
  3. Kirkilionis, Evelyn: “Die Grund-bedurfnisse des Sauglings und deren medizinische Aspekte – dargestellt und charakterisiert am Jungentypus Tragling” Teil 2. In: Notabene medicini, 2, 1997, S.117-121
  4. Lawn et al 2010: ‘Kangaroo mother care to prevent neonatal deaths due to preterm birth complications’, International Journal of Epidemiology 39

Babywearing Benefits: Promotes Breastfeeding

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Carrying on our series of blog posts in celebration of International Babywearing Week, we look at the research and personal experiences detailing how wearing your baby close to you can help some mothers breastfeed more easily and for longer.

The day finally came when I scooped her into the sling and felt her warm clammy body against mine. I was determined to breast feed this time as I had issues producing milk with my first. This sling allowed me to rock her to sleep, keep her close and be able to do “skin to skin” to help my body start producing adequate amounts of milk for her. So we would wear her and wash dishes, play with our oldest, go on walks, shopping; we wore her a lot! It helped us keeps her close while being able to continue our normal routines.” Leilani Y

  • Mothers who carry their babies for just one hour each day breastfeed for longer and also breastfeed their babies more frequently. (1)

I love the opportunity to breast-feed him discreetly, whenever he needs. Baby Wearing keeps the positive feelings I had during pregnancy alive.”  Judith R

    • It is widely acknowledged that skin-to-skin contact stimulates oxytocin, which is essential for milk production. (2)

[Babywearing] helped me to keep my little one close during those very early days when she just wanted to feed and be close to me. She was tube fed at birth and we worked hard to establish breastfeeding over the first three to four weeks. I feel that being able to wear her helped with this.” Donna W

    • Skin-to-skin contact aids in establishing healthy breastfeeding relationships and resolving latch-on issues. (3)

Our baby wearing journey started when we purchased a soft structured carrier before our baby was born. We had no idea how much we would use it!! Our little guy was born at 36 weeks at home as planned albeit a little early but still required some respiratory support in hospital before we could resume our family life at home. I was always going to succeed with breastfeeding as I am a midwife and lactation consultant myself, but thank goodness that resolve was firm as it took A LOT more work than anticipated […] I couldn’t express anything either despite trying regularly. When he was able to feed again I had very little milk available and he started to exhibit failure to thrive issues. I knew as soon as we were discharged from hospital that my best chance of increasing my supply and conserving his energy was to wear him. He was BF frequently, and worn in-between feeds. Baby wearing was a major contributing factor in the eventual increase of my supply to be able to exclusively BF our son without one drop of formula which was always my goal. Today at 8 months he is thriving“. Celia C

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  1. Pisacane, Alfredo / Contanisio, Paola / Filosa, Cristina / Tagliamonte, Valeria / Continisio, Grazie I.: “Use of baby carriers to increase breastfeeding duration among term infants: the effects of an educational intervention in Italy”. In: Acta Paediatricia, 101, 2012, S.434-438
  2. Uvnas-Moberg, Kerstin 2003: The Oxytocin Factor: Tapping the Hormone of Calm, Love and Healing, Da Capo Press Inc
  3. Kristin E Svensson, Marianne I Velandia, Ann-Sofi T Matthiesen, Barbara L Welles-Nyström and Ann-Marie E WidströmEffects of mother-infant skin-to-skin contact on severe latch-on problems in older infants: a randomized trial. In: International Breastfeeding Journal 2013 8.1