Carrying Your Baby: The Right Way To Do It And Different Ways
After 9 months safely stowed away in your tummy, your baby has a vital need for contact with you after birth. By carrying him against you - holding him in place with a scarf or a baby carrier - you will help him gently discover the new world he has arrived in. Warm and safe against your heart, he'll be surrounded by soothing sensations that will remind him of life in the womb: he'll be able to smell you, feel your heartbeat and he'll be rocked by gentle movements as you walk. He can fall asleep or even breastfeed whenever he wants.
There will be many opportunities to carry him: when you go for a walk, go shopping or go out in town... as well as around the house to soothe him, send him to sleep or just while you go about your daily tasks so you can remain close to him. Carry him as much as you want to, and as much as he wants to be carried... and don't be afraid of getting him into bad habits: pressed against your body, your newborn baby will gradually become more confident, and start to trust the world around him. This is the best way to help him become more independent!
THE BENEFITS OF CARRYING YOUR BABY
- Carrying fulfils babies' intense need for contact and enables them to adapt very gradually to their new environment. It also helps in establishing a strong emotional bond between the mom (or father) and the baby.
- It stimulates baby's muscle tone and correct development of the hip.
- Wraps and baby-carriers allow you to maintain freedom of movement. If your baby does not like to be put down on his own during the first few months of his life, then this is the ideal solution to allow you to remain active without leaving him to cry!
- Being carried vertically, his abdomen held tightly against yours, makes digestion easier for your baby. Burping is also easier and problems of reflux and colic are reduced. For that matter you can carry baby in the event of a bout of colic to relieve him.
- In town on public transport it is often easier, more convenient and less cumbersome to carry your baby rather than use a pushchair. The wrap or baby carrier will also allow you to keep your infant away from car exhaust fumes and viruses and bacteria in public places as he is held against you, sheltered behind the fabric and not on a level with cars.
- When carried your baby takes part in all the daily activities and integrates perfectly into family life.
THE DIFFERENT WAYS OF CARRYING
Hammocks or slings:
Rectangular pieces of cloth, the ends of which are drawn together by rings, baby slings are designed so that you can carry your baby asymmetrically on your hip. They take up very little space and are easy-to-use. You can keep one in your handbag for when your baby needs alittle unscheduledcarrying.
Classic or "kangaroo" baby carriers:
Very easy to slip on, they are convenient but do not respect the natural position of babies who rest on their genitals with their back straight and legs dangling. Hence, it is better not to use them for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Physiological baby carriers:
They have the same practical advantages of classic baby carriers, but they allow your baby to be installed in his physiological position which is more comfortable and better for the development of his hips. Their wide padded straps and adjustable straps enable you to carry your child very comfortably.
Longpanel of fabric (2.5 m to more than 5 m) in a special weave, wraps are the most adaptable form of carrying. By varying how you tie them, they allow you to carry your baby on your belly, hip or back or even lying down as in a hammock during the first few months. With its customisableadjustabilityyou will find carrying extremely comfortable as soon as you master the art of tying it
Chinese or "Mei Tai" baby carriers:
Rectangular pieces of fabric with four straps in the corners, they enable installing baby with ease against your abdomen or back. When folded they take up very little space.
LEARNING TO CARRY YOUR BABY
- You can carry your child from birth up until around 3 years of age by choosing the carrying methods suitable for his or her age.
- Favour the physiological position for carrying him, in particular during the first few months: your baby should be able to rest on his buttocks with his legs apart and raised in what is called a "frog" position. His back should be bent and not straight, and his head should rest on your chest.
- For long periods, always carry your baby against your abdomen, facing you, or on your back. The position looking out onto the world allows him to look at everything but it does not respect the curve of his back and should be reserved for short periods only.
- With a wrap or physiological baby carrier adapted to the age of your child you should be able to carry him for many hours without any pain. If you get backache, your wrap is no doubt tied incorrectly or your baby carrier is not adjusted correctly: ask for someone's help in helping you to adjust it properly.
- If the explicative diagrams included with your baby carrier or wrap seem insufficient, then do not hesitate to take part in a baby carrying initiation workshop: these are now available throughout France. These sessions will enable you to try different carrying methods (often available in situ) and to learn how to perfectly master the one that suits you best. You will learn, in particular, the different ways in which you can tie your wrap.
- Do not get discouraged if you cannot get the hang of it immediately: baby carrying requires a few days to a few weeks of practice for you and your baby to get used to and become perfectly at ease with, in particular if your baby is already quite big when you begin. If he pouts when being carried for the first few times, try again every day for a few minutes: you will see that he will soon begin to enjoy it and you can thus start to prolong the sessions.