Human babies are not best adapted to being left alone and so there are huge benefits of carrying your newborn baby. Using a supportive sling or baby carrier will help protect your back and keep your hands free so you can fit carrying into your day more easily.
Here are just 5 research-supported reasons why using a sling or baby carrier can benefit you and your newborn.
1) Reduces stress and crying in your baby, promoting healthy cognitive and physical development:
Caring physical contact with your baby contact reduces stress (thereby promoting healthy brain development), helps premature babies to gain weight more quickly, and helps babies to regulate their temperature and to digest more effectively. Whilst being carried a baby is constantly reassured that they are safe and cared for; regularly carried babies cry less and are provided many opportunities to share in everyday social interactions and experiences without over stimulation.
2) Safe for daytime naps:
Research suggests that having daytime naps in a sling or carrier is safer for your baby under 6 months than for them to nap in a room alone. As long as your baby is safely supported with their airways protected, there’s no maximum limit on how long you can safely carry for.
3) Helps to establish successful breastfeeding:
Using a sling has been shown to support the natural process of breastfeeding, boosting milk production and helping mothers to breastfeed for longer.
4) Helps you to bond with your baby:
Not only does close contact benefit your baby, but it also releases oxytocin into your body. This ‘hormone of love’ promotes a positive emotional state, helping you to relax and bond with your baby, and reducing symptoms of postnatal depression in both mums and dads.
5) Protects your back and pelvic floor:
Using a well-fitting sling or baby carrier helps you to carry your baby without adjusting your posture to compensate for their weight, which could put undue pressure on your spine and your core and pelvic floor muscles (particularly important for a postnatal mum).