But although there are lots and lots of benefits for me it is the more practical, light-hearted reasons, that mean I sling. I am a mummy to two young boys – 2 years and 4 months. How else am I supposed to carry on looking after the toddler while caring for a high needs newborn? Babywearing makes life easier. Littlest does suffer from GERD and is currently being treated with 3 different drugs to help relieve the symptoms. They are great but I am slightly concerned about giving someone so young so many drugs so I love the fact that I can pop him in a sling and even on his worst days he will settle quickly – even if he is usually sick on me first.
So my top 10 reasons for slinging are:
1) Closeness with my baby while being able to engage in activities with his big brother
2) Helps to relieve the symptoms of reflux
3) Allows me to walk the dog without having to worry about getting the buggy stuck in muddle fields
4) Gives my both hands free to carry shopping or hold the toddlers hand
5) Uses the same muscles as ‘Tummy Time’ – littlest won’t end up with a flat head like his brother (Plagiocephaly)
6) Gets an irritable over tired baby to nap – then leads to a period of more restful sleep (Ferber, 2004)
7) Let’s me get the house cleaned – how else can you hoover, clean the loo, dust if you need hold irritable baby in your arms?
8) Slings fold up much smaller than a buggy for that ‘just in case’ moment
9) I can match my sling to my outfit for that special occasion
10) Wraps make a brilliant impromptu picnic blanket when out and about.
And before anyone asks, yes I do own a buggy. I own two infact – a stroller for the toddler and a Phil and Teds which I use in either double or single mode. Although currently the pushchair is getting less and less use as the baby wants to be upright (the reflux) and the toddler wants to walk most places now.
Snuggles so close,
Loving giving kisses on the top of his head
In view at all times with reassurance from mum.
Near to my heart and calmly breathing.
Giving the ability to get out of the house while wearing
Soft and pretty fabrics which mean so much
References and further information
Charpak, N., “Kangaroo Mother Care: 25 Years After,” Acta Paediatric 94 2005: 5, 514-522.
McCain, G et al. “Heart Rate Variability Responses of a Preterm Infant to Kangaroo Care,” 2005 Journal of Obstetrics,
Tasker, A., Dettmar, P. W., Panetti, M., Koufman, J. A., Birchall, J. P., and Pearson, J. P. (2002). Is gastric reflux a cause of Otitis media with effusion in children? The Laryngoscope, 112:1930–1934.
4 Ferber et al., “The Effect of Skin-to-Skin Contact (Kangaroo Care) Shortly After Birth on the Neurobehavioral Responses of the Term
More details of the benefits of babywearing can be found here