Written by SMH Mother-Baby Discharge Facilitator Sheera Thomas
As a new mother, I often found it difficult to get much accomplished during the day. My little one needed to be touching me every minute or he’d have a meltdown, so “wearing” him became my solution.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babywearing to prevent crying and to promote parent-infant attachment and baby’s development. There’s no need to worry about “spoiling” your baby by holding him/her too much. Holding, or carrying, a baby in the early months meets the infant’s basic need to feel safe, many experts agree.
There are many baby-carrier options on the market for wearing your infant, or even toddler. Some families choose a soft, structured baby carrier, while others prefer a wrap or sling. Place baby in a front pouch and “wear” her while you exercise, clean, or pay bills, for example. Older babies (tod-fants) and toddlers can also be worn on your back, but be sure to follow the carrier-maker’s guidelines. Keep safety in mind when doing active chores or exercises.
Baby wraps and carriers can be a bit confusing to master. Don’t be intimidated by them, or let the challenge keep you from babywearing. Several babywearing support groups have popped up in Sarasota County in recent years, and members are always happy to help babywearing newbies (moms and dads) learn the ropes; you can search for meeting and contact info online.
Always check with your baby’s care provider before using a baby pack or pouch; sometimes NICU graduates do not have the muscle strength needed to keep their airways open in an unsupported position.
SMH Mother-Baby Discharge Facilitator and Lactation Consultant Sheera Thomas, RN, has been an OB nurse for more than 20 years. She is an internationally board-certified lactation consultant, a certified childbirth educator, and—perhaps her most demanding role—a mother of four.