Babywearing by Amanda Carnes

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Thank you to Amanda Carnes for this wonderful introduction to the benefits of babywearing!  Amanda Carnes lives just outside the suburbs of Chicago with her husband Scott and three children aged 7, 4, and 1. They have been homeschooling since 2010.  They practice an attachment parenting, which blends with their Catholic faith.  Amanda is a licensed esthetician, and worked as a make-up artist before becoming a mom. She now focuses her time on raising her children, and supporting mothers in breastfeeding as a La Leche League Leader. She blogs at www.crunchyandcandid.blogspot.com

 

Amanda and her very content baby!

Babywearing is the practice of wearing or carrying your baby in a sling or other form of carrier.  Many experts feel that babywearing is an effective way to promote attachment to the infant, calm crying, facilitate breastfeeding, reduce the risk of post-partum depression, and have free hands to attend to other tasks/children.

Catholic counselor, and host of More2Life radio program, Gregory Popcak, has written extensively about attachment parenting, and its benefits. He and wife, Lisa, encourage parents to wear their babies in his book Parenting with Grace: The Catholic Parents’ Guide to Raising Perfect Kids.  He talks at length about the benefits of attachment parenting, and I recommend his book to anyone who wants to have a better understanding of attachment from a Catholic perspective.

According to Dr. Popcak, one of the extraordinary benefits of babywearing is that it facilitates “entrainment”.  He explains, “Entrainment is a kind of invisible but very real umbilical cord that exists between a mother and child for about the first year after birth” He goes on to describe how entrainment is important for many mechanisms in the baby.  Babywearing helps to “train” these mechanisms (breathing, and stress coping) by keeping baby close to the mother.  He also beautifully describes how baby is wrapped in mother’s womb for nine months, and then baby will be wrapped in mother’s arms.  As Dr. William Sears put it, “nine months in the womb, nine months out”.  Babywearing is a self-donative practice, a giving of yourself, it helps baby to adjust to the outside world.

We know from the gospels, that we were made to love. “This I command you: love one another.” John 15:17. What an awesome way to show love to your baby, keeping them close to your heart in a carrier!

Babywearing is not a new found fad: Babies have been worn for centuries. Women of indigenous cultures have countless wa

Comments

  1. I’ve been wearing a child of some age for about 13 years. We love having new babies because it gives me an excuse to buy one more carrier! I agree with Andrea using a soft wrap or sling for the baby, Woven wrap or Mai Tai for the middle weights and an Ergo for those big babies! (toddlers!). We are looking forward to holding a new baby (#6 for us) in a wrap in a few weeks.

  2. I love babywearing, unfortunately at 37 weeks its a bit tough but cant wait to start again-we will have 2 under the age of 1. Ive learned that for me, different carriers work ay different times, ring sling for newborns, Moby for middle sized babies & Ergo for bigger babies. 😉 Im going to sweet talk hubby into a mei tai so he can “Ergo” our bigger baby, & Ill still have a structured carrier, hehehe or Ill be brave & double them 🙂

  3. I can’t believe I stumbled on this site!! I’m an AP mom, I actually have a site devoted to AP, too… but I’m also Catholic! So you’re kind like a perfect storm of my interests,lol!

    As far as the sling goes, good post, I use my Moby wrap and it’s still working well at 11 months. I love the part you wrote about how we’re “made to love”… Amen! The babies need us close; what better way to show our love for them?

  4. Awesome article, Amanda! I’m so thankful we’ve “met,” I feel like I’ve learned so much about not only attachment parenting, but how it goes hand-in-hand with our faith. You’re such a wonderful example of a mother devoted to her children and her Catholic faith. Thank you.

  5. We love babywearing, too. My husband is an especially awesome “sling Dad”! When they are old enough to support their heads, the backpack has always helped me do things like a load of laundry and get dinner cooked.

    Great article, and I especially loved the TICKS reminder!

  6. Thank you for writing about this topic, Amanda!

    I’ve used carriers with all 4 of my babies. I have tried just about every type of carrier out there, and still find the ring sling is the best for my back. I like that it’s adjustable, too.

    I had my eye on the Ergo carrier for a long time but now Lydia my smallest one is 2 1/2 so I think the moment has passed! The website for the Sling Station (www.theslingstation.com) is awesome for figuring out what type of carrier is best for moms. They are very helpful in helping you pick out a carrier.

    As a homeschool mom, I value the carrier in the early months for many reasons, but it is especially helpful in allowing me to get a few things done with my older children while keeping baby close.