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
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