Baby wearing – origins
In 1970 Bernhard Hassenstein – Freiburg University, Germany – introduces the definition of “carried” baby mammal. With ‘’carried’’ (Tragling in German), he refers to baby mammals that are carried by their parents next to their body.
Before only two categories of babies were usually mentioned, in German the “Nestflüchter”, babies that are capable to follow the herd right after birth, like cows, and the “Nesthocker”, infants that stayed near their parents because they weren’t capable of following the herd, most of them are being born deaf, blind and sometimes naked.
Biologists say that the specific characteristics of the ‘’actively carried’’, the innate reflexes to cling, the handhold reflex and the Moro reflex, the particular anatomy and the great needs of newborns and infants of body contact are unique evidence that the human being, in terms of biological and historical evolution, has to be carried. The fact that infants without body contact do not grow well (a lack of love and touch actually severely delays babies’ development) and are constantly trying to establish this contact, crying if necessary, are other indicators that the body contact is fundamental for the development of the human being. Moreover, the body of an adult is designed to carry the little one.
Baby wearing – definition
Baby wearing is the practice of keeping your baby or toddler close and connected to you as you engage in daily activities through the use of one of a variety of types of baby carriers.
Baby slings can be considered as an extension of the womb environment, bringing with it many benefits for baby’s development (stability and orientation besides many others) and it also makes life easier for parents!
Even though it is a traditional practice in many cultures, it is not widely used by modern industrialized societies, but it nonetheless has many benefits for both children and caregivers. Baby wearing promotes bonding, supports breastfeeding, can help combat postpartum depression, makes caregiving easier, and can be a lifesaver for parents of high-needs children. Carried babies sleep, feed, and grow better. Studies demonstrate that carried 6-week-olds cried 43% less than other children.
Baby wearing is not about any particular parenting philosophy and it is not about any specific carrier. It can be practiced by a wide variety of caregivers including moms, dads, grandparents, siblings, nannies, nurses, doulas; in short, anyone who cares for a newborn, infant, or toddler. There are safe and effective carrier options for every budget and taste.
Baby carriers have been used for many years and generations across the world. Parents worldwide used a variety of long cloths, scarves and even bedsheets to wrap their babies and get the domestic work done.
Baby wearing – practice
Baby carriers began the practice out of necessity as mothers had to work and could not stop to entertain their baby.
Baby carriers persist today in many countries as a necessity and way of life and is gaining more and more popularity again in the western countries.
Baby wearing – correct position
It is sooo important to choose the right baby carrier or sling for you and your baby!
In fact, the most important aspect of baby-wearing is safety. Any carrier can be used incorrectly, rendering it unsafe. Quite often, the manufacturer’s description can be misleading!
Many pregnant women ask us which carrier to buy, but it is actually worth to wait for the baby to arrive and find the best one, that suits mum and baby bodies’ positions. We are all different and what may seem comfortable for you and your baby may not be the case for your friend! It is true that mums need to wait until the baby´s birth to find the right carriers for them and their babies. Anyway it is already very interesting for the mums to get information about baby wearing and to test slings and carriers even during the pregnancy during an individual baby wearing consultation. In this way they are well prepared for carrying their babies from birth on.
Baby wearing – fitness for mums…with baby!
It is a wonderful idea to stay fit while being near to your baby. That’s why MammaFit offers classes with buggy/pram/pushchair and also sling/baby carrier, for the mums who never, really never, want to separate from their baby!
What do we do during our MammaFit classes with sling or baby carrier?
First of all we check that the mum and the baby are in the correct position; in all the MammaFit classes we pay a lot of attention to the posture. Not only the baby posture, but also the one of the mum.
We are always flexible and pay attention to the comfort of mum and baby, so the MammaFit trainer always adjusts the time the baby is worn in the carrier. The workout with baby carriers never exceeds 20-30 minutes anyway. After a good warm-up and tonification exercises while standing, the rest of the class is dedicated to tone-up, stretching and relaxation exercises on the ground (with baby or without). All the exercises are specific for mums who gave birth and would like to go back to shape while having fun with their baby.
By the way, very important is also the position of the carrier. Even if so many parents prefer to wear the baby with the front to the outside world, this position is not natural and can provoke many physical and psychological issues in the babies. Babies have to be carried in a tummy to tummy upright tight position.
At this point mums ask us how could they wear their baby that is already so heavy and curious about the world?
When babies can hold their head properly and become more curious, they can be carried on the back, so mums with heavier babies do not have to worry, they can still take part in the MammaFit classes with baby carrier!
To make sure that we really keep the correct posture and give the correct advices, we have included specific group consultations by droen.lu in our classes. During the special classes with consultation, mums can ask questions, learn how to wear a sling with different methodologies or positions, have their carriers checked and adjusted to their posture and even try different slings/carriers to find which is the best one for them.
These consultations do not aim to substitute the private ones offered by the consultants group; if the mums wish, though, they can ask for a private consultation just before or after the MammaFit class.
In short, we make all the effort to ensure that mums and babies are safe and that mums can correctly exercise.
Regarding the MammaFit exercises, we never ever jump, run or do any movement that can be dangerous for the baby and for the mum. We are always aware of the status of every single mum after giving birth, so the lesson is adjusted and customised on different levels, having considered the types of delivery, breastfeeding, abdominals and pelvic floor.
Even avoiding unsafe exercises, you can be sure, mums sweat and get fit, while babies enjoy the time with mummy and other babies!
Here some tips on safe baby wearing for a joyful MammaFit carrier workout:
- Use the right carrier for your baby’s stage.
- Be sure the fabric of the carrier extends at least up to your child’s upper back and that the waist buckle clicks securely. If the child is incapable of holding his/her head, the carrier should be higher).
- Regularly check carefully your carrier to be sure that the fabric and buckles are all good.
- ‘Close enough to kiss’ is the magic position. It means that, your baby’s head should be high enough that you can easily give a kiss to your baby’s head or forehead. This keeps your baby in a natural position. It allows you an easy view of your baby, tummy-to-tummy contact, and greater comfort for your back.
- Front or back baby wearing should be learned and checked every time carefully – during the consultations and before every single class we always look for the ‘Frog position’.
- For all those times you need to bend over, adjust the carrier. Be sure to support your baby with your arms and do not let go off your baby until your position is back to neutral.
- Baby wearing is different from ‘skin to skin’. Just like when they are out of the carrier, babies need sunscreen and appropriate clothes according to the weather and season. You can consider the carrier/sling as one layer of clothes.
Baby wearing – only for mums?
Absolutely no! Dads, try it on and you will be surprised of how ideal is for you to start bonding with your baby!
And…last but not least…now also dads can exercise with their baby at the NEW Bootcamp by Healthy Dads in Luxembourg!
Happy MammaFit workout with baby carrier!
We care about your health!
Check the next available FREE Consultation and the MammaFit classes schedule with firstname.lastname@example.org