Do you carry your child in a sling? Are you afraid babywearing is dangerous for your baby? Check out 3 reasons why it has the potential to combat SIDS!
Babywearing has been around for centuries; mainly out of necessity, but that’s not the only reason! New research says that it can possibly even save the lives of infants! Babywearing is a term used for carrying or ‘wearing’ your baby close to you using a cloth sling or baby-pack.
Babywearing and SIDS
SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is marked by the death of an infant during their sleep for no other apparent or obvious reasons. SIDS victims are laid down to sleep in their cribs in a perfectly healthy state, but they never wake up. SIDS strikes infants during the first year of life-primarily between the ages of 2 and 4 months of age. The cause of SIDS still remains unknown, in spite of countless hours of research to find a cause and a cure. The little that we do know about SIDS is that it’s respiratory-related. Babies just simply stop breathing.
Having said that, there is a possibility that babywearing can reduce the chances of SIDS in infants. It is also important to note that these studies are not extensive, nor do they have data to fortify the theories. Here are 3 reasons why people think babywearing has the potential to combat SIDS:
- It gives babies a more consistent and steady breathing pattern. Studies have shown that babies worn close to their parents’ chest on a somewhat regular basis begin to follow the same breathing patterns all the time.
- Babywearing puts the baby’s face in close proximity to a parent’s nose and mouth; meaning that the air expressed out the mouth and/or nose, when a parent breathes, stimulates the baby to take deeper breaths.
- It can decrease the level of stress hormones that circulate in a baby’s blood stream, causing the baby to be relaxed and happy.
Who practices it?
Babywearing has been practiced for centuries by women who needed to gather food, cook, care for other children and tend to household chores, while tending to their infant. Babywearing was and still is used as a means of protection of an infant from a number of things and situations depending on cultural circumstances.
Babywearing has other benefits in addition to possibly being a deterrent for SIDS. Here are some benefits that are health-related:
- Premature babies can eat better, gain weight faster and have steadier breathing patterns.
- Premature babies naturally have a nervous system that is not as developed as a full-term baby’s. Babywearing is soothing and the rhythmic movements of the parents, which actually stimulates the premature baby in a positive way, helps their nervous system to develop, as it should.
Emotional and practical benefits
Here are some more benefits that are general, but still important, nonetheless:
- Being happier. Feeling that connection to mum or dad brings a sense of security and builds trust between the baby and its parent.
- It allows you to have your hands free to fix a sandwich, fold laundry, and carry groceries.
- It helps you get to know your baby’s movements and moods.
- It allows you to know your baby is safe and sound.
The right and wrong way
If you think babywearing is something you want to try, you need to make sure you do it safely and correctly. There are a number of slings on the market. Make sure you get one that has good quality, and is also comfortable for you and the baby.
Share your thoughts with us on babywearing benefits!
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