There is a saying which states that a baby should be in the womb for the first 18 months, nine months inside the mother and nine months outside.
“Babywearing” is a term which has come into use quite recently to describe the act of ‘wearing your baby’, it is the use of a sling or carried, which ties the baby to the parent or carers body, the baby is held comfortably and tightly to the body and they seem to absolutely love it, and I know you as a parent will too.
There are many different kinds of Babywearing slings and carriers but I would recommend either a Soft Structured Baby Carrier or a Mei Tai for fathers, as they are securely tied or buckled carriers which can be used by all different sizes and shapes, and can be shared by both Mum and Dad, so baby will be a familiar and comfortable carrier no matter who is ‘wearing’ him or her.
Your breathing and heartbeat close to baby will replicate that safe environment of being inside the womb.
Fathers can often feel a little left out of the whole bonding and parenting side of thing. Mums carry the baby inside their body and have a natural bond with the new born; by babywearing from newborn Dads too can feel this bond.
When baby cries at night and you want Mum to get some extra sleep, the best trick I know of is too I get up in the night and simply pop baby into a sling or carrier, baby will quickly settle and soon drift off to sleep easily and comfortably. Your breathing and heartbeat close to baby will replicate that safe environment of being inside the womb.
With Babywearing, your hands are free to get on with other jobs, you can work in the office, you can even go out for a walk around and do your normal day to day activities. Don’t worry about getting any funny looks, honestly by Babywearing I guarantee you will get compliments on how cosy and comfy baby looks, and also how content and alert they seem. I guess this is due to the fact that Baby is almost at eye level with us, and is able to experience the world as we see it.
Baby is almost at eye level with us, and is able to experience the world as we see it.
This is also an interesting development point. The baby who is carried in a Mai Tai or Carrier is able to look at the world alongside us; he or she sees what we see. It is often seen that Babywearing babies are faster developers than others. Lets face it if baby is spending less time crying, then they have more time on their hands and this time can be spent developing and learning about this big new world!
My two favourite Babywearing positions for Dad:
The Neck Nuzzle;
this will be your favourite….. Once Baby is in the carrier in a ‘snuggle position’ (tummy to tummy) lift their head until is nuzzles into your neck, with your chin just draping over babies head. Here is the good bit, in this position Dad has the advantage over Mum, babies listen to the world not only through their ears but also with the vibrations through their skull, with Babies head being up close to your voice box, when you sing or hum the lower vibrations made by the male voice will be a real comfort to your little one and will often lull baby straight off to sleep.
Baby loves being here, and you will love the feel too. Your warm breath on baby’s head comforts and relaxes them, and your deeper tones will help send them to sleep soundly, what could be nicer!
The Fuzzy Snuggle; this is the uniquely male version of the Snuggle Position (the tummy to tummy), place baby in the snuggle hold with their ear to your heart, bare chested (or should that be bear chested!)
The uniquely furry and fuzzy quality of your chest will be a beautiful bed for baby, and the rhythm of your heart will calm baby. This position will give you a wonderful feeling of completeness, of being one with your baby and you will get the bonding which can sometimes seem to be just possible in Mum’s world.
Mei Tai’s come in all manner of designs and with a little bit of luck Dad can find one in ‘his colour’ or something which is a little bit macho, maybe a nice camouflage, and strong military navy, black, or khaki, or push the boundary a little bit further and go for a skull n crossbones or a heavy metal design.
Or the Soft Structured Carriers are always a lot more masculine and come in solid colours so the whole world of options are out there, so choose the design which suits you and feel the special bond with baby that babywearing can bring you.