It is European Babywearing Week this week, therefore I am taking a moment to consider ‘babywearing’.
When Klaas was born, I already had the baby sling ready. I hadn’t read a lot about ergonomic babywearing, I had no idea why it’s important, I just thought it seemed nice.
Four days old and he was already in a cotton sling pressed against my chest. We had trouble getting him to sleep from day one, but when he was in the sling he would fall asleep in no-time. Because of this, I too got infected with the babywearing-virus.
Many Facebook-groups, the nicest slings, different fabrics and sizes, and a course in babywearing consulting later, I am still proudly wearing Klaas.
Moreover, even dad, grandpa, grandma, and babysitter-uncle Gijs wear* him with ease and enjoyment.
Why is it so important? Isn’t it heavy? Doesn’t he get hot? Doesn’t he dislike sitting still like that? Why babywear ergonomically? These are all questions I hear every day when I have Klaas on my back in his sling. That’s why I decided to this blogpost.
“Parents carry their children and give them something to hold on to for life” – Ulrike Höwer
Kiind magazine wrote an article a while ago with the title: ‘the logic of babywearing’**, and it is. It is logical that babies like to be worn, they’ve been built to.
When a child is born we check the reflexes: palmer grasp reflex, startle reflex, and the stepping reflex, where the when the baby is held upright with feet on the floor he’ll pull up his legs. All these reflexes are leftovers from a time where the baby didn’t survive if he wasn’t varied. His hands had to grab unto our fur or directly grab his mother when he fell (startle reflex), and if his feet touched the ground he had pull them up (stepping reflex) so his legs are immediately back into the babywearing position. Beautiful no? So small but already built to be this close to mom.
Long ago, human children didn’t survive when left alone. Humans don’t dig holes to hide their babies in and our newborns can’t run away yet: babywearing is the only option. So it’s not for nothing that babies cry when left alone, this means danger and they need mom as a protector and to find food.
I’ve noticed that people in western societies are becoming more and more removed from our nature and its primal force. We think about our busy lives a lot and what is hip and fashionable instead of our beautiful children and their needs. This European Babywearing Week is the ideal time to make sure we think about that as well.
Moms, Dads, and everybody else that’s a caregiver for a little one: Wear your baby!
Psssht… Do you have no idea how? We’d like to help! (Check this website for a sweet, fun, and entheusiastic babywearing consultant in your area)
Note: When talking about babywearing on my website or social media, we are talking about ergonomic babywearing exclusively.