Babywearing: where does this term come from?
In the United States, in the mid-80s, Mrs. Martha Sears, wife of the pediatrician William, only after having given birth to their sixth child had the intuition to use a piece of sheet to carry her baby. Enthusiastic about the benefits thus discovered, one day he exclaimed: “As long as I wear him he's content” (“As long as I wear it, the child is happy!”). Hence the husband's double intuition: the experimentation and diffusion of a "new" way of embracing children and the invention of the neologism "babywearing" (which literally means "wearing the baby").
Dr. Sears later trademarked this name and, after purchasing the patent for a sling model (with ring closure and therefore adjustable) from a Hawaiian Archimedes, he began marketing it.
How does it work?
In a very simple way: it consists of using a support, more or less elaborate, to be able to carry a child.
Bands, mei tais, slings, pouches: the market offers a lot of choice, for all tastes and budgets.
Thanks to babywearing, your hands are free. But as we will see later, the benefits don't stop there!
Carrying or wearing a baby, call it what you will, is a very fulfilling experience. A journey that starts from our senses and goes straight to the heart. Touch, smell, sight, hearing of parent and child merge in a single all-encompassing embrace.
Here you will find further information:
Carrying accompanies you gently from the belly to the world
“It is of fundamental importance for parents of the human species to fully understand what the immaturity of their newborns means: that the child continues its gestational period even once born. [...]
Through bodily contact with the mother, the child establishes his first contacts with the world, and these involve him in a new dimension of experience, the experience of the world of others. This bodily contact is the primary source of well-being, security, warmth and increasingly predisposes us to new experiences" 4 .
Ashley Montagu, anthropologist
Many other researchers define carrying children and other habits aimed at "recalling" prenatal conditions with an expression: "transitional womb", that is, a place to continue that development which at birth presents us all as "premature" to the world.
Reassurance also means trying to make the entry into the world as "soft" as possible for a newborn, now that he no longer enjoys those sensations he experienced when he was well protected in his mother's body.
If you think about it, another thing that children immediately have to get used to is the lack of sounds and movement. Inside the belly, it's all a swing : the beat of the mother's heart, her voice (they hear it, yes!), the rhythmic rocking of her internal organs, her movement.
In a sling the child regains possession of that rhythm and that movement. He is close to his mother's heart and he feels her heartbeat, he senses her warmth and her smell.
He feels safe in his arms and finds a familiar environment close to his mother's body.
Feeling safe reassures.
It is proven that the child who does not feel protected enters a state of stress, which happens to a significantly lesser extent if he is in contact with the mother's body. Nearby he can be fed by her ( self service milk , if he is breastfed), cradled by her movement and her own breathing.
Below I propose the study10 by Dr. Michael Commons, Ph.D., researcher and professor at Harvard Medical School, which makes a good connection between the stress suffered by children and its implications in adulthood.
Remember, I add even though I didn't study at Harvard, that a stressed child Filippo hugged becomes a stressful child (for the rest of the family).
Since when can a band be used? You can learn more here: https://mhug.it/blogs/news/da- Quando-si-puo-usare-la-fascia-portabebe
Stimulate a newborn by making him feel protected
When a baby is carried in a sling or pouch, he is at eye and voice level with the bearer, observing the reality around him with him. In this way he develops knowledge of the world and its interactions more quickly. Furthermore, being at kissing height, from a very young age he is able to see his mother's features and learns to recognize them more quickly.
If you notice, when a child is in the pram, unless he is sleeping, he requires attention. Because basically, in addition to being distant from you, he's bored.
Rather than having to choose between being with our child and doing chores (which can lead to isolation and even depression), bringing children offers a third option: doing the things we need and want, while simultaneously satisfying the child with our closeness.
To those who turn up their noses when they see a mother carrying a baby in a sling and judgementally accuse her of spoiling him, I reply that this is precisely how we avoid a child-centric life. Accompanying us in our lives, the baby does not constantly require attention. Furthermore, by filling up with stimuli, he learns; so I'm not spoiling him, let's be clear, I'm taking care of him.
Not only that, I would also add that by doing so the child will be more intellectually active, will consume more energy and will fall asleep more easily at the end of the day.