When you’re a parent, you often feel like you don’t have access to your hands. You’re always on-call for a baby emergency and needing to care for infants. That’s why having even five minutes to yourself could feel like a blessing. However, today, there are ways for even parents of newborns to care for their babies and do their daily routine. How? By wearing your baby. Many parents are weighed with the doubt of if getting a baby carrier is worth the money.
A baby carrier is a luxury and not a necessity. It helps parents be available for babies that require their full-time attention. At the same time, they can also do household chores or any other work. So if you want to make life easier for yourself, a baby carrier is worth it.
But the biggest hesitation is whether it’s safe or not. Let’s weigh out all the pros and cons. Read on to make an informed decision about whether a baby carrier is worth buying.
What does a Baby Carrier do?
In essence, a baby carrier facilitates parents to have constant physical contact with their child without giving up the use of their hands. Baby carriers are available in a ton of versions. So you can get carriers that have a fortified back, and you should wear them like a backpack.
There are also carrier models that are just a long strip of fabric. You need to tie this fabric in a specific way across your body, creating a cavity in the middle. Your child will be securely strapped inside this cavity.
Babywearing isn’t a new or novel concept in India. For a long time now, Indian working-class women tie their infants to themselves with a homemade sling. This allows the parent to continue to earn a living while also being able to care for their children.
Modern baby carriers are a slightly more modern version of this. Modern baby carriers have slings and buckles that help assure that your child is safely harnessed to your body. Some carriers also have padding to help newborns who don’t have neck control.
Advantages of Getting a Baby Carrier
More Bonding Time
Physical contact between the parent and baby is vital for both the physical and physiological development of the child. Having direct contact will help the baby to calm down. The child can smell their mother or father, which gives them a sense of comfort. By wearing your baby with a baby carrier, you’re increasing the contact time with your child.
Physical contact with the child is also better for the parent. It releases oxytocin in the parent, which is a happy hormone. Studies have also said that women who’ve had more contact with their infant report lower stress levels and Post-Partum depression.
Using a baby carrier can increase the amount of time you can spend with your child. Babies can sleep comfortably in the carrier. The scent of their mother also helps babies get deeper sleep. So if it’s necessary, you can wear a sleeping baby while doing any household chores.
Could Assist With Breastfeeding
Some newborns don’t always get the hang of breastfeeding immediately. This could be due to latch issues or even supply issues. For breastfeeding mothers, the scent of their infants helps boost their milk supply. When wearing your baby, they will be close to you. So you may experience a boost in milk supply when babywearing.
As we mentioned before, skin-to-skin contact also releases oxytocin in the mother. This hormone is also connected to increased milk production. This is another way how babywearing is beneficial to breastfeeding mothers.
Helps you Multitask
Parents just don’t have the time to do it all in between childcare, cooking, cleaning, and other odds and bits of work. Baby carriers give you the time to do that. If your baby is initially fussy in the carrier, don’t give up. It takes a while to get used to for some babies. But once your child does, you’ll find that you can multi-task again.
You can also wear your baby when you go out. On one hand, you don’t have to worry about pushing an extra stroller along with your shopping cart. And on another, you won’t be forced to seat your child in the germ-filled shopping cart seat. So you can shop and go about your tasks without any struggles or worries.
It’s Relatively Inexpensive
The alternative to baby carriers is strollers. These are large, difficult to transport, and quite expensive. One convenience strollers give you is not having to carry your child’s weight. But even the most inexpensive strollers are pretty expensive if you’re on a strict budget.
A baby carrier is available in a wide price range. It’s pretty affordable, whatever your budget is. You can also get expandable and multi-use carriers. So you won’t have to switch baby carriers as your child grows.
Social Development For the Baby
When you’re wearing your baby, it can constantly hear your conversations and watch you as you go about your day. Babies are very quick to pick up on both verbal and non-verbal cues. So a child that’s exposed to their parent talking can pick up language quicker.
You can wear your baby forward-facing. This will allow the child to see and experience the world as you do. So watching you go about your day can help improve the child’s social skills. This also plays a role in the cognitive development of children. The child’s stimulation by watching the world is also an excellent way to engage the baby.
Downsides of a Baby Carrier
Safety Could Be A Concern
There were reports of suffocation-related deaths when the child was worn in a baby carrier. But this isn’t a common concern. Buy your baby carrier from a reputed brand. Ensure the product has undergone rigorous testing to ensure your child will be safe in the carrier.
The baby carrier will come with rules and guidelines about properly wearing your baby. Ensure you adhere to these rules. That’s how you can guarantee your child’s safety in the carrier.
Just like with any other baby product, there are many varieties of baby carriers. Some children are more comfortable in a certain type of carrier. But you can’t find this out till the baby experiences the carrier. So it takes a lot of trial and error to find out what works for you and your infant.
This could be an expensive experiment. But one thing you can do is talk to the babywearing community. They will be able to guide you on the type of carriers that work best and the types to avoid.
Excessive Weight For The Person Carrying
Newborns are pretty weightless and can be carried without too much strain. But as the child grows, they do tend to become much heavier. So unless you’re using a good-quality carrier, your shoulders could ache and even sprain.
Fortunately, you can get ergonomic baby carriers that distribute the weight evenly across your shoulder and back. So one portion of your body won’t feel all the weight. It is also much easier to bear the weight of a baby on your shoulder and back than it is to carry the child in your arms.
Is It Worth Getting A Baby Carrier?
Babywearing is not a fad or harmful for the baby or the mom. It is a very convenient method to care for your child while also doing everyday tasks. That being said, a new parent doesn’t need to get a baby carrier. If you have concerns, talk to professionals and babywearing parents. They will help you sort out your doubts and concerns.
But if it’s an expense you can spare, baby carriers are definitely worth the money. They will free up your hands so you can do everyday tasks without worry. The saying goes, “don’t knock it till you try it”. So don’t write off a baby carrier without trying it.