Babies continually need the presence of their parents or another trusted person to be taken from one place to another, since they are unable to move on their own during the first years of their development. In addition, physical contact provides them with security and makes them calmer, cry less and sleep better. Therefore, the use of a baby carrier satisfies these needs of the child while allowing the carrier’s hands to be free.
In many cultures, babywearing has been practiced since time immemorial and both babies and young children continue to be carried, so that adults can carry out daily tasks and move around while still caring for their little one.
In the West, this culture of carrying is being recovered, so beneficial for both the baby and the caregiver. But it is convenient to know a series of basic questions before being encouraged to carry.
Benefits of portage
For the baby:
- Increased physical contact with the caregiver, thus improving the bond and safety.
- Decreased crying.
- Better quality of sleep: by being calmer, the baby falls asleep more easily and for more hours.
- It favors breastfeeding , since the close contact of the baby with the mother encourages breastfeeding and that helps to increase milk production.
- Promotes secure attachment , by early recognition of the baby’s signals and satisfying their needs earlier.
- Greater physical well-being: better regulation of body temperature, relief of gastroesophageal reflux, favors the expulsion of gases and bowel movements, improves colic in infants, reduces stress and provides greater tolerance to pain.
- Prevents postural plagiocephaly or head deformation.
- Protects the development of the back, by improving muscle tone and respecting the physiological curvature of the back.
- Protects the development of the hips.
- In premature infants, the “kangaroo method” has been shown to improve their physical, emotional and intellectual development.
For the adults:
- Increased autonomy: arms are free while caring for the baby.
- Reduces the risk of postpartum depression .
- Promotes self-esteem: babies are calmer, sleep better, giving the caregiver greater security.
- Favors the musculature of the carrier: the use of ergonomic baby carriers protects and favors the musculature of the adult’s back.
- Facilitates mobility with the baby by avoiding architectural barriers: stairs, works, public transport, etc.
As the use of the baby carrier is very beneficial, it can be carried without an age or weight limit, it will only depend on the needs of the child and the caregiver. For this carrying to be optimal, it is recommended to exclusively use ergonomic baby carriers , that is, they respect the postural physiology of the baby and the adult.
What baby carrier can we choose?
Currently there are many types of baby carriers, but you have to know how to choose before buying, and not think that because the price is more expensive and the design is more beautiful, the baby carrier is better, because not all of them are ergonomic or safe.
For a baby carrier to be ERGONOMIC , it must meet certain requirements:
- Be comfortable for the carrier and do not cause back pain.
- The baby must be well supported , with a firm and taut fabric, giving support to the baby’s back. The baby should not move even if the carrier bends over.
- The baby’s back should be flexed, in a “C” shape.
- The baby should be high up so that it can be easily kissed.
- The baby’s belly must be in contact with the adult’s body, they must never be turned “facing the world”. There are positions for older children, and they can be carried at the adult’s hip level or on the back, respecting the child’s physiology and allowing them to have greater visibility of those around them.
- The legs should be very open in a “frog” or “M” position, with the knees slightly higher than the buttocks.
For the baby carrier to be SAFE , it must:
- Always leave the baby’s face free.
- Prevent the neck from being flexed.
Safety in the use of portage
In addition to correctly choosing a good sling, you must take into account the rules of prevention in the use of the baby carrier:
- Prevent the face from leaning against the adult’s body.
- Avoid carrying a baby in a vehicle.
- Avoid practicing activities with risk of adult falls.
- Avoid cooking.
With all this information, you can now choose the baby carrier that is most suitable for your baby. There are many types of baby carriers that are ergonomic and safe: backpacks, shoulder bags, slings with rigid fabric, elastic slings, etc. Choosing one type or another will depend on which one best suits the circumstances and needs of your family.
What you should know…
- As the use of the baby carrier is very beneficial, both for the baby and for the caregiver who uses it, it can be carried without an age or weight limit, it will only depend on the needs of one and the other.
- Currently there are many types of baby carriers, but you have to know how to choose before buying, and not think that because the price is more expensive and the design is more beautiful, the baby carrier is better, because not all of them are ergonomic or safe.
- Of course, for the baby carrier to be safe, it must: always leave the baby’s face free, and prevent the neck from being flexed.