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Slings Make Mothering Easier

Slings Make Mothering Easier

By Debi Mitchell (slingmom@slingbaby.com)

Mothers all over the world carry their babies with them throughout the day. While being carried a baby participates in walking, talking, laughing, working and playing. Babies are happier when their need for touch, warmth, and movement is fulfilled. A content, alert baby can observe the world around and learn more readily. A stroller or plastic carrier just can not provide the tactile stimulation and natural rhythm of movement necessary for proper neurological development.

Health professionals and other experts in the baby field are agreeing that there are many benefits to wearing your baby in a sling. Pediatricians agree that baby slings reduce crying and help to calm colicky babies. A randomized controlled test reported in Pediatrics showed that carrying babies reduces crying 43% during the day and 51% at night. Babies who cry show more stress hormones circulating through their central nervous system, and stress is known to cause diseases in humans. This stress can irritate the immature digestive system, so being touched and carried has a positive effect on the digestive system. Also less frustrated babies have less frustrated parents and therefore they are less often the victims of child abuse.

Having your baby held close in a baby sling encourages parent-infant bonding and develops a lifelong security. The ability to calm an infant is important for parent/infant attachment. A calmer, less irritable infant feeds better, is more socially responsive, and is more likely to develop a better relationship with its parent. Infants to toddlers can be worn comfortably and securely in a variety of positions. Once mothers try carrying their baby in a sling they find it remarkably easy since their baby is so content.

A mother carrying her baby in a sling has the baby close by to respond to his or her needs through breastfeeding too. Human milk gives a baby nutrients and immune properties that cannot be duplicated. Mothers can nurse their babies discreetly and carry on with their daily activities while knowing that their baby's needs are being met. Babies can never be spoiled by responding quickly to their needs. A truly independent child is one who feels comfortable knowing that their caregiver will respond to them so they can venture out into the world when they are ready. Increasing the time that a baby is held close builds security that will benefit them for the rest of their life. A baby raised in a sling needs to be carried less when they are older than their counterpart who was reared with mechanical devices. Sling babies are less clingy! They give their parent cues when they want to crawl off, explore, and play- rather than tugging on mommy's skirt , whining to be picked up.

Using a baby sling has many other advantages over a conventional carrier. With a conventional front or back carrier the weight is carried on the parent's shoulder which puts strain on the neck, shoulder, and lower back. With a baby sling the weight is distributed evenly across the shoulder, back and hip. When carrying an older child on the hip, the parent does not have to thrust their hip out to hold the baby up; the sling holds the child up and the parent can stand straight upright for better posture. A sling can also be worn on the opposite shoulder to share the load. In this manner a child can easily be carried until at least three years old on the hip.

A baby's spine is placed in a compromising position in many of today's other popular carriers. An infant who is upright with legs hanging down through openings has undue stress on the base of their spine. A baby's spine in this position has to bear his entire weight and this can cut into the baby's circulation. This position also holds their legs apart in a bowlegged manner during the months when the pelvis is soft and forming. Being in a sling is similar to being in a hammock. A child can lie down in a horizontal position with their head and neck supported by the sling, or sit up cross-legged so his weight is dissipated through his legs and hips.

When a newborn baby is carried in a sling it helps ease the transition from the womb. As a baby grows it can be placed in new positions in the sling to look out and learn about the world. This stimulation is important in their growth and development. When a child begins riding on your hip the sling helps to displace the weight so you can hold them easily without straining your muscles. Slings make it easier for mothers to go places and do things, yet meet the needs of their child at the same time. For more information about an Over the Shoulder Baby Holder baby sling you can call toll free 1-877-803-2109 or visit the Slingbaby website at http://www.slingbaby.com. Don't put things off. Wear your baby!

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