Happy International Babywearing Week! Babywearing is defined as simply wearing baby with some sort of carrier, be it a buckled soft structured carrier, sling, or simple piece of cloth. As a chiropractor and father, babywearing is something I am passionate about. Why are so many chiropractors outspoken proponents of babywearing? The overarching reasons are twofold. One, today’s U.S. culture has mothers and fathers carrying their infants and young babies in car seats, which, when done for an extended period, can have serious consequences for infant development. Two, babywearing has a large number of positive benefits, especially for the physical, social, emotional, and neurological development of the infant. There have been many great articles written on these two topics – both the negative effects of portable car seat overuse, and the positive effects of babywearing. Below I’ve provided links to a few articles on these topics.
- ICPA – Benefits of Baby Carrying: This article primarily discusses physical benefits for the infant, such as general physical development, spine development, prevention of ear infections and respiratory issues, improved balance, increased neurological stimulation, better physiological regulation, and decreased fussiness/crying. http://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/
- ICPA – Car Seats are for Cars: This article discusses problems arising with routine overuse of infant car seats, and how babywearing is a safer, healthier alternative. Portable infant car seat use has contributed to an increase in plagiocephaly, or “flat head syndrome.” Extended use of portable car seats also places unhealthy strain on the infant due to poor positioning, and strains the adult carrying it as well. Infants who are left in the car seats beyond the car ride also receive less touch and interaction, which affects development. http://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/The-Outer-Womb/car-seats-are-for-cars.html
- Andrew Dodge, DC – Babywearing vs Car Seat Carrying:This article, written by my twin brother who is also a DC, discusses the physical and neurological effects of car seat carrying, contrasted with babywearing being ideal for baby’s physical, neurological, and emotional development. https://onyababy.com/2012/06/benefits-of-babywearing-vs-carseat-carrying/
- Sears – Benefits of Babywearing: Dr. Sears discusses benefits of babywearing in the context of attachment parenting, a parenting style he has spread which encourages the natural, intuitive, and biological bonding of parents and infants. https://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/fussy-baby/baby-wearing/benefits-babywearing
This week Claire and I will share a few more blog posts on babywearing and our favorite way to wear our children. This week is a celebration of keeping your children close via babywearing, however you choose to do it. If our posts bring up any questions for you, don’t hesitate to ask me. Happy International Babywearing Week!
– Dr. Dodge, DC