This post was written by guest staff writer, Katie Pawlak.
My introduction to babywearing began several years ago when my husband and I spent two weeks in rural Uganda. I observed women all around me going about their daily work with wiggly, smiling bundles of baby on their backs, tied with a large beach towel or length of fabric. The babies were happy to be with their mommas, and the mommas were able to tend to the needs of their little ones quickly and seamlessly amid their day-to-day tasks.
Several years later when I was expecting my own little one, I looked into the variety of products available for wearing my baby. In the course of my searching, I came across study after study listing the numerous benefits babywearing for both parent and child. I learned that babies who are worn for a significant part of the day experience less crying overall (up to 43% less!), spend more time in a “quiet alert” state which is optimal for learning [2-6], receive extra stimulation to their visual and vestibular sensory systems, and show improved secure attachment to their caregivers . Being near to their caregiver’s voice, warmth, heartbeat, and body movements also helps babies process and adapt better to the world around them [8-9]. Wearing baby against your skin can promote a healthy milk supply in the early days after birth , and keeping baby close also supports the mommy-baby bond for mothers who are experiencing postpartum depression . The research spoke for itself in my situation; our next order of business was to decide what we were going to use to carry our baby (I was a little leery of using a beach towel!).
We tried out a variety of slings and carriers in our daughter’s early days, however they were recently packed up and put away when were given an ErgoSport carrier last month. At 20 lbs., our little one is not so little any more, and some of our other carriers now leave us with sore shoulders and aching backs. But not the Ergo! We love how comfortable our ErgoSport carrier is to wear in a variety of positions, depending on whether Annie wants to ride on our back and face forward, or snuggle in close on our chest. The adjustable (and well padded) shoulder straps and waist belt make it easy for my husband and I to switch back and forth, and the sleep hood makes napping on the go a breeze. Whether it’s taking a snooze on mom during church, checking out the sights of downtown Boston on daddy’s back, or riding on someone’s hip while grocery shopping, our Ergo is now very much a part of our family and goes everywhere with us!
I had the privilege of speaking recently with Hannah Sullivan, copywriter and social media specialist from ErgoBaby, about this fantastic product:
KP: In a market that’s saturated with so many products for wearing and carrying your baby, what sets the ERGObaby carrier apart from the rest?
HS: In addition to our numerous safety certifications and prestigious awards, The ERGOnomic design of the ERGObaby Carrier is best for the baby’s spinal, pelvic, and hip development, and provides a comfortable and ERGOnomic fit for parents, as well.
KP: What are some of the benefits that using the Ergo offers to babies and their parents?
HS: The main benefit is that it enables parents, and all caregivers, the ability to be HandsFree in all of their activities. It can be worn in 3 different positions. It is comfortable for the wearer because of the design of the waist belt and shoulder straps. It can be worn as long as the child wishes to be carried, as an infant and into toddlerhood, negating the need for more than one carrier for all of your babywearing years!
KP: Is there anything new on the horizon at ERGObaby?
Our newest designs are the Options Carrier, with its interchangeable covers that snap on for a whole new carrier look, and the Organic Petunia Pickle Bottom printed ERGObaby Carriers for the fashion-forward fans! We are constantly conceptualizing and designing new carrier and product ideas, so stay tuned!
The Other Baby Book fans: Interested in winning an Ergobaby front pack?
This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Chialin, our winner!
To enter, visit the Ergo site, leave a comment below with the color you’d most like, and your email address, by October 9th, at 11:59pm.
If you’d like additional entries, leave separate comments after completing each of the following:
1. Like The Other Baby Book on FB. (Let us know if you already like us!)
2. Follow @otherbabybook on Twitter.
3. Subscribe to our blog.
4. Post a link to this giveaway on your FB or Twitter.
1. Hunziker, U. A. and Barr, R, G. (1986). Increased carrying reduces infant crying: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics, 77, 641-8.
3. Barr, R. G. (1990). The Early Crying Paradox: A Modest Proposal. Human Nature, 1, 355-389.
5. Barr, R. G., Konner, M., Bakeman, R. and Adamson, L. (1991). Crying in !Kung San infants: a test of the cultural specificity hypothesis. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 33, 601-10.
7. Brazelton, T. B., Robey, J. S., Collier, G. A. (1969). Infant development in the Zintandeco Indians of Southern Mexico. Pediatrics, 44, 274-290.
8. Lee, K. (1994). The crying pattern of Korean infants and related factors. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 36, 601-7.
9. LeVine, R.A., LeVine, S., Dixon, S., Richman, A., Leiderman, P.H., Keefer, C. and Brazelton, T.B. (1994). Child Care and Culture: Lessons from Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
10. Anisfeld, E., Casper, V., Nozyce, M. and Cunningham, N. (1990). Does infant carrying promote attachment? An experimental study of the effects of increased physical contact on the development of attachment. Child Development, 61, 1617-1627.
11. Pelaez-Nogueras M, Field TM, Hossain Z, Pickens J. (1996). Depressed mothers’ touching increases infants’ positive affect and attention in still-face interactions. Child Development, 67, 1780-92.