Arriving home with a new baby is exciting – but how on earth do you get through the bits and pieces of day-to-day life while carrying your wee one around? For a lot of parents, babywearing can prove to be an absolute lifesaver. If you think you might be one of them, stick around while we go through some of the benefits of babywearing – both for you and your baby!


What is Babywearing?

To start with, let’s look at what exactly babywearing entails. Rather than carrying your little one in a capsule, popping them in a pram to push in front of you, or keeping them held snug in your arms, babywearing involves a specialised piece of equipment or fabric to “wear” your baby – it’s a way to carry them around without having to use your arms. There are a number of ways you might do this, but the two major types of babywearing use either a soft, structured carrier consisting of a specialised pouch for bubs to sit in and be supported (along with straps to keep it secure), or a wrap or sling – a long piece of fabric you wrap and tie around your body for your little one to be held against your body, sometimes secured with a ring (in the case of slings). Each style has its pros and cons, and what suits one family may not suit another – and that’s alright. Have a look at what each style offers and compare that with how you intend to use it. If you have friends or family members who have a carrier or wrap, ask how easy, useful and/or affordable they found it – they may even be willing to let you try it out! 

It’s essential when babywearing to know how to do it properly – there are a growing number of babywearing consultants around New Zealand and the rest of the world, so if you have one near you, try to get as much advice from them as you can. They can help not only with choosing the right style for you, but also give you all sorts of tips on how to make using them easier and safer. In addition, there may also be babywearing groups near you, where other parents in the same situation can help support each other in learning the best way to use these incredibly handy devices – many groups also have their own trained consultants to help out!

So that’s what babywearing is (in a very brief format). Next, let’s look at why you might want to invest in a carrier or wrap.

Babywearing parents group learning how to use a wrap

 Convenience and Mobility

One of the top reasons parents opt for babywearing is the convenience it offers. Imagine having your baby snugly held in a carrier or wrap, allowing you to move freely and accomplish your tasks. Whether you’re at home, taking a walk, or shopping, babywearing lets your hands remain free while keeping your little one close.


Bonding and Attachment

Next on the list is how babywearing helps promote bonding between parents and little ones. Skin-to-skin is very commonly known these days, with most people being aware of its benefits, but that doesn’t mean that the physical closeness of babywearing is in any way reduced just because there are a couple of layers of clothing between you. By being snuggled in against you, using a carrier can give your baby a real sense of security, which can be a comforting thought for parents.


Calming and Soothing

Fussy or colicky infants often struggle to deal with lying down in a pram. However, carrying them upright, close to your body, can have a calming effect on these babies. It’s warm, comforting, and the gentle rocking motion as you walk can help soothe them, as it’s reminiscent of their time in the womb. If you find your little one cries endlessly while in a pram but begins to settle when you pick them back up for a cuddle, babywearing might be just the solution you need!

Father kissing baby's head while babywearing

 Hands-Free Parenting

All of these add up to let you engage in some hands-free parenting. Especially helpful with smaller babies, wearing them in a carrier means you can head out and get the shopping done, prepare meals, or just be able to get any of those other tasks of daily life done while knowing your child is safe and secure – what a win for busy parents!


Stimulates Development

Being upright in a baby carrier gives bubs so many more opportunities to observe the world around them – and if they start to feel overstimulated, they can tuck their faces right next to your heart and shut off the world outside. This valuable sensory input lets your baby explore the world from the safety of your embrace, helping to boost their cognitive development while also giving them a chance to work those muscles and develop their physical skills as well!


What About Leaking Breasts?

If you’re breastfeeding, you might be wondering if you can still babywear if your breasts leak breastmilk – the answer is very much yes! Haakaa Ladybugs are the perfect thing to have to hand if you find you leak milk when your baby is nearby. Simply pop one into your bra—one on each side might be perfect if you find you leak from both sides—then babywear as usual! The Ladybugs will catch that milk rather than letting it stain your clothes, your baby’s clothes, or your carrier/wrap. Once your hands are free again, all you need to do is transfer that precious milk to a container and store it! Just remember that if you’ve been wearing your Ladybugs for longer than two hours, you can’t feed it to your baby, but it could make a wonderfully moisturising bath for bubs that night!


As you can see, there are huge benefits to babywearing, if that’s what you decide to do, and those benefits extend to both parent and child. Best of all, any adult can babywear; it doesn’t have to just be mum! These benefits are practical, developmental, and emotional, helping nurture a wonderful relationship with your new arrival. Check out your local groups for more advice on how it might work for you!