Make no mistake – carseats are necessary for safely traveling with your infant. Strollers can be a lifesaver, especially to parents of multiples. However, there are just some things about babywearing that are irreplaceably beneficial to both the baby and the parent.
Here’s just a few reasons why your chiropractor might recommend babywearing:
1. It’s easier on you! If you’ve ever struggled to install and remove a carseat and then lug said carseat into the grocery store, mall, or doctor’s office – especially on a hot summer afternoon in Texas, then you know what I’m talking about. Not to mention, when you have to lean to one side to awkwardly carry the carseat around it can seriously offset the integrity of your spinal structure which makes me cringe every single time I see someone struggling to carry their child in a carseat.
2. It decreases the risk of skull deformity in your baby. Imagine that you just formed a perfectly spherical ball of Play-Doh®and then you set it down on a flat table, and leave it there for an hour. Would you be surprised if, when you came back, a small flat spot had developed in the place where it was resting on the table? It’s the same concept with your baby’s head. Obviously it takes more than an hour of resting in a car seat to cause skull deformities because they can turn and move their heads to take the pressure off one area at a time, however, since babies’ skulls are still soft and forming, too much time spent in one position putting pressure on their skull can eventually result in flattening and other deformities. In a sling or soft structured carrier, they have gentle support on their heads when they need it, but no flattening pressure. The material of the carrier forms to the shape of their heads. This is a much better choice than a carseat for any activity other than riding in the car.
3. It helps with breastfeeding. Have you ever seen a parent breastfeeding their baby in a sling or carrier? Probably only if you were paying very close attention. If you’re the type that prefers a more discreet approach to breastfeeding, you may find that this is the perfect solution as the carrier basically creates a built-in cover and nobody can really tell if your baby is sleeping or nursing! Even if you’re not particularly worried about being covered – this is still a great option because it leaves your hands free while your baby nurses. Why does your chiropractor care about this aspect? Because breastfeeding helps your baby’s jaw develop properly, which in turn can affect the alignment of their skull and spine.
4. It can help your spine adjust to the postpartum period. If you begin wearing your baby as a newborn, this can help your spine get used to being baby-free. Your spine gradually adapted to the increased weight caused by your growing baby – it didn’t happen overnight. Wearing your baby makes the loss of that weight less sudden for your spine and body to adapt to. Additionally, it is safer for you to begin wearing your baby as a newborn so that you can get used to wearing them as they get bigger than to suddenly start wearing them when they are say, 9 months old and much heavier.If you have questions about safely babywearing, contact your local babywearing group or talk to your chiropractor.