Science and natural parenting haven’t always made comfortable bed-fellows. In fact, during the 20th century “science” based opinion directed mothers toward formula and away from breastmilk, toward hospital birth and away from home birth, and toward “self-soothing” over responsive parenting. This trend favored modern, detached parenting methods over more traditional, natural ones.
Babywearing went the same way, and parents began to hold their babies less and less. As technology advanced, car seats and prams took over as the default means of baby transport, and, just like that, it looked like baby-carrying was on the way out.
Thankfully, over the last few decades the tides have turned.
Researchers have become less wedded to the ideology of science-over-nature. In fact, as science matured, studies repeatedly unearthed evidence to support age-old parenting intuitions. Be it breastfeeding, childbirth or babywearing, science and ancient wisdom are getting on the same.
Now that it’s International Babywearing Week, what better time to celebrate baby-carrying and the science that backs it up. This visualisation by We The Parents highlights 23 compelling studies supporting an evidence-based case for babywearing:
It is satisfying to see cutting edge research corroborating babywearing practises that have been around for millennia. In fact, the science is far beyond the knowledge of our ancestors by revealing benefits that we could never have known otherwise.
Who could have guessed that baby-carrying could reduce the incidence of otitis media (middle-ear infection)? Or that it can promote healthy digestion and growth in preterm babies? And how about that it helps mothers and infants to sync their body temperature and heartbeat?
As baby-carrying continues to gain traction in mainstream health and social care, perhaps we’ll soon hear the mantra “babywearing is best”, akin to the breastfeeding one. Either way, with science and ancient knowledge uniting behind babywearing, it’s a fine time to celebrate.
Let’s all come together and sing for slings!