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A lot changes with the birth of your baby and your everyday life will be very different from before. It is now very important for your baby to be carried a lot, to cuddle and to continue to feel the heartbeat of mom and dad. For nine months, it was rocked in a warm belly and its needs were immediately satisfied.

Sometimes the first few weeks can be very challenging. The little worm cries a lot because the birth has to be processed first. As a mom, you may still be struggling with pain or problems when breastfeeding. It is therefore very important to make the most of the postpartum period and, as the name suggests, to “stay in bed”.

After this time, mom is often well again and everything has settled down. Yet your little sunshine doesn’t want to be put down and just wants to be carried? Don’t worry, this is completely natural and is also part of human nature. Because from an evolutionary point of view, humans are among the carriers. The first few months after the birth are also referred to as the “4th semester”. So don’t worry – you won’t spoil your baby if you wear it a lot. This brings us to the first point:

People are by nature carriers

It’s in our genes – a baby’s nervous system needs close physical contact. Let’s think of the Stone Age. If the parents had simply left their babies in the hut, the crying would have attracted dangerous animals. Even today, all primitive peoples still carry their babies. By carrying your baby, you regulate its breathing, heartbeat and temperature. Carrying also has a positive effect on digestion. And: Babywearing has a positive effect on baby’s brain development. The baby’s signals are also recognized at an early stage – so it often doesn’t even get as far as crying because it is hungry, for example.

So why is there a baby carriage at all? The first baby carriage was manufactured from 1840. From that day on, the baby carriage was marketed to mothers as THE means of transportation. Advertising slogans such as “Facts no mother can be indifferent to” forced “modern women” to use them. Unfortunately, since then the prejudices and myths about carrying have become more and more widespread and curious.

From “carrying is harmful” to “carrying spoils your baby” and you don’t want to raise a tyrant for heaven’s sake, it was – and still is! – everything included. Unfortunately, the book “Die deutsche Mutter und ihr erstes Kind” (The German mother and her first child ) did not necessarily contribute its best in the period from 1934 onwards. Many of the myths persist, as our grandparents learned them and passed them on to our parents. There are now numerous studies that dispel all these myths and prejudices.

Carrying is easy on the wearer’s hands and back

All parents carry their babies – usually in their arms. However, this becomes painful after a very short time – arms and back ache. But your baby won’t let you put it down because it needs to be close to you. Many parents despair in such situations, wondering whether their little one is the only one who wants to be carried around all the time. You can rest assured – as mentioned above, this behavior is completely natural in babies. So if the time has come when you feel that you can no longer meet your baby’s need for closeness, it’s time for a sling or baby carrier. This way you can meet your baby’s natural needs and your need for a little freedom.

And that’s not all: you have your hands free to look after other siblings, take care of the household or do the shopping. Evening crying phases can be relieved by carrying your baby in a sling – your little worm is close to you and can feel your heartbeat.

Babywearing can also enable your need for freedom and flexibility – going for walks, strolling around town, visiting friends can be peaceful because your baby can feel your closeness.

Carrying promotes physical and mental development

How does that work? Carrying has a positive effect on the healthy development of the child’s hip joint – provided that the natural squat-spread posture is properly supported. Wearing it can also counteract the deformation of the head caused by the bearing. Your baby’s sense of balance is trained by the constantly changing movements and all other senses such as sight, taste and hearing are also trained.

How can carrying your little worm support you psychologically? Your baby feels like a family member who is treated as an equal – which means that you can recognize your baby’s needs very early on. It also feels loved and secure and the bond is strengthened considerably. This brings us to the fourth point:

Carrying the baby strengthens the bond

Ever heard of the bonding hormone oxytocin? It is considered THE love hormone and is responsible for our interpersonal relationships. During childbirth, it is considered to stimulate labor and supports the induction of milk. It also ensures that stress can be better processed and that you feel more relaxed.

Of course, all these factors also apply to your baby – the bond is strengthened and he or she can cope better with sensory overload and stress. That’s why you should always carry your baby facing you – this is the only way to ensure that your baby is not exposed to any further stimuli and is not overwhelmed even more. As your baby gets bigger and wants to see more, you can carry them sideways or on your back.

Studies have shown that babies who are carried usually have a more secure bond with their parents than those who are not. Why is that the case? As mentioned above, you as parents will be able to pay attention to your baby’s signals more quickly and sensitively when babywearing. It feels safe.

Why is a secure bond so important? This bond can also be called basic trust – and it is precisely this basic trust that develops in the first few months of life. It is therefore essential that babies experience closeness, love and care in the first year of life. However, it can often happen that babies cannot always be carried close to the body, e.g. due to premature birth, operations or the decision of the birth mother.

However, many hospitals already offer the option of bonding and more and more foster families are also making use of babywearing. External care is often necessary after a short time – here too, it can be very helpful for the children to be carried in the daycare center and for the parents to make sure that they build up a secure bond with the baby at home.

Basic trust helps your baby to grow into a healthy and self-confident person. This also includes your child developing a positive self-esteem and becoming “loveable” – in other words, building a good relationship with other people.

Building basic trust is actually quite simple: by breastfeeding your baby’s needs, you strengthen the bond, the basic trust. Unfortunately, in our fast-paced and hectic world, it is often not so easy to walk the fine line between career, family and hobbies and friends.

“It takes a whole village to raise a child” (Nigerian proverb)

Family situations have changed – several generations used to live together and so the mother was always supported and relieved. And that’s exactly what a family needs. You need your village. Be it family or, if you don’t have them close by, a surrogate grandma, friends who also have children and you support each other. Be it a domestic help who comes once a week and cleans everything. Because then you will be able to relax as parents and fully respond to your baby’s needs.

Your baby’s needs are not really that great: eating, sleeping, a new diaper and the closeness of mom and dad. As parents, you will grow into your role and learn when your baby needs what. And it learns every time you satisfy a need that it is cared for and that someone is there when it needs something. And that brings us to the point of how you can strengthen your baby’s basic trust.

Do you have a crying baby or simply don’t know why it doesn’t want to be in the sling or are your nights just super short and you have the feeling of falling asleep immediately? Get help from a midwife to deal with birth trauma. Seeing a specialist cranio-sacral therapist can also help to release any blockages that are causing your baby pain. And of course you should get a babywearing consultant to support you and show you how to carry your baby correctly. It also helps you to find the right sling, the right way of tying or even a carrying aid.

And very important for you as a mom: postpartum depression requires psychological support. Far too often, the baby blues are mistaken for postpartum depression and this can have serious consequences for you as a mom and also for the bond with your baby. That’s why you should talk to your partner about the signs of postpartum depression so that they can recognize it early on.

Wearing means freedom, flexibility and mobility

Whether you live in a big city, in the countryside or in the mountains – there are often obstacles in the way with a baby carriage. Be it the escalators in the subway stations, the streetcars and buses that are far too narrow or the pram-unfriendly footpaths. When you carry your baby, you are completely free to go your own way. You don’t have a bulky item that you have to stow away in your perhaps already small car and therefore still have space in the trunk for a suitcase, a picnic, shopping or your beloved four-legged friend, who should definitely not be missing.

But why is this freedom so important for many parents? Firstly, it’s often the pressure of society – on Instagram, the “big stars” tell us how fit they aren’t just a week after giving birth. They party, go shopping and their bodies look as if they’ve never given birth. What I can tell you for sure as a mom is that these moms will come home and fall into bed exhausted. Breastfeeding will usually not work because the stress inhibits milk production. Not to mention the pain of the afterpains, possible birth injuries and sore breasts.

Don’t let this appearance deceive you! It is natural to just stay in bed for the first 2 to 3 weeks. That can and SHOULD be the case. You have to come together as a family first. Everything is new, the baby has to arrive and everything has to settle first. Breastfeeding takes time and rest. Get a lactation consultant if you have problems with this.

Have food brought over and spend as much time together as possible. Visitors are welcome to be turned away and the cell phone can also go on silent mode. And only when everything has settled down well, mom and baby feel fit enough and you have the feeling that NOW WE ARE READY – only then should you slowly start with visits and first walks.

And of course every family is different, every mother feels differently after giving birth and breastfeeding works less well or better for every baby. Look at your situation and decide individually. However, this decision should never be based on pressure from outside, but should be tailored to the needs of each individual family member.

Written by Tatjana Kirchweger from LIEBEVOLL GEBUNDEN

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