Of course there are very few reasons to listen to Piers Morgan when he holds forth with a Twitter-baiting opinion. But when he starts talking about babywearing, you really know it’s time to unfollow, block, put down the phone and head out into the sunshine to fill your life with joy rather than gloom.
The journalist-turned-tedious-opinion-generator said that “real men” carry their babies until they are old enough to sit on their shoulders and that James Bond actor Daniel Craig was “emasculated” because he was pictured with his little one in a sling. It’s not exactly clear who made Piers Morgan the authority on masculinity, but he’s taken on the role with gusto.
The thing is that he ludicrously misjudged these comments, because anyone with even an inkling of common sense knows there are a huge number of benefits to babywearing. Here are ten reasons to wear your baby.
1. Hands Free Parenting
The average parent heads out with so much kit that SAS commandos have been known to feel pity for them. What you don’t want on top of the change bag, the coat, the scarf, the hat, the bag of toys and games to keep them amused and everything else that makes up everyday carry for parents is to have to give up the use of one arm to hold the child.
It’s uncomfortable and, quite frankly, not safe. Trying to balance the weight of all of your accessories against the child is nigh-on impossible and you will find yourself swiftly banned from the china section of your local department store as, with all that bulk, you could easily take down the whole display in one fell swoop.
Having your baby up close and personal is a great way to bond with them. You might not get to spend as much time with your little one as you would like once you have to return to the normal daily schedule, so you need to make the most of the time you do have.
This physical proximity encourages your body to release more of the ‘love hormone’, Oxytocin. This is what makes it feel so good for both you and the child and helps you become more responsive to their needs. They can tune into your breathing and your heartbeat, making it a truly pleasurable experience for them and you.
3. Keeping Baby Warm
To your baby, you are basically a gigantic radiator for a large part of your time together. They can’t regulate their own body temperature, but you can help. This makes babywearing, especially in winter, so beneficial.
You can share your bodyheat with the child, who might otherwise feel the chill if they are in a pram. It’s the same principle that your partner adopts when, in the middle of a bleak midwinter night, she shoves her Baltic, ice-cube feet onto your warm legs and gets a bit uppity when you scream in shock.
4. Calming Down a Screaming Child
Your baby is guaranteed to have a meltdown at the most inappropriate time possible. In the middle of a supermarket when your trolley is already mostly full, at the library at its very quietest, in court (well, you never know).
Having them in a sling or baby carrier is an excellent way to show them that you are there for them and, hopefully, tone down the screams. Their closeness to you and the calming movement of your body can really help them regulate their mood.
5. Baby Gym
Carrying a baby is a great workout. Having that little extra weight to move around burns more calories than normal and, as long as you wear them correctly and spread their weight evenly, babywearing is a lot more comfortable than swinging around a few kettlebells.
Not only that, but you can work out as you head around town, ticking off your to-do list along the way. Great abs and your car tax renewed in one day – living the dream.
Practicality isn’t a sexy word, but it is a concept that needs to be considered all the same for the sake of getting about your daily schedule and keeping you sane. Prams have many great features and benefits, but they are certainly not practical for some situations you find yourself in with a baby.
Stairs are the mortal enemy of parents with prams, as are packed trains and buses. It’s no fun manhandling the pram onto a bus with all the grace of Ross from Friends pivoting his sofa, only to be met with groans from your fellow passengers who begrudge having to bunch up to accommodate you. Babywearers simply skip up and down stairs and hop onto public transport with the minimum of fuss.
Look, we all know that fashion is shallow, but we are more likely to try something out if we see others doing it before. If you were put off attempting to wear your baby because of Piers Morgan’s words, then surely the fact that babywearing is becoming ever more evident on our streets will instill in you the confidence to give it a whirl.
8. Take the Strain
Carrying a baby in your arms is easy. For about five minutes. After five minutes, they somehow transform into the heaviest object known to man. Physics can’t explain it. Maybe it’s okay to hold them for a short amount of time, but if you’re trying to make it round an entire museum or park, you might find that both arms are out of action for the next few days through abject soreness.
A baby worn correctly is much more comfortable and easy to manoeuvre as you head out and about.
9. Anti-Colic Action
The world of colic is a murky one to negotiate as we don’t definitively know what it is, but many babies suffer with it. Studies show that babywearing can reduce the symptoms of colic, which is great news for parents, because not much else seems to.
10. And Finally…
The tenth reason to wear your baby is simple. It winds up Piers Morgan and that is a truly beautiful thing.
Do you have any more reasons to wear your baby to add to the list? Stick the in the Comments section!