"Stop carrying him all the time, you'll give him bad habits!", "You'll make him dependent!", "He won't be able to do without you!".
If you're reading this article, you've probably heard at least one of these phrases before. But then, is your entourage right? Babywearing, a bad habit?
To answer this question, a return to the origins of the human species is necessary!
Babywearing, an ancestral practice favored by young parents
Babywearing is the act of carrying your child against you using a cloth. Thanks to babywearing, your child benefits from an optimal development on the physiological, motor and emotional levels
Babywearing is first and foremost a question of survival!
Babywearing has been used since the first hominids appeared 7 million years ago. At that time, it was an essential condition for the survival of the human species. A baby that was not carried by its mother simply risked being eaten by a predator. Fortunately, today our living conditions have evolved!
Nevertheless, even if the survival of our babies is no longer threatened by predators, babywearing offers undeniable benefits. It is now also for you, young parents who have only 2 hands and 24 hours a day, that it is a question of "survival". By being attentive to your baby while being mobile and efficient in all the challenges of everyday life.
Its evolution over the centuries
The culture of babywearing was very present until the Middle Ages. But in the 19th century, the invention of the pram / baby carriage made this practice decline, until the 1970s. This is when researchers (Hassenstein, Nathalie Charpak, or Leboyer) became interested in the benefits of babywearing.
Today, the practice of babywearing is experiencing a renewed interest from young parents concerned about the well-being of their child and aware that a return to the roots offers many advantages. And if you are reading this article, you are surely part of it ;)
Why does your baby need to be held so much?
For several reasons, a baby has a vital need to be in contact with his mother, father or any other attachment figure.
From an anthropological point of view, your baby's brain at birth is immature
Unlike other mammals, the human baby has an immature brain at birth. From an anthropological point of view, this brain immaturity is due to the evolution of the human species. Through millions of years of evolution, the hominid has gradually acquired walking, in other words bipedalism. The straightening of its posture modified its bone structure by reducing the width of the female pelvis.
Thus, a narrower pelvis in the mother forced the baby to be born "prematurely". Specialists estimate that for the baby to be born as mature as other small mammals, its gestation time should be 18 months. But after 18 months of gestation, the diameter of its head would no longer pass through its mother's pelvis.
The evolution of the species causes our babies to be born prematurely. Therefore, wearing your baby in a sling for at least the first few months of life is a natural continuation of the pregnancy and contributes to his brain development.
From a neurological point of view, your baby needs optimal emotional security to grow well
The development of the brain begins in the first months of pregnancy. The part that develops first is the so-called archaic or reptilian brain. The archaic brain is partly responsible for your baby's reflexes. On the other hand, the part of the brain responsible for fine and voluntary motor skills begins to develop at the end of pregnancy and during the first months of your baby's life.
The immaturity of our babies' brains is the source of their dependence on adults. A little giraffe gambles within minutes of birth. A human baby does not have sufficient motor development to perform the same feats.
While waiting for his brain to develop enough to start crawling and walking, your baby needs you to feel protected and to discover the world. Carrying your baby provides emotional security and optimal brain development.
More than a habit, a need!
In view of these reasons, scientifically founded since the 1980s, babywearing appears to be a natural response to a natural need expressed by the child.
Thus, more than a habit, babywearing is a need. It is also important to remember that an infant grows at a rapid pace from week to week and does not form habits. Even less bad habits! His rapid development forces him to constantly adapt to his new sensations and abilities.
Your baby's cries express his need for contact and comfort. They are in no way "whims", but simply a natural and vital need.
The Kangaroo Care
The kangaroo care (el plan mamá canguro) was developed in 1978 in Bogota, Colombia, by doctors Rey Sanabria and Martinez. They introduced this practice as an alternative to incubators for premature or low birth weight babies.
This method consists, in addition to breastfeeding and early hospital discharge, of prolonged skin-to-skin contact. In developing countries, this practice has the effect of:
- decrease the rate of infection of diseases
- decrease the infant mortality rate.
Initially considered a method reserved for poor countries, the kangaroo method is now practiced throughout the world.
The WHO and the French Society of Neonatology (SFN) support this practice with virtues clearly demonstrated in the scientific literature.
Dear parents, don't give too much importance or truth to the statements that carrying your baby gives him bad habits. Your baby needs to be carried, for his well-being, for his development and especially because it is natural! Soon enough, he will discover his autonomy and the carrying time will be reduced until you will be the one running after him for a kiss!
If you are interested in this subject, we advise you to listen to the point of view of Céline, our psychomotrician.