Babywearing – Tradition To Trend

Babywearing fashion

Babies who are worn, Cry Less, Learn More and form Better Bonds. Carrying your baby is not only practical, it’s now a fashionable option too.

Walking down the street one day, wrestling a screaming baby in a huge double buggy in one hand and dragging a reluctant toddler in the other, I bump into another mother walking – no, gliding – along in the opposite direction, a picture of serenity. The difference is that her baby is cocooned in a wrap on her front, her toddler seems far less reluctant to walk and there’s no buggy in sight.

I’m awestruck: it all seems so simple, and the woven wrap she is using to carry her baby is beautiful. I stop to ask her about it, and that’s when I find myself disappearing down the babywearing rabbit hole. There is a real resurgence in babywearing underway. It seems strange to describe it as a ‘trend’ when women have been carrying their babies in slings for centuries, possibly millennia, but there is a whole community of mothers – and fathers – out there, for whom this age-old parenting technique is a perfect fit with their modern lives.

So what’s the appeal? Dr William Sears, one of the biggest advocates for so-called ‘attachment parenting’, coined the phrase ‘babywearing’ and lists many benefits for both mother and baby. Babies who are carried or ‘worn’ cry less, learn more, form better maternal bonds and spend more time in a
state of ‘quiet alertness’ which enables them to develop connections in their brains. In addition, mothers are less likely to suffer from post-partum depression.

As well as the practical benefits of using a carrier, the babywearing world has become increasingly fashion-conscious. It’s something that has allowed women to express their sense of style as well as doing something practical. I’m not into high-end fashion but I really look for that in a wrap.

A mom whose baby is now a year old and has been worn regularly since she was born, says. When I think back to the early days, having the sling has been so beneficial for both of us. In new situations, she can adjust a lot quicker, and I think it’s because she’s been up at my height, seeing my reactions.

While many new parents opt for a softstructured carrier with straps, buckles and waistbands for ergonomic support, the simpler wraps and ring slings are growing in popularity.
Intrigued by the research that promotes babywearing, and inspired by the mothers singing its praises, I try a ring sling. The length of fabric is over two metres long, but is easy to fasten and simple to adjust. I test it out in different situations with my seven month old and discover it is surprisingly
supportive and far more versatile than I had imagined. What’s more, it looks good, and I find myself choosing my outfit based on how well the sling will stand out.

In this country we haven’t really seen it as a fashion accessory before, but I think there’s a sling for every occasion. I have to say, I’m a convert and most importantly, my baby seems to be, too.

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