Babywearing in the times of coronavirus

With all the measures already taken by the parents in order to protect themselves and their children from coronavirus, babywearing parents can enjoy few added bonuses. Сarrying your baby close is likely to lessen the chances of them coming into contact with germs and viruses that their delicate systems cannot yet handle and here is why.

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Wearing babies improves immunological protection

In simple terms: when babies are content and aren’t wasting energy on crying, their bodies can use that energy to grow and heal optimally.

Scientific explanation: the sense of touch is critical and has emerged as an important modality for " the facilitation of growth and development". Without regular and prolonged periods of touch babies produce the stress hormone, cortisol. High levels of cortisol reduces white blood cell production which are vital in combatting infections and keeping the immune system healthy.

“From humans to mice, mammalian infants become calm and relaxed when they are carried by their mother”.
Having your baby so close allows you to become quickly attuned to her signals. A sling creates a cozy, snug environment where the baby can hear your heartbeat and it is reassuring and calming for them as it mimics being in the womb. As a result the baby cries less, they are not under stress and their immune system works well.
I often used breastfeeding as a way to keep my baby in the sling or to keep him calm and safe so that I can concentrate on a task. Thanks to babywearing, breastfeeding has become an aid rather than an obstacle to my daily routine.

Breast milk protects your baby

In simple language: Human milk provides virtually all the protein, sugar, and fat your baby needs to be healthy, and it also contains many substances that benefit your baby’s immune system, including antibodies, immune factors, enzymes, and white blood cells. These substances protect your baby against a wide variety of diseases and infections not only while he is breastfeeding. If you're breastfeeding, kissing your baby’s head like you often do whilst in a carrier, will mean that you pick up anything they’ve been in contact with in their environment and your milk will adapt to help fight that

Scientific explanation: breastfeeding protects against infections through specific and non-specific immune factors and "has long-term consequences for metabolism and disease later in life".
If you are wearing your baby you are more likely to breastfeed as babywearing promotes breastfeeding hormone. While your baby is in the carrier you would often kiss your baby and will very likely pick up the viruses and bacteria they’ve been in contact with in their environment. The good news is that your breast milk will adapt to help fight that before you even know that you are sick.

Shopping with the baby in the carrier may be safer

Single mums or those who do not have anyone they could leave their baby with while they do their shopping won’t need to use a shopping trolley where little hands, and likely mouths, may come into contact with the trolley and the objects around it. Mums can use a sling or a soft-structured carrier and feel snug and safe facing inwards. Elder babies can be worn on mum’s back in a baby carrier that allows thus position.

Being around family members while carrying the baby in the sling may offer additional protection

A carrier keeps your baby nestled in a little protected cocoon, keeping germs away. Considering current situation no one wants random people getting close or touching their baby. Practice shows that it is a lot easier to reach into the stroller than try to get to the baby that is on the parent's chest. So, people who would be likely to peer into a car seat or stroller (coughing, sneezing, touching and otherwise bringing unwanted germs near your child) are much less likely to get up close and personal with your baby if they are snuggled up on your chest.

Surely, now that we all practice social isolation it is less likely for a total stranger to interact with your baby, but let’s face it - even the closest family members may unwillingly spread the germs around your home, after visiting the shop, for example. Wearing your baby in a sling or carrier can make it easier to keep it away from touching the surfaces that other family member had contact with.

If your baby gets unwell

Even if you do everything possible to prevent all colds and inevitability, your baby will and should get sick sometimes. This is when they need only one thing: to cuddle with you! All mums had experience of the sick baby who cries every time it is put down. Every mum of a toddler knows that it gets really tough as the sick toddler will ask her to stay close and cuddle together, follow you around whining for your constant attention. At these times, your baby carrier can save your sanity!

Many mums stop using their trusty carriers as their kids grow older and become more independent. Those of you who did not completely abandon the idea can always revert to the good old ring sling when your toddler or even an older child wants to be nowhere but on top of you.

Added bonus: wearing your little one close to you when they are sick, can also help you monitor any fever or other symptoms, and help keep them calm and help little body to focus on healing.

You get to keep up with life, hands-free.

At this moment many parents are facing the stress of having all their children at home all at once and all day long. Babywearing can help tremendously as it allows to keep up with the daily routine, focus on your tasks while taking care of your baby hands free.

This means doing chores around the house, working, cooking, going for a walk and even exercising. This is even more important for parents who have more than one child, as being more present for your other children is absolutely critical once the little baby enters into the family life. You can continue spending time with your toddler or elder child, talk, play and hold your toddler's hand while wearing your newborn. Isn't that a wonderful thought?
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