Babywearing | Discover the Lifelong Benefits for Baby (& You!)

Did you know that the First Thousand Days of your baby’s life – from conception to 2 years – will be the most crucial determiner of their lifelong wellbeing and physical, emotional, and intellectual development?

With this in mind, it can perhaps feel like a lot of pressure to give your baby the best start possible, but the good news is that studies show that regularly wearing your baby is an optimal way to give them many of the developmental advantages they need. And, best of all, it's super easy to do!

What are the Benefits of Babywearing - baby wrap, baby carrier, ring sling - good for you and baby, bonding, healthy development, stimulation, stay active, easy use

Outward-facing fun in the Moby Cloud Hybrid

But wearing your baby is not just beneficial for baby, it's great for mums and dads too.

Here are our top seven evidence-based reasons to give it a go:

  1. Boosts Bonding with Your Baby
  2. Soothes and Calms Your Baby (Helps them sleep!)
  3. Enables You to Stay Active
  4. Offers Stimulating Sights for Baby/Toddler
  5. Supports Healthy Development
  6. Provides Ease and Comfort
  7. Helps You Manage Who Has Access to Baby

To summarise, this age-old, natural practice empowers parents to maintain active lives with ease, while offering baby their soothing, close presence and engaging them in the exciting world around them. The strong bond that forms between baby and parent through babywearing reaps many developmental benefits for baby well into their later life.

Read on to understand more about the beneficial outcomes of babywearing, as supported by many studies.

Babywearing boosts your bonding with baby. Belly Beyond NZ.

  • Lots of skin-to-skin contact is great for bonding with your baby and developing a secure attachment.
  • A recent study found that mothers who regularly carried their babies were shown to be more attuned to them and responsive to their needs. Successfully reading baby’s cues can also increase your sense of ‘parent confidence’.
  • Babies that form a strong bond with their parent(s) – for example, through babywearing – have been proven to benefit from long-term better health outcomes and greater confidence and resilience than those that don’t form a secure attachment. Examples of developmental advantages are expanded upon in the section further down.
  • Physical contact with your baby produces the love hormone, oxytocin, promoting bonding and improving parent wellbeing.
  • Babywearing allows you to stay close to your baby throughout the day, which is especially important during the “fourth trimester” and for premature babies.
  • Babywearing into the toddler years further cements the bond between parent and child. Toddlers still need the security of closeness with their parents, and a customisable carrier makes it possible to accommodate this comfortably as they grow. Toddlers are also often pushed in a stroller, but being carried on a parents' back instead is a great way to build physical closeness with your child into your day.
  • For working parents, it is encouraging to know that even half an hour of daily babywearing bonding can reap physical and emotional benefits for you and your child.
  • For parents opting to bottle feed, babywearing is a great substitute for enjoying the bonding that breastfeeding promotes.
Dad and Baby in the LILLEbaby Original COMPLETE in the Stone colour. Belly Beyond NZ.

Dad and baby enjoying some outward-facing time in the LÍLLÉbaby Original COMPLETE

Babywearing soothes and settles your baby. Belly Beyond NZ.

  • Babywearing replicates the comforting experience of being in the womb, which is very calming for babies. The close contact, the enveloped snugness, and the motion of walking all contribute to the soothing and familiar feeling baby is used to.
  • Babies are more likely to settle and sleep when carried and gently rocked, as they are used to the movement of their mother throughout pregnancy. To hear it firsthand, read a range of baby wrap/carrier reviews online to hear parent after parent rave about how quickly their baby falls asleep when carried. 
  • Studies have shown that three hours daily of babywearing can reduce the frequency and duration of babies crying by at least 40%. This is because baby’s primal need for attachment and bonding is being met when in close contact with mum/dad.
Babywearing enables you to stay active. Belly Beyond NZ.
    • Enjoy the freedom of getting around ‘hands-free’. Babywearing empowers parents to keep doing what they love, venture out with confidence, and get through all their everyday jobs with their baby/toddler close, content, and secure.
    • A carrier/wrap also distributes baby’s weight more efficiently and ergonomically than simply holding a baby, which lightens the burden of holding your baby with the support you need.
    • Wearing your baby can support your strength and fitness in a way that is more manageable postpartum than intensive exercise. However, if you are recovering from a C-section, you should wait until you feel back to your usual strength before wearing your baby (but another caregiver can take it up, if you have that option, so that baby can get used to being worn in a carrier early on).
    • If you have an older child, babywearing can enable you to interact with them with greater capacity, while still giving your baby the nurture they need.
    Mums outdoors with their baby carriers

    Mums and bubs out for a walk with the ever-popular Ergobaby Omni 360 Carrier (earlier model)

    Babywearing provides stimulating sights for baby. Belly Beyond NZ.

    • Babies love to see and experience the world from up high.
    • Being carried in the upright position on their parent’s chest encourages baby into the quiet alert state, which promotes cognitive development as they actively observe and process the world around them. 
    • Babywearing can increase a parent’s awareness of their baby’s view of the world.
    • Listening to voices and watching faces up close can foster baby’s early language and sociability development.

    Babywearing supports your baby's healthy development. Belly Beyond NZ.

    As covered in the opening of this article, the First Thousand Days are extremely important for your baby’s development, and babywearing is a great way to support your baby to get the best start possible. Babies who have been regularly carried by mum/dad have been shown to benefit from the following positive health outcomes:

    • More likely to form a secure attachment with parent, leading to improved physical, emotional, and cognitive development long-term.
    • Healthy development of spinal muscles – supporting the soft C-shape curve in a newborn’s spine as it matures into balancing curves, which will enable baby to: develop good balance and flexibility; gain the muscle strength necessary to hold their head up and control their neck movements; and absorb the impact/stress on their body from walking, running, and jumping.
    • Strengthens the vestibular system, improving baby’s coordination and balance.
    • Boosts sense of smell and speech.
    • Regulates temperature, heart, and respiratory rates (due to close contact with mum) and healthy growth development. When a baby’s vitals regulate naturally, their body can conserve energy and reallocate it to growth development or repair, which is especially critical for premature or unwell babies.
    • Strengthened attachment to parents, which supports the immune system’s regular production of infection-fighting cells. Prolonged separation can otherwise cause baby’s blood pressure to rise and their body to produce the stress hormone cortisol, which may then inhibit the healthy functioning of baby’s immune system.
    • Reduced cases of reflux symptoms, posseting, coughing and breathing issues, due to the upright position enabled through carrying.
    • Lowered risk of ear infections, hip dysplasia, flat-head syndrome, and SIDS.
    • Healthy digestion and hip development. Being held in an upright position is good for baby’s digestion, and when carried in a spread-squat position, baby’s puborectalis muscle is relaxed, supporting their bowel elimination. This position also encourages healthy hip development in baby.
    • Consistent and prolonged breastfeeding relationship and routine, which results in a more consistent weight gain for baby. Being close to their mother’s chest serves as a natural reminder for baby to feed, and breastmilk production also increases in response to mum’s close contact with baby.
    Parents babywearing in the Moby Easy Wrap
    Out and about in the MOBY Easy Wrap
      Babywearing provides ease and comfort for you and baby. Belly Beyond NZ.
      • Babywearing with a well-fitting carrier/wrap is more comfortable and less physically demanding than carrying your baby or toddler in your arms.
      • Getting around busy or tricky settings when carrying your baby in a wrap/carrier is easy, especially compared to the difficulty of navigating tight spaces, stairs, or rough terrain with a stroller. Carriers are also much lighter and less bulky to take with you.
      • Babywearing provides a comfortable, easy, and discreet solution for breastfeeding on-the-go.
      Babywearing allows you to manage who has access to baby. Belly Beyond NZ.
      • A baby wrap or a carrier with customisable fit features can be worn by anyone, which enables parents to share the load of holding and settling baby with each other and close family/friends.
      • On the reverse, for parents who like to manage whether baby is in reach of overly-friendly strangers, children, or even pets, babywearing can lessen the likelihood of this happening or of people asking to hold your baby when you'd rather keep them close.
      Mum and baby with the MOBY Classic Wrap in the Olive Etch print. Babywearing benefits - Belly Beyond NZ.

      Mum and baby with the MOBY Classic Wrap in the Olive Etch print

      Ultimately, parenthood is a journey of discovering what works for you and your baby, and babywearing may not be for everyone. But with so many possible advantages, we believe giving it a go is surely worth it.

      If you’re looking to learn more about the different styles of babywearing and are yet to settle on a decision, you might like to check out our article: Wrap, Ring Sling or Carrier? (Pros & Cons), where we take a comprehensive look at each type.  

      Another guide to help you make the best choice for you and your family is our article that helps you choose a carrier or wrap based on your Lifestyle & Preferences. This will help you to consider what your highest priorities are when selecting from the many babywearing products on our online store.

      But if you're ready to shop, you might like to check out our comparison charts for our four brands; this covers all the most important features across every babywearing product we sell. 

      And finally, our Babywearing Safety Guidelines are essential to follow when carrying your baby with a carrier or wrap. Please take the time to learn about these before beginning your babywearing journey. We hope it helps you to carry your wee one with confidence!

      Babywearing series. Discover the Benefits. Belly Beyond NZ.

       Family life ease with the Ergobaby Omni Breeze


      “A baby is born with a need to be loved – and never outgrows it.” – Frank A. Clark

      Happy babywearing!


      Where to next?


      If you would like some more support from one of our friendly team, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're happy to help, wherever we can!

      You can also join the LÍLLÉbaby Love group, which is a supportive platform on Facebook for checking your fit with other babywearers and experts and also getting advice on any questions you have.