This post is written in collaboration with Sovende Børn.
Moonboon works closely with the NGO Sovende Børn and their team of specialists to provide updated, relevant advice and guidance on children's and babies' sleep. Read more about Sovende Børn at the bottom of the post.
Carrying leads to happy minds and brings comfort to our hearts
There can be many different reasons why a family would choose to carry their child. Perhaps your child needs a lot of closeness. Perhaps you have several children, and you want each one to get their share of attention. Or perhaps you live in an apartment and need to bring the child up and down the stairs every day.
Regardless of the reason, choosing to carry your child comes with a number of advantages for both of you. And there's really nothing magical about it. Science has investigated and confirmed the numerous advantages of closeness between carer and child.
The love hormone, oxytocin
When you carry your child, oxytocin forms in both the child's brain and yours due to the joy and security you experience from being close to one another.
Oxytocin is one of the key factors when it comes to health, mental wellbeing and quality of life. When you carry your child, both of you can enjoy the oxytocin high.
Carrying stimulates motor function and senses
When we carry our children it helps support the child's development with respect to motor function and for the numerous important connections in the brain.
When the skin is touched and the child can smell, hear and see both you and the surrounding world. All this helps teach children about themselves, their family and the surrounding world.
Carrying establishes constant stimulation of the labyrinthine sense. The labyrinthine sense ensures that the brain receives messages about our placement: horizontally, vertically and diagonally.
All children – and adults – need to stimulate their labyrinthine sense regularly. Our labyrinthine sense is a key element of our motor function development, but also in relation to our ability to balance, concentrate and judge distances. In addition, the labyrinthine sense is extremely important to our linguistic development.
The important connection
When you carry your child, you are contributing actively to the connection process that takes place between you. Connection is essential for us humans – and today research suggests that connection is just as important for the child's development as food and water.
The connection that is established during the first years helps shape the child's ability to establish relationships for the rest of its life. This connection also helps create the foundation for your relationship and is therefore a way in which you can strengthen the whole family's co-existence.
In addition, a safe connection helps the child feel a sense of complete safety, which is required for learning, being curious and gaining confidence.
Reduces the risk of postnatal depression
When you carry your child and hold them close to you, you are reducing the risk of postnatal depression – in both mother and father. It is now believed that this is linked to the opportunity for connection, oxytocin formation and the way closeness allows you to get to know the little child quickly.
Naturally, this also helps you to get accustomed to your new roles as parents and families.
Practical and hands-free
Apart from the advantages of carrying mentioned above, it is worth noting that many parents who carry say that the baby carriers they use can help save the day when the little one is having a hard time, wants lots of contact and needs extra care.
The baby carriers can help to meet the baby's needs and allow you to do the dishes, cook and do the laundry at the same time. Many parents say that being able to carry has been the saviour of their day-to-day routines because it provides a sense of security while still allowing them to make everything work.
From a purely practical perspective, it is simply amazing to be able to give your new baby love and care, all while making a cup of coffee or going for a walk to the shops – not to mention that there is always room on the bus when the little one is sitting securely on mum or dad.
- Families may have different reasons for choosing to carry; regardless of these reasons, they will enjoy the advantages.
- The love hormone, oxytocin, is formed when you carry. Oxytocin is essential for the wellbeing and health of both children and adults.
- All the child's senses are stimulated when carried, and similarly, the child experiences stimulation of its motor functions in a baby carrier.
- Carrying contributes actively to the important connection process.
- When you carry, you can reduce the risk of postnatal depression.
- It is practical to be hands-free – and it allows you to get all the practical chores done at the same time.
Safety above all else
If you want a baby carrier for keeping your child close, it is important to be aware of the safety concerns:
- Free airways and no material covering the face.
- The baby carrier offers age-appropriate support.
- Dress in relation to the temperature, wind and weather.
- Always be attentive to your child.
- It should be comfortable – if it feels wrong, something probably needs to be
ABOUT SOVENDE BØRN
Sovende Børn is an online universe for parents and professionals seeking guidance and information about babies and children's sleep and sleep issues.
The purpose is to give parents and professionals the right tools to make informed choices that suit the individual child's sleep situation.
On the website and social media outlets, you will find updated and reliable information about available research, as well as webinars, workshops, courses, etc.
Thank you for being among our readers.
I’m Marie, mom to a little boy. And I’m the woman behind the Moonboon company making organic and sustainable baby accessories that respect people and the environment.
Have a look at our baby accessories here.
I want for my son to sleep in optimal conditions, and I want the same for your baby. That’s why I’m especially proud of our GOTS certified hammock and the specially designed motor that has helped me and many other parents sleep better at night.
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