To help the brain grow and develop, environmental experiences stimulate nerves to branch out and connect with other nerves. Baby wearing helps the infant’s developing brain make the right connections. Because baby is intimately involved in the mother’s and father’s world, she is exposed to and participates in the environmental stimuli that mother selects and is protected from those stimuli that bombard or overload her developing nervous system. She so intimately participates in what mother is doing that her developing brain stores a myriad of experiences, called patterns of behavior. These may be thought of as thousands of tiny short-run movies that are filed in the infant’s neurological library to be rerun when baby is exposed to a similar situation that reminds her of the making of the original “movie.” For example, mothers of say, “As soon as I pick up the sling and put it on, my baby lights up and raises his arms as if in anticipation that he will soon be in my arms and in my world.”
It has been noticed that carried babies seem more attentive, clicking in to the conversation as if they were part of it. Baby wearing enhances speech development. Because baby is up at voice and eye level, he is more involved in conversations. He learns a valuable speech lesson — the ability to listen.
Normal ambient sounds, such as the noises of daily activities, may either have learning value for the infant or disturb him. If baby is alone, sounds may frighten him. If baby is worn, these sounds have learning value. The mother filters out what she perceives as unsuitable for the baby and gives the infant an “It’s OK” feeling when he is exposed to unfamiliar sounds and experiences.
Parents sometimes sorry that their baby won’t learn to crawl very well if they carry him a lot. Even carried babies can get down and enjoy floor freedom and crawling. Actually, attachment-parented babies show enhanced motor development, perhaps for two reasons: the effect of attachment on nervous-system development and the extra energy they have that might have been wasted on fussing.
Baby Wearing Enhances Parent-Infant Bonding
The term “bonding” receives a lot of press, but is probably the least understood concept of parenting. Bonding is not instant intimacy. Bonding is a gradual process. Some parent-infant pairs achieve bonding more quickly and strongly than others. Baby wearing accelerates the formation of this bond.
Baby wearing Helps Mothers and Babies Get the Right Start
The way a mother and baby get started with each other often sets the tone for how successful the bonding relationship is going to be. Early in the newborn period focus on what the mother does for the baby, as if baby minding were all a case of mother gives and baby takes. As a pediatrician and parent, I have grown to realize that the idea of this early give-a-thon is only partially true. Not only do the parents develop the baby, but the baby develops the parents. The ideal infant-care system — when it operates at its best — is a mutual giving, whereby all parties follow their mutual instincts to bring out the best in each other. Here’s how the system works.
The mother (and to a lesser extent the father) has a biological instinct drawing her toward her infant; an innate desire to pick up, carry, nurse, and simply be with her baby. This is called mother-infant attachment. In some mothers this attachment comes naturally — mother’s intuition. Other mothers feel a bit shaky in this intuition. Here’s where the baby does his or her part.
Just as mothers have attachment-giving qualities, babies come wired with attachment-promoting qualities that stimulate in the mother the desire, and perhaps the need, to be near her baby. Cooing, sucking, smiling, and the beautiful round and alluring features of the baby all do something good to the mother. Within the mother are the so-called mothering hormones, specifically prolactin and Oxytocin. The attachment-promoting behaviors of the baby stimulate these hormones to flows in the mother. Thus baby actually gives to mother a biological booster shot that in turn helps her give the baby the quality and quantity of mothering the baby needs — a mutual giving between two needy members of the biological pair. If we make an assumption that the higher and more consistent these hormones are, the easier mothering will be, it follows that a mother is well advised to adopt a style of mothering that keeps her hormones high. This is exactly what baby wearing does. The continued presence of the baby is what keeps these biological systems active. Intermittent contact does not. Let’s analyze this further. childminder near me