“I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand & the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep & there are no words for that.”
A perfect description, for me, of why I love wrapping so much. Those sleepy wrap snuggles are just too luscious for words. Feeling that warm soft baby weight on your chest, smelling that sweet baby smell, heavenly. But of course, there’s more to it than that.
Wrapping is an excellent way to foster a deep sense of attachment in a young baby, and no, they won’t become more clingy as a result. Good, positive attachment results in a baby who is happy to be put down, or go to other people because they know you’ll come back. Their bond with you is so strong that they are secure in being away from you. This can surely only be a good thing.
Baby learns better and faster about how to respond to events and people in the world because they follow your lead. Things are less likely to be scary to them when they can see and feel how mum is reacting. They take their lead from how you respond. A baby in a pram is much more likely to feel isolated and alone. Of course, if they’re parent facing they can still see and hear you, but they don’t get that physical contact as much. Also, think about this. Many of the experiences and noise we encounter we take for granted. To a baby, laying prone in a pram, everything is a potential threat. Mummy is still there, but she might not be close enough. Particularly for a young baby who lacks the ability to see far. Put that baby upright and on eye level, surrounded by mummy and they will feel much safer.
It’s also fabulous for developing Speech and Language skills. When your baby is attached to you, you’re much more likely to talk to it and engage it in whatever you’re doing. Babies, as we know, learn speech from their parents, and wrapping is an excellent way to promote this.
Baby wearing doesn’t mean that your baby will overheat in summer. Babies have very poor thermoregulation, so when wrapped they use Mum’s much better thermoregulation to keep them cool. Of course, you’d use a lighter wrap and dress baby in fewer clothes, but it’s much easier to keep them at the right temperature than in a pram.
Keeping your baby upright can also help with reflux, or allow you to still get the house work done if baby is a clingy velcro monster that only wants to be cuddled.
Stretchy wraps are fantastic for very young babies in this situation, and with a refluxy baby myself it was an absolute godsend in the early days.
The versatility of wraps is another point. There are many places that prams just can’t go, whether it’s maze-like vintage shops, or hiking round Langsett. But with a sling or a wrap, no problem. Everywhere is accessible, not least public transport.
The comfort provided to baby by being wrapped can’t be understated. Rosie is quite a sicky baby, which unfortunately for us has meant hospital visits and stays. Most recently, she was kept in with a drip and a nasogastric tube. With my lovely Ring Sling, I was able to wrap her immediately after and she was asleep in seconds. A far cry from all the screaming and fighting she’d been doing. When she had to have blood draws done, I kept her in the Ring Sling and she was a thousand times calmer than any other time. I also kept her in for her latest jabs, and she barely even knew they’d happened. The hospital staff were amazed at what a difference it made to her.
Now that she is older and has better head control, I can wrap her on my back where she can see more of the world, but still be close to me.
Also, let’s not forget just how fabulous some wraps are. They absolutely are a kind of fashion accessory, what with the wide variety of size, style, and materials available. Some of them are complete works of art. They can even be incorporated into Halloween costumes!
Not to mention that carrying your baby helps to improve posture, core strength, balance and general physical fitness. Now really, what’s not to love?
(Ok, I should add that you probably will be sicked up on at some point, as I have been many times. Baby drool is another potential hazard, but really, they are small prices to pay.)
Give it a go, wrap your baby and wrap happy.