A huge thank you to carrying expert Dr Rosie Knowles from @carryingmatters for allowing us to use excerpts from her blog. To read more advice and information from Rosie, please, follow the links at the end for her website and book ‘Why Babywearing Matters’, which is a truly a great read!
“Why does carrying matter? There are so many reasons why holding and carrying children matters, on multiple levels (biological, developmental, psychological, sociological, long term health) that it would take a whole book to discuss, even in brief!
Carrying behaviour is normal for the human species; babies are very vulnerable at birth. They are born with great needs, there are many months and even years of maturation needed before human infants are able to control their bodies fully and become able to care for themselves independently. Babies and young children are dependent on their primary caregivers for a very long time. This prolonged childhood is thought to be one of the reasons why the human species has been so successful; allowing the human brain to develop complex skills such as language, creativity and the ability to alter the environment around them”.
Our Caboo range has long been the UK’s favourite newborn carrier due to the positive effects it promotes. These newborn essentials are easy to use alone, it simply pops on over the head like a t-shirt giving you all the great positioning, support and flexibility of a stretchy wrap but without the headache of tying. Once on it tightens down to fit baby and wearer exactly thanks to the clever rings. This means it goes between parents with ease, giving you the perfect fits every time without tying, fiddly clips or buckles to worry about - helping reinforce that bond.
Caboo Lite Baby Carrier (Alloy - Left, Caboo Cloud, Right)
The Caboo works harmoniously with you, your body and your baby, reinforcing how mothers’ and babies’ bodies are adapted to each other; during pregnancy, during birth, and during the early years. They “fit together” and create a very special shared space, honed over the millennia of evolutionary processes. They work perfectly in harmony, when given the support and freedom to do so.
“This is where the “4th Trimester” concept comes from; holding and carrying babies recreates in some part the intra-uterine environment of warmth and safety and containment and allows them to develop new skills from this platform of security. Our human instincts are strong (a baby’s cry tugs at our heartstrings and we feel the urge to gather them up, hold them close and rock gently while murmuring in a soothing way) and we are discovering much of the neurochemical science behind this normal, natural behaviour. Oxytocin release builds loving connection via multiple pathways. Soft touch has helpful effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary-axis and cortisol production, reducing pain and modulating the stress response. Gentle and responsive parenting builds and reinforces the neural circuitry as it develops in the child, creating a healthy positive inner thought state that affects long term mental health. Furthermore, building this resilience helps to combat the adversity that so many children experience. Early “skin to skin” contact is enormously useful for beginning this process of connection”.
The Caboo (meaning ‘to be close to someone’) is perfect for early newborn carrying and bonding. One of the only carriers on the high street that can be used from day one - 5lbs+ - it promotes the importance of early “skin to skin” contact. The soft wide straps make carrying exceptionally comfortable for both baby and wearer, they also enable you to tuck your little one’s head in cheek to chest providing the very best integral head support during those important early weeks and months. You get the most from the closeness a carrier offers in the “4th Trimester”, so the routine babywearing provided by the Caboo for just a few hours everyday can help you bond with your little one as well as reduce periods of crying and fussing.
“Children need loving nurture in the early neonatal period and long beyond this for normal, healthy development. Carrying babies close to an adult’s body, as human beings have evolved to do, is vital for normal physiological and psychological development. Research into the importance of skin to skin contact, soft touch and responsive parenting, as well as a better understanding of disability reinforces this”.
We “talk about the positive effects of holding, carrying and babywearing, rather than the “benefits” of these practices. The word “benefit” implies an extra thing, an advantage, something that can be added onto what is baseline… but the holding and carrying (however it is done, in arms or a sling) that builds connection is part of normal human development. It is the baseline! It isn’t something that some parents can choose to do to give their child an extra advantage in life. It is what all babies need, like nourishment, warmth, safety. The absence of these loving connections that involve gentle physical touch is harmful to children”. What the Caboo carrier does exceptionally well is provide the optimum positioning for your baby, supporting them in the best physiological ‘M and J’ positions for their developing hips and spine. Certified as ‘hip -healthy’ by the IHDI (International Hip Dysplasia Institute), and it complies naturally with the T.I.C.K.S guidelines for safe carrying. There are multiple upright ‘hands-free’ carrying positions (as seen in the video found here) from day one through to independence. Feeding in the Caboo out and about is both supportive and discreet, thanks to the seated breastfeeding option shown below.
“We can agree that carrying children matters. However it is not just babies and children who need the close contact; parents and caregivers also benefit hugely from holding their offspring and interacting with them closely. The same biochemical pathways that help babies and young children to thrive are present in adults too, and families flourish when the needs of all its members are met. Adults need loving contact too; and a child who calms when comforted in arms or a sling provides positive reinforcement that parenting is manageable after all. Many parents find that babywearing can help with low mood and improve their confidence, as well as giving them freedom to get on with their lives in the societal constraints in which they live.
Carrying in arms and in a sling really does make a significant difference to the overall wellbeing and physical and mental health of all members of society, both now and for the future. A society where children’s needs and rights are taken seriously, where knowledge of how to build securely attached children and adults is put into practice, and where the most vulnerable among us are treated with love and kindness, is one in which we would all wish to live. This is why carrying matters; it can change the world around us”.
Please follow the link to the Close Parent website to view our entire range of award-winning carriers featured in this blog post.
To find out more on the positive effects on carrying and why it is beneficial for your baby, you and society, please click on the links below to read more articles from Dr Rosie Knowles: