The Benefits of Babywearing in the 4th Trimester

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The fourth trimester—those first few magical and mundane months postpartum—is a period of transition, both for baby and parents. From adjusting to life outside the womb (them) to recovering from delivery (you) to sleeping in two-hour increments (both parties, probably), there’s a lot to get a handle on. What’s hopeful: Babywearing can help make it all a little more manageable. Read on to learn about how the cozy, calming practice can benefit the whole family.

From womb to wrap

Wearing baby from the start can ease their adjustment to our big, bright world. When they’re wrapped up close to you, their experience is reminiscent of the womb. They can hear and feel your familiar heartbeat. The soft fabric snug cradles them (with the same comforting effect as swaddling). Your voice and smell soothe them, as does the gentle movement of your body. You are their safe space, so nestled up next to you is right where they want to be.

Postpartum support

If you were the one who birthed your baby, you have your own recovery to tend to postpartum. Wrapping baby can make it easy to hold them without requiring much physical exertion from you. You’ll be carrying them slightly higher than you did in your belly, but the feeling won’t be altogether different. Baby’s weight will be well-supported and distributed around your upper body, almost as if they’re still a part of you. (Wearing them sitting is a sweet, low-impact option, too.) The Solly Wrap can also be worn following a C-section (right away, with your care provider’s green light). A properly-wrapped baby will sit well above your incision site, so as long as you’re approved for some standing and light walking, you can begin your babywearing bond right away. In fact, you might find it the most comfortable way to take care of both of you as you heal.

Proven pros

Studies have shown that carrying baby for three or more hours a day can reduce infant crying by up to 43 percent (!!). The time spent skin-to-skin can help boost your milk supply, and the boost of oxytocin will lift your postpartum spirit, too, helping ward off postpartum depression. If gas or reflux give your baby trouble, the upright position following a feeding and gentle pressure of your tummy against theirs will help provide relief.

Free to be me

Beyond the clear physiological incentives to babywear, there are practical purposes aplenty. You can wrap baby while you make yourself lunch (and proceed to eat it two-handed, too!). You can take a wrap ‘n’ walk around the neighborhood for a little fresh air and movement for you both. (Bonus: When you’re wearing, you don’t have to worry about young, wobbly heads bumping over uneven sidewalks the way you do with a stroller.) And you can meander through Target (or knock out your list at the grocery store) with confidence, knowing baby is likely to be content the whole time (versus waking up in their infant car seat mid-shopping trip and wailing). The freedom the wrap gives you to go out in the world and to continue to do (at least some) of the things you did prebaby is invaluable and undoubtedly an asset to your mental health.

When you’re in the middle of the newborn haze, getting motivated to get your wrap out of the box and learn how to use it may feel daunting. But the sooner you figure it out, the sooner you’ll be able to do life together in a way that’s sustainable (and sweet!).