Bringing together parents, caregivers and babies to learn and share knowledge about babywearing.

Benefits of Babywearing

There is a long list of benefits for both caregivers and babies. Practical, everyday benefits of babywearing include:
Breastfeeding hand-free - Many carriers allow mothers to breastfeed completely hands-free.
Making your hands available for other tasks - Your hands are available to help older children, clean, carry bags, etc.
Preventing baby burn-out - Maintain closeness with your baby, even when you are exhausted, without tiring your arms. Babywearing is a form of passive interaction with your baby, so they get the closeness they need, but you can relax your body and mind for a while.
Traveling more easily - Use public transit without the hassle of getting a stroller up and down stairs, or holding a stroller on a moving vehicle.
Helping your baby sleep - Using a sling is a great way to get your baby to fall asleep. The motion of walking is the familiar and soothing motion babies felt in the womb.
Soothing fussiness - In many carrying positions, babies are soothed by sensations familiar to them from their time in the womb: the mother’s pace of walking, her heartbeat, breathing, scent and voice.
Perhaps helping with colic - Acupressure points, located on the belly and inner thighs, that help with poor digestion and sleep are automatically massaged in many babywearing positions (Bonnet, 2007).
There are even more intangible benefits of babywearing. These include:
Increasing infant-caregiver attachment - “Increased physical contact, achieved through early carrying in a soft baby carrier caused subsequent security of attachment between infant and mother” (Anisfeld, 1990: 1617).
Calming your baby - Babies who are carried, cry and fuss approximately 43% less than babies who are not carried. They spend more time in a quiet-alert learning state, and the soothing effects of carrying continue even when not being carried (Hunziker, 1986: 1).
Discharging excess energy - Babywearing “provides babies with a means of discharging their excess energy until they are able to do so themselves. In the months before being able to get around under their own power, babies accumulate energy from the absorption of food and sunshine. A baby therefore needs constant contact with the energy field of an active person, who can discharge the unused excess for each of them.” (Liedloff, The Importance of the In-Arms Phase).
Providing the benefits of touch - Tactile stimulation seems to be necessary for normal human development (Koroer, 1966: 874-75). Babywearing and touch have been found to promote healthy body temperature, glucose levels, and breathing in babies (Breazeale, Attachment Parenting).
Contributing to a healthier society - Anthropological research associates an increased level of pleasurable physical affection from caregivers in young life with a decreased level of adult violence in societies (Prescott 1975: 12-13). (It must be noted that the previous research upon which Prescott bases his article utilizes some unethical practices that Carry Me Close strongly disagrees with.)
Fostering independence - Looking at non-industrial societies that carry their babies 50% off the time, “…the children were found to develop early independence from the mother, voluntarily spending more than half their days with their fathers or with peers by the age of two to four” (Breazeale, Attachment Parenting).
Promoting cognitive development - Dr. Sears, on his website, lists more benefits of babywearing with respect to infant development. Babies are at eye level when carried, they are part of the conversations around them, and they can feel the movements and rhythm of the parent’s daily life. Their surroundings are constantly changing as the caregiver moves around.
Dr. Sears believes that all of this interaction, stimulation, and change are what help to show a baby how to be a human, to be a part of the human continuum. He writes that these experiences also stimulate brain development. Being in-arms allows the baby to feel safe that his or her caregiver will filter out any experience that is inappropriate. Furthermore, he encourages parents to view gestation as an 18-month process, nine months in the womb and nine months in the sling (

Anisfeld, E., et al. “Does infant carrying promote attachment? An experimental study of the effects of
      increased physical contact on the development of attachment.” Child Development.
      61(1990):1617-27. 2006. 15 Apr. 2007 <http://www.askdrsears…>.

Bonnet, Dr. Eckhard. “Points made during discussions regarding the carrying of infants and small
      children.” Didymos. 20 Jan. 2007 <…>.

Breazeale, Tami E. “Attachment Parenting: A Practical Approach for the Reduction of Attachment
      Disorders and the Promotion of Emotionally Secure Children.” Masters Thesis. Bethel College
      (now Bethel University), 2001. 25 Jan. 2007 <…>.

Hunziker, Urs A. and Ronald G. Barr. “Increased Carrying Reduces Infant Crying: A Randomized
      Controlled Trial.” Pediatrics 77 (1986): 641-48. 20 Jan. 2007 <http://www.portareipi…>.

Koroer AF, and R. Grobstein. “Visual alertness as related to soothing in neonates: Implications for
      maternal stimulation and early deprivation.” Child Development. 37 (1966): 867-76.

Liedloff, Jean. “The Importance of the In-Arms Phase.” Mothering Magazine Winter 1989. As
      accessed at The Liedloff Continuum Network. 20 Jan. 2007 <http://www.continuum-…>.

Prescott, James W. “Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence.” The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
      Nov. 1975: 10-20. The Origins of Peace and Violence. 20 Jan. 2007 <http://www.violence.d…>.