By Brooke Maree
Four years ago I thought my daughter had a “sleep problem”. I could not understand why she wanted to sleep soundly on me for two hours but only sleep 20 minutes alone in a cot…
This explanation of the “fourth trimester” and creating a “womb-like” environment really helped me to understand, surrender, and embrace those sleepy wrap cuddles.
There’s so much to say here about this BEAUTIFUL illustration, let me sum it up in six points:
- Your baby has only ever known your gentle sways, the muffled sounds in your womb, the rhythm of your beating heart, and being snug at the perfect temperature. Babywearing closely replicates that!
- Your baby relies on you for survival and has instincts built in to feel safe when close to you, and possibly in danger if away from you – therefore a carried baby cries less and is generally more settled.
- Us mothers are pretty clever and keeping our baby close helps us regulate their temperature and quickly pick up on their cues – this can reduce anxiety and help us feel more confident in our roles as we tune in to our baby’s needs.
- Our babies are born very immature, unable to walk or eat by themselves. Carrying them is primal: we are a carrying species, born to carry and be carried. Using a baby carrier to make life more practical helps facilitate nature’s plan.
- The human brain is so large that a baby must be born before the brain is fully developed so that it fits through the birth canal. Our babies continue to gestate, grow, and develop outside the womb and what better environment to thrive in than held up close next to a caregiver’s heart and their warmth!
- A baby’s mental health MATTERS. The first three years are crucial for a child’s brain development. This is when they learn is the world safe and friendly? Or scary and risky? Creating a safe environment for them to feel secure & loved has such profound positive impacts for the well-being of the child that should ripple on to create a healthy adult too.
Carrying is not only practical, it’s almost crucial to your child’s wellbeing now and in the future, and therefore the future of this planet
So if your baby only wants to sleep on you, be held by you, or just have cuddles all day long, they aren’t “broken” they don’t have a “problem”, their behaviour is completely normal.
And if you’re carrying them and keeping them close, kudos to you. I know it can be exhausting and you can feel touched out almost on a daily basis, it isn’t always easy. But it won’t be forever and the long term benefits are so worth it to build a secure, grounded, confident child.
– B r o o k e – x –
P.S. If you want to learn just how easy it is to use a carrier/wrap OR get the best use out of the one you already have, my shortcut online program ‘Babywearing Download’ has just launched! This will get you from overwhelmed and confused to confident and comfortable ASAP so you can be enjoying the cuddles with your baby. Join the program here: https://brookemaree.com.au/pages/babywearing-download
Originally published HERE.
Brooke Maree is a Babywearing Educator & mother of two based in Brisbane, Australia. She is passionate about parents finding joy and confidence in their roles by using a baby carrier or sling to make their lives easier. An expert in her field, she provides educational blogs, video tutorials, a monthly podcast, private consultations, and is soon launching an online program. Find out more about her services at www.brookemaree.com.au