Transitioning from womb to world isn’t an easy task for a newborn baby.
A huge change takes place coming from a snug and confined space with muffled sounds and a set warm temperature, into a bright, loud, and constantly changing new world.
This might result in your baby crying, fussing, and displaying ‘clingy’ behaviour, which is all perfectly normal. What more can you expect from them?
This is where the concept of the fourth trimester is very useful. Although babies spend three trimesters in the womb, they aren’t magically ready for life on the outside once they're born. They’re still the same baby they were when they were on the inside, and they need time to transition.
The Fourth Trimester can help parents to be more realistic about their baby’s needs and behaviour.
You should also remember that mums are adjusting during this period as well. After all, you’ve had this tiny person inside of you for nearly a whole year, and are going through plenty of hormonal changes too. Be gentle with yourself as well as your baby.
Keeping your baby close is the most normal and natural thing for both the mother and baby at this time and for many further months and years into the future.
Here are eight reasons why you need to consider using a baby carrier or sling.
- It makes life easy.
Parenting is often hard, especially with a newborn, but also as your child grows and develops into a toddler and small child. Babywearing is, quite frankly, one of the easiest ways to fulfil your child’s needs and feel like you are totally on top of this parenting thing! It’s quite unusual for new babies to be content on their own, without being carried or held constantly. Fortunately, babywearing mimics the womb environment, where babies are naturally inclined to relax and sleep.
2. Babies are healthier.
New babies are extremely delicate. Wearing them in a baby carrier can help to protect their brand-new systems in many ways. Staying close to mum means that baby can feel her breathing (which in turn regulates baby’s breathing), feel her heartbeat, stay the right temperature, and remain calm, not wasting energy on crying for comfort. It also protects little ones from extra stimulation and reduces the likelihood of contact with germs and viruses that their systems can’t handle. For premature babies, physical touch and being held has been shown to improve health and weight gain .
3. Babies are happier.
Human babies are born much more prematurely than other mammals. They naturally want to be held and kept close to their caregivers and babywearing facilities this need. Studies have shown that parents who wore their babies for 3 hours per day could reduce their baby’s crying by 43% in total, including 54% during the evening (the dreaded witching hours!).
4. Parents are happier.
As you can imagine, a happier baby who cries less means happier parents! Being able to respond quickly to your baby’s cues and settle them also helps parents to feel more confident in their skills as they adjust to their new role.
5. It forms essential bonds.
Forming a bond with your baby is a big reason to babywear. This is especially true with carers who can’t comfort through breastfeeding. Babywearing provides another way to form an attachment between the baby and their mum, dad, and other caregivers.  Holding your baby close means plenty more opportunities to interact with, talk with, and observe your child, which is wonderful for their development.
6. You can multi-task.
It can be tough to get things done with a baby who wants to be held… all the time! Thankfully, being hands free means you can multi-task! Keeping them close in a baby carrier means you can get dinner prepared, the house in order, exercise, older kids entertained, and more. Life doesn’t have to stop every time your baby needs you to comfort them!
7. It’s convenient.
Going someplace? Whip out the carrier instead of a stroller. It’s quicker, more portable, and baby can go anywhere you’re able to walk normally. Stairs, grass, crowds, and narrow aisles aren’t really an issue anymore. A study has shown that convenience is the most common reason for babywearing. 
8. It’s comfortable.
You’re going to spend a lot of time carrying your baby, especially when they are small. It is much, much easier on your arms and overall posture to do it in a baby carrier! But even toddlers need to be carried a fair bit for comfort, and because their legs can’t really do long distances yet. Carrying your baby or toddler is so much more comfortable in a supportive, ergonomic carrier.
If you’re not sure about using a baby carrier or sling, the best thing you can do is give it a go. You and your child have SO much to potentially gain from babywearing. Ask a consultant for help or head to a babywearing meet to find out the best possible carriers to fit you and your child, and go from there. The benefits are 100% worth it!
 Perinatol J. (1991) Current knowledge about skin-to-skin (kangaroo) care for pre-term infants. 216-26.
 Hunziker UA, Garr RG. (1986) Increased carrying reduces infant crying: A random-ized controlled trial. Pediatrics 77:641-648
 Tessier R, M Cristo, S Velez, M Giron, JG Ruiz-Palaez, Y Charpak and N Charpak. (1998) Kangaroo mother care and the bonding hypothesis. Pediatrics 102:e17.
 Horovitz, K. (2016) The Beautiful Language of Babywearing: Reasons Australian Parents Use a Baby Carrier or Sling. Read online at Manduca Australia.
Brooke Maree is a Babywearing Educator & Mother of two based in Brisbane. 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, and private consultations and workshops.
You can find her services and products on her website: www.brookemaree.com.au or connect with her on social media @brookemaree.babywearing