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Babywearing and Dads

Babywearing a great parenting tool for dads (and men)

Babywearing and Dads

Babywearing is a fantastic parenting tool for dads (or uncles, grandfather’s, cousins) as there are numerous benefits specific to them as well as a lot of baby carriers that suit men.  Some men babywear from birth while other’s may take time (and convincing) to try babywearing.

So what are the benefits for Dads?

One of the biggest is that babywearing can assist dads to bond and develop a strong attachment with their baby.  Bonding and attachment is important for both parents to make all the energy and time that goes into parenting feel worthwhile.   For baby, being close to their dad, smelling them, feeling their heartbeat soothes them especially during the ‘fourth trimester’ and for dads, they also get the feel good hormone, oxytocin, which all assist to developing a secure bond and attachment.  By creating this bond, it also allows your baby to more readily accept care and comfort from their dad which again reinforces their attachment.  It can become a special time between dad and baby and especially during those early months when all a baby seems to do is feed, sleep and poop.  Plus this exceptional tool also becomes a way for dad’s to reconnect with their baby after a day at work.

For my husband, he got sold with babywearing when Emily was 4 weeks old, she snuggled into him and quickly feel asleep!  For him, this was such a boost in his confidence and parenting abilities.  Especially as first time parents, we all can doubt our abilities but there is nothing like easily and quickly getting your baby to sleep to feel like a parent champion!  Babywearing is an amazing tool to settle your baby, get them to sleep and worn babies cry up to 51% less than non-worn babies; this makes it a win for everyone.

Babywearing allows dads to take part of their baby’s life as well as give mum a much needed break.  This support for mums can make such a difference especially during those overwhelming early days and when mums are feeling completely drained and touched out.  For me, there was nothing more beautiful than seeing my husband carry my daughter; the joy that he had and the comfort she received just melted my heart and made me feel confident that I could take time to rest knowing that they were both happy.

Another benefit for dads is the convenience of babywearing.  It is a lot less physically demanding to wear than carry in arms, it allows you to get more done and it is easy and comfortable to do.  My husband’s favourite times to wear where while vacuuming (and yes, that was my favourite time), going out to busy events like markets and while hiking.  He was able to show and share the world to our daughter at his level and they would have so much fun pointing out and doing things together! It also allowed us to do more than if we had a pram alone (of course both definitely have their place).

Ok so we have gone through the benefits (and hopefully convinced some hesitant dads), what type of baby carrier works best for men?  For more information, head to my article Baby Carriers for Men.

Kylie Lau
Approved Babywearing Consultant
Kangatraining Instructor

References:

Increased carrying reduces infant crying: A randomised controlled trial 
UA Hunziker, RG Barr Pediatrics 77 1986

Knowles, R. (2016) Why Babywearing Matters. Gosport: Pinter & Martin LTD

Kirkilionis, E. (1999) A Baby Wants to Be Carried. London: Hussar Books

Blois, M. (2005) Babywearing: The Benefits and Beauty of this Ancient Tradition. Amarillo: Hale Publishing, L.P.