Today on the blog we hear from photographer, wrap designer and babywearing aficionado Ali Dover as she launches a beautiful new range of woven wraps. Ali is passionate about helping new parents and first-time babywearers and has created designs that instinctively guide the wearer on how to position and tighten the wrap via a series of seven distinctive stripes. Her two latest creations; 'Good Life' and 'Soul' are woven in soft 100% Italian combed cotton.
Let's hear more from Ali on why baby wearing has become her life's passion….
"Babywearing is a term coined in the 1980s by US paediatrician, Dr William Sears. It refers to the age old practice of keeping our babies close and carrying them around in an anatomically correct position in slings or carriers, rather than using pushchairs, prams and infant car seats. This ‘pushing our children away’, which has become the western cultural norm over the last 150 years, can have significant consequences for establishing and promoting the parent/child bonding process so crucial not only to the healthy emotional and physical development of infants, but also feelings of wellbeing for the mother.
Holding our babies close immediately following birth promotes greater production of oxytocin, the hormone of love, responsible for kickstarting the bonding process. And, quite simply, the more time we spend holding or carrying our babies, the stronger the bond we create (and this goes for fathers too!).
When we bond with our babies, there is a two-way communication process occurring - the associated emotions of caring, nurturing and love that we communicate to our babies is reciprocated by the growing infant’s sense of healthy attachment and security; by being held close in a sling or carrier, the parent is able to read and respond more quickly to cues from the infant regarding its needs for sustenance, warmth and reassurance.
As a result, through the baby’s sense of safety, security and nourishment at being held close for most of the day, parents will discover an almost miraculous benefit: that their baby cries approximately 50% less compared to those babies who are not carried. Since infant crying is one of the major stressors for parents, it makes sense that reducing it means calmer mums and dads. And calmer mums and dads are more readily able to feel the emotions necessary for bonding.
The bonding process continues as your baby grows and, since parents who wear their babies learn to read and respond to their babies’ cues more easily and quickly, their role as parents grows in both competence and confidence.
But the benefits of babywearing don’t stop there; carrying babies in slings gives parents the freedom to go places that a pram makes difficult - negotiating stairs, shops, airports, mountain walks. And since carried babies are positioned near to the parent’s face, new experiences are enjoyed together, with greater communication taking place between parent and child resulting in earlier language skills and heightened cognitive development. Social events become a breeze as, snuggled up against mum or dad’s chest, their baby is more likely to be calm and content.
Babywearing thus provides a win-win situation for both parent and child, resulting in happier, more fulfilled parents and calmer, more securely attached and confident babies, a benefit which continues through to their adult lives."