Until 200 years ago all babies were carried on their moms and dad, in slings and carriers. It was the only way to transport this precious cargo. Then in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s the pram was born. It was a huge cumbersome and very expensive item and to be honest quite impractical, other than for use at home. All this changed in 1965, with the advent of the Maclaren’s stroller – a small, convenient fold-away stroller. As thus was born the pram as we know today.
I am fascinated by this history and the way in which it has penetrated almost every family in the western world. Without detracting from the convenience of a pushing your baby, I do think that prams took something very special away from parenting.
They took away that closeness of carrying, the soothing and nurturing sensation of the lulling movement of mom’s body. In addition, the benefit of understanding social interactions and non-verbal nuances are lost on babies who are no longer in close proximity to mom or dad’s face. Research shows that the benefits of baby wearing include:
- Better Sleep
- A calm baby
- Improved muscle tone
- Better non-verbal and verbal capacities
Most babies love to be carried and those who spend a lot of time in a sling or carrier around their parents’ bodies tend to cry less than those who don’t. By keeping your baby close to you, you will provide him with physical contact, security, stimulation and movement, which are all excellent conditions for his development. The close contact with your little one will help him to recognise your unique smell and the sound of your voice. It will also benefit you, as you will be more responsive to his needs and you will be able to recognise his signals more quickly.
So while I appreciate the modern convenience of a pram, I remain and always will be a baby-wearing convert! Whether in a sling or a pouch, I believe babies do better when carried than pushed.