International Babywearing Week 2020: Embracing the Future
International Babywearing Week (IBW) arrived at a most unfamiliar and unprecedented time. And this year’s theme, “Embracing the Future,” perfectly captures the sense of urgency and hope we are all yearning for. Many of us have had to face unique circumstances while rising to the unprecedented challenges of the last several months. Still, the dream of a brighter, healthier future offers us hope.
With everything around us growing more unstable, babywearing is that familiar gift that continuously gives, bringing with it countless benefits for both caregiver and baby. Though usually greater mobility, less gear to lug around, improved breastfeeding success, and a calmer baby are regarded as the main advantages of babywearing. Given the current climate, babywearing’s most significant benefits may be its ability to provide a stable foundation for babies to develop into secure, compassionate, and empathetic adults.
Babywearing encourages a strong attachment between child and caregiver from early infancy. When children feel cared for unconditionally and their deep need for belonging is fulfilled, their minds are free to acquire new skills and meet developmental milestones. As babies develop, this firm bond nurtures seedlings of confidence, independence, and security. These traits produce the framework needed for establishing meaningful, fulfilling relationships and help children attain a healthy sense of self. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Carrying your baby allows you to closely observe them and quickly meet their fluctuating needs. When caregivers wear a child, it becomes much easier for them to monitor their expressions, breathing, temperament, and make adjustments to keep them comfortable. It’s not a far stretch to imagine that a child who’s consciously cared for might just develop a strong base for compassion themselves.
Babies learn through imitation, and they take in everything that’s happening around them. It’s no surprise then that babywearing promotes early language development in children through close proximity to the caregiver’s voice and engagement with the world around them. Moreover, babywearing paves the way for the development of empathy, as it allows babies to pick up emotional cues from their caregivers. Wearing your baby also helps fulfill their profound, inherent need for touch, adding yet another element of security and satisfaction.
As we usher in IBW 2020, things around surely look and feel different.
However, when uncertainty prevails, babywearing empowers us to begin each day, knowing that our little ones are safe and cared for. Most importantly, we take comfort that the benefits extend far beyond what we can observe today. The bonds we are nurturing through our warmth, touch, kindness, and attentiveness will create ripples that will swell far into the future.
Wishing you a safe and happy IBW! How will you celebrate?