By Rynette Tan
Managing Director & Babywearing Consultant, 13Thirteen
In times of uncertainty and distress such as during a pandemic like the covid-19, babywearing offers comfort and security to your child. It is also an excellent way to ensure that your child is kept close to you, to minimise unnecessary exposure to harmful diseases.
While it is best to stay at home during such times, certain situations may necessitate going out with your child, for example leaving your home to buy groceries. In cases where no alternative caregiver is present and you have to leave the home with your child, we strongly encourage parents to babywear your children.
With office and school closures, together with restrictions on non-essential outings, full time working parents have found their childcare arrangements drastically changing, with them having to care for their children 24/7. This change in arrangements can be stressful and babywearing can help.
Here are some practical reasons how babywearing can help during a pandemic:
Being hands free
Outside of the home, babywearing enables your hands to be free to do things such as carry your groceries and to hold an older child’s hand in order to keep them close. At home, babywearing can keep your baby happy while you go about your housework or while you play with an older child.
Babywearing also frees up your hand for frequent hand-washing! Remember to use soap where possible and thoroughly wash your hands. If soap and water are unavailable, remember to sanitise your hands, especially before touching your face, or more importantly, baby’s face!
Fabric can be washed
Washing and sanitising a baby carrier is much easier than cleaning a stroller. As stroller wheels and handlebars may be more difficult to clean, this presents opportunity for bacteria to grow and hence increases the chances of inviting germs into your home.
Attuned to baby’s needs
Babywearing enables parents to be close to baby, and therefore more attuned to their needs. Parents can easily monitor baby’s reactions and be able to pick up on cues early when babies are worn and kept close to them. Early reading of cues and meeting the needs of baby quickly can avoid unnecessary stressful situations.
For parents who are breastfeeding, babywearing encourages frequent feeding and feeding on demand. Breastmilk contains antibodies that protect baby from illnesses, so frequent breastfeeding can help to offer some form of protection to baby.
Wearing an older child
Parents with toddlers will agree that many of them are strong willed and have a mind of their own! Wearing your toddler can help to keep them close to you and keep their hands from touching public surfaces which may be teeming with germs. At this age, they want to touch anything and everything - and then rub their eyes or put their fingers in their mouths. Definitely not ideal when there is a global pandemic happening!
Finding ourselves amidst a global pandemic may be scary and stressful. While the majority of us may not be able to do much to improve the situation, we can do our best to protect ourselves and keep our loved ones safe. One of the ways parents can do that is to babywear.
Should you require assistance with babywearing, 13Thirteen offers video consultations. This service is available to anyone in the world. Email us or drop us a message on Facebook/Instagram to enquire.