International Babywearing Week is an annual outreach event sponsored by Babywearing International. The mission of Babywearing International is to promote babywearing as a universally accepted practice, with benefits for both child and caregiver, through education and support.
International Babywearing Week is a week-long advocacy event dedicated to promoting awareness of babywearing through local and online celebrations, media awareness, and educational activities. Through this event, we hope to promote babywearing as a practice that benefits caregivers and children.
Each year, individuals from all over the globe volunteer their time to plan and organize International Babywearing Week. Meet this year’s committee of hard working volunteers and find out how you can be a part of next year’s team.
Benefits of Babywearing
Medical professionals agree that infants thrive through touch; “wearing” your baby is another way to meet this need. The benefits of babywearing don’t end there … babywearing offers many other advantages, some of which include:
Healthy Babies. Premature babies and babies with special needs often enter the world with fragile nervous systems. When a baby rides in a sling attached to his mother, he is in tune with the rhythm of her breathing, the sound of her heartbeat, and the movements his mother makes—walking, bending, and reaching. This stimulation helps him to regulate his own physical responses. Research has even shown that premature babies who are touched and held gain weight faster and are healthier than babies who are not. (2)
Confident Parents. A large part of feeling confident as a parent is the ability to read our babies’ cues successfully. Holding our babies close in a sling allows us to become finely attuned to their movements, gestures, and facial expressions. Every time a baby is able to let us know that she is hungry, bored, or wet without having to cry, her trust in us is increased, her learning is enhanced, and our own confidence is reinforced. This cycle of positive interaction deepens the mutual attachment between parent and child, and is especially beneficial for mothers who are at risk for or suffering from postpartum depression. (3) (4)
Loving Caregivers. Baby carriers are a great bonding tool for fathers, grandparents, adoptive parents, babysitters, and other caregivers. Imagine a new father going for a walk with his baby in a sling. The baby isbecoming used to his voice, heartbeat, movements, and facial expressions, and the two are forging a strong attachment of their own. Baby carriers are beneficial for every adult in a baby’s life. Cuddling up close in the sling is a wonderful way to get to know the baby in your life, and for the baby to get to know you!
Comfort and Convenience. With the help of a good carrier, you can take care of older children or do chores without frequent interruptions from an anxious or distressed infant—which helps to reduce sibling rivalry. Baby carriers are also wonderful to use with older babies and toddlers; you can save those arms and go where strollers can’t. Climbing stairs, hiking, and navigating crowded airports all can be done with ease when you use a well-designed baby carrier!
1 – Hunziker UA, Garr RG. (1986) Increased carrying reduces infant crying: A random-ized controlled trial. Pediatrics 77:641-648
2 – “Current knowledge about skin-to-skin (kangaroo) care for pre-term infants”. J Perinatol. 1991 Sep;11(3):216-26.
3 – Pelaez-Nogueras M, Field TM, Hossain Z, Pickens J. (1996). Depressed mothers’ touching increases infants’ positive affect and attention in still-face interactions. Child Development, 67, 1780-92.
4 – Tessier R, M Cristo, S Velez, M Giron, JG Ruiz-Palaez, Y Charpak and N Charpak. (1998) Kangaroo mother care and the bonding hypothesis. Pediatrics 102:e17.
@2017 Babywearing International
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An important part of making babywearing a universally accepted practice is ensuring that International Babywearing Week meetings, events, and online spaces are welcoming for people of all backgrounds.
Given our education mission, Babywearing International, Inc. and International Babywearing Week is necessarily supportive of the basic tenets of social justice. Therefore, BWI does not condone silencing, tone policing, or otherwise oppressing marginalized groups, nor does BWI discriminate or permit discrimination by any member of its community against any individual on the basis of age, citizenship status, class, color, disability, gender expression, gender identity, marital status, national origin, parental status, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.
International Babywearing Week will not promote events or groups that are known to discriminate against others or behave in an otherwise problematic way. We reserve the right to deny registration or participation rights to any group.