We’re twenty-two months into life with Coronavirus and quarantine in its various stages, and stress levels are at an all-time high. Tension can be particularly high for new parents worrying about their infant’s immune system and how to protect baby from Covid during this unprecedented time. Isolation also weighs heavily on a new mother during one of the biggest transitions of an individual’s adult life, made even more complicated by having a baby during Covid. One way to safely combat isolation is to get outside, which you can easily do with baby wearing.
The Benefits of Baby Wearing
Wearing your baby or toddler in a carrier will keep them close to you and separated from other individuals. Having your baby close to you also allows easy and discreet access for breastfeeding, which has health benefits of its own. Breastmilk provides protection against numerous infectious diseases. Breastfeeding also releases the hormone oxytocin in both mother and baby which combats feelings of stress and anxiety.
Couple that with the benefits of babywearing:
● According to an article on baby wearing from La Leche League International, sling babies cry less. “In a 1986 Anthropological study of other cultures, researchers found that infants carried in a baby carrier or sling cried 43% less than those who were not.”
● The difference between the calm womb to the outside word can be jarring - baby wearing helps with that transition as babies can continue to feel their mothers’ natural movements and listen to their heartbeat. This helps baby regulate their own system.
Baby wearing facilitates bonding between an infant and their caregiver.
Baby carrying adults are more easily able to calm their babies if they are frightened.
Travelling is easier when infants are carried, and the baby wearer has free hands.
Baby wearing allows the carrying adult to be hands-free for other activities, too.
(resources: https://www.llli.org/breastfeeding-info/baby wearing/ and https://www.askdrsears.com/topics/healthconcerns/fussy-baby/baby-wearing/benefits-babywearing/ )
Time and research have shown that the greatest risk of Covid-19 transmission is through respiratory secretions: droplets from sneezing or coughing. With variants of the virus still emerging, even vaccinated individuals are encouraged to continue wearing masks. While studies show the appearance of Covid-19 is rare in infants, it’s still important to keep your baby safe by preventing the spread of germs because infants and young toddlers are unable to wear masks.
Read the CDC’s guidelines on how to protect yourself and others by clicking here.
How to Protect Baby From Covid Utilizing Baby Wearing
Having a baby during Covid requires added precautions, but it is absolutely doable. Baby wearing allows you to be hands-free for frequent hand washing, and you can even hook a mini hand sanitizer bottle to your carrier for the on-the-go moments! In addition, staying six feet away from others in closed-in spaces, keeping your baby on your body in the carrier will help protect you and your infant or toddler from other people’s unwanted respiratory secretions. Toddlers are naturally curious and have low impulse control, so wearing them in the carrier while you’re out grocery shopping or running errands prevents their little hands from touching everything or running off and getting too close to strangers. Integrating baby wearing into your daily life helps babies and toddlers meet their need for touch and involvement.
Whether you choose to stay home or venture out, a baby carrier is a must-have tool made more valuable during Covid.
If you need additional resources on how to protect yourself and others from the Coronavirus, the World Health Organization has information online which you can find here.