Traditional Birthing Services
Helping To Create the Birthing Experience YOU Want!

What the heck is Baby Wearing?

Reclaiming the Tradition of our Ancestors

A long, long time ago when I was a little girl, I remembered seeing in encyclopedias and on National Geographic women in far away lands strapping their babies to their front or backs and thinking that it was strange.  A little later I attended an independent African Centered school, and whenever a teacher would have a baby, they would just bring the baby to work and have them strapped on their back.

It became so normal that I never really gave it much thought until during my second pregnancy I started reading about something called "baby wearing" and slings as if it were some revolutionary practice.  It turns out the common practice that mothers have been doing for centuries actually has more than practical benefits.

Called by many names- Baby Wearing, Slinging the Baby, etc., is the modern industrialized world's name for what came natural to the many mothers of Africa , North America and Asia for thousands of years. Only now thanks to modern studies we know that there are more benefits to wearing your baby other than having two hands free.  Here are just some of the benefits for baby wearing:

1. Keeps babies calm and content: We all know that babies like to be held, and unfortunately American, particularly African American culture has embraced the thought of "if you hold the baby too much you spoil the child".  My answer to that is "spoiled is what happens to something when you don't pay any attention to it - like milk- and it goes bad".  Babies are meant to be held, they can't walk or talk, let alone meet any of their own needs.  When children are crying it's because they have a need for something, if you ignore that need it teaches the child that they can't get their needs met.  Meeting the baby's needs now, fosters a more emotionally secure baby later.

2. Increases intelligence:  Simply put when you carry the baby around, they do less crying and more watching and learning. 

3. Allows moms to feed on the go:
 Breastfeeding has become more of a "chore" to modern moms rather than a necessity. The benefits FAR outweigh the negatives for breastfeeding, but I can admit formula did get tempting when I had to stop what I was doing several times a day to feed my then newborn baby.  Baby wearing allows the baby to nurse while mom is hands free and also provides breast coverage.

There are many more reasons to wear your baby, but really bringing it back to practical, if you or someone you know has ever had to ride the bus, go shopping, or just about any other outing with a baby, you know that it makes the errand much more difficult holding the baby on your hip or worse trying to lug around that heavy car seat or stroller. 

Consider baby wearing to benefit your baby, maintain your sanity, lighten your load, and free your hands. Tell us about your thoughts, feelings and experiences with baby wearing

I invite you to a FREE baby wearing workshop in the DC Metro Area on Sunday April 20, 2008 @ 12 noon . Please contact us to RSVP and for location details.

Recipe of the Month 
Avocado and mango salad with passion fruit vinaigrette

Makes 4 servings.

3 tablespoons passion fruit juice concentrate (or sub w/pineapple juice)

3 tablespoons minced shallot (or red onion)

4 teaspoons Sherry wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, coarsely cracked

3 tablespoons olive oil

8 cups herb salad mix (about 4 ounces)

1 large ripe mango, halved, pitted, peeled, sliced

2 small avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, sliced

Whisk first 5 ingredients in small bowl to blend; gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing generously with salt and pepper. Toss salad mix in large bowl with 1/4 cup dressing. Divide salad among 4 plates. Tuck mango and avocado into salad; drizzle some of remaining dressing over mango and avocado.

*To kick up the protein you can add cubed rotisserie (or grilled) chicken or tofu.


Did You Know?
Exercise is still very important during pregnancy, if not more so.  Although there are certain guidelines that you should discuss with your health care provider, generally any exercise is helpful to have a happy healthy pregnancy, birth and recovery. 

Not only does exercise tone and strengthen the muscles needed for carrying and birthing your baby, but exercising during pregnancy also helps to shorten labor and avoid pregnancy and birth complications.

Some pregnancy exercises include:

Pelvic Rocks
& Squats

Pregnancy exercising can also be fun with prenatal yoga and belly dancing.

Exercise is just 1 of the 5 points for optimal health. Learn about exercise and much more in our comprehensive
Childbirth Education Classes- New Series Starting May 7.

A family based business providing expecting families with affordable educational, cultural and artistic services from an African-Centered perspective.

TBS strives to infuse ancestral cultural traditions with modern information to help you create the birthing experience YOU want!

Traditional Birthing Services
P.O. Box 6407
Largo, MD 20792

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Apr. 16, 2008 at 9:29 PM

I nursed 8 of my ten children and I believe that wearing my baby would have made it easier when traveling, if it does in fact provide coverage. I did not know about all of the benefits of  "wearing your baby". At first glance, my thought was that it looked a little uncomfortable for the baby. But, I can say that I have never seen a baby crying when carried on the back or front. So I guess its not as uncomfortable as it looks.

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Apr. 16, 2008 at 11:01 PM

hey traditionalbirf,

        i never thought of it as actually "wearing" my baby, but i did in fact wear my baby. i carried him around and i nursed him as well...   and i found it was easier that way when nursing on the go, having him so close to the breast made for good coverage .  

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Apr. 17, 2008 at 5:06 PM i wear my baby too....i have one those infantino carriers tht i use instead of draggin the gonna try a dif one tho to hv more options

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Apr. 18, 2008 at 9:39 AM Love the article. My mom use to wear my sisters in the back when they were small. i tried to do that with my kids when they were babies however could never figure out how she put them on her back or front and tied it without worrying it would fall. Also trying the sling but it was more uncomforatable for me. Love the article.

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Apr. 18, 2008 at 1:46 PM I love this.  I had front carriers due to the twins but I tell you, it was a lovely thing to do this as a nursing Mom!

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Apr. 21, 2008 at 1:58 PM

I need to wear my baby more often.  And your right, it's such an old natural thing because we have been doing it for HUNDREDS of years. And women in other countries still do. I'm bout to go and put my 8 month old on my back right now.  *chuckle* (I really am tho)


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Apr. 21, 2008 at 8:26 PM I have worn both of my babes since they were tiny. And nursed them that way too. My youngest was born Nov 10 and I had her in a front carrier nursing away while I made Thanksgiving dinner. It was great to be so hands free and still give her everything she needed. I wear both girls, sometimes both at the same time depending on where we are going. I wouldn't trade it for anything! Such a great bond!

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Apr. 23, 2008 at 12:57 PM I wore all three of my babies.  My middle child would scream whenever we had her out of her sling!  Turns out she has autism, her psychiatrist believes the fact that I wore her constantly to be the only reason she has a bond with me at all.  Most autistic children do not bond closely with anyone but my daughter is very well bonded with me and her little brother whom she shared the sling with for a while.  I loved having my babies right there close to my heart all the time!  Now that they are all to big to carry anymore I miss it!  It is a fabulous way to build the foundation for emotional maturity and connection later in life.

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Apr. 24, 2008 at 10:29 AM I am glad you posted this article. I baby wore both my kiddos, although I did not know that was the new term for it! I loved carrying my babies. It was so much easier for lots of things!

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Apr. 25, 2008 at 9:07 PM Great article!  I couldn't have said it better myself.  I have been wearing my baby for the past 7 months, and I don't know who loves it or the baby!!! 

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