BabyWearing Dance is the coolest bonding ritual for newborns and their parents. BabyWearing dance, keeps you healthy, energized, entertained and positive and is a wonderful way to bond with your baby. You need not be a good dancer to do it, just put on some music, and move to the tunes. Create your own rhythm!
Why babywearing dance?
Babies, despite their lack of language, use early forms of communication to show their emotions. Music and movement are definitely gateways to their communication. Not only does dancing and moving create an amazing connection between baby and wearer, but it also helps them to explore their environment from eye level. And this exploration doesn’t just start when they’re born. They explore, communicate and learn from their environment from the womb and continue to discover new moves, expressions, and reactions to sounds and objects all the time. You can see it in very young babies who wriggle, giggle and dance to music even before they can speak. And they take a delight in it even more when grown-ups, their siblings and other children take part too.
What happens when you dance with baby?
There are two things. Firstly, taking the time to dance with your baby creates a powerful connection with them. It’s a natural and wonderful way to communicate love, stability and comfort. The second thing that dancing does is that it helps to improve your baby’s coordination, balance, and strength. It’s also an easy way to help to boost your baby’s self-esteem, happiness, and encourage you to both be active. All of this doesn’t require fancy footwork or moves. Even the most basic moves have a positive effect.
Why should it be baby-wearing dance specifically?
As you know, baby-wearing not only makes some tasks easier by freeing up our hands, but it also helps to promote attachment in parenting and bonding. Never see the goal of dancing, moving or exercising while babywearing as means to burn more calories (even if it often feels like it with baby’s extra weight). Rather, babywearing could be seen as part of the activity as a means to create a strong bond between wearer and child. And, using an ergonomically designed type of carrier helps maintain a correct posture and fully support for the baby as she cuddles and grows, which is very difficult if you’re holding your baby in your arms.
Is there anything that people should be careful of while babywearing and dancing?
During pregnancy the growing uterus causes one’s centre of gravity to move forward. This can lead to tightness of the muscles of the lower back, hip flexors, and pain in the back of the neck due to the head’s position. New mothers can also experience sore necks and shoulders from their breastfeeding position and lower back pain from rocking, bouncing, and holding their babies. It’s important to remember that even when babywearing movement and dancing involves low impact movements, you really should listen to your body. Know your physical limits while wearing your baby and keep to a gentle level of exercise with minimal exertion. Lastly, remember to take short breaks as needed, to prevent tiredness and dehydration.
How important is it to use the right baby carrier or sling while dancing with your baby?
Unfortunately, not all slings and carriers are suitable for babywearing dance and don’t offer the support needed for active babywearing. The most important thing to remember is that younger babies need head and neck support at all times while dancing.
So, when choosing a baby carrier or sling, keep these things in mind:
- Narrow-based carriers, even if properly supported with a scarf hack, don’t provide the required neck support
- Some buckle carriers or mei-tais may be too big, wide or not adjustable for your baby’s size
- Wraps are suitable, but need to be wrapped tightly enough to provide the needed head and neck support
- Carriers that have been designed and worn ergonomically and correctly also prevent lower back pain and help the wearer achieve a comfortable, straighter stance and better posture.
So overall, its best to remember that to achieve an ergonomically correct position, it is vital to use the right-sized carrier for the baby’s build, weight, and age as well as the wearer’s body shape and health. Otherwise, you’ll need to use your hands and arms to give baby a comfortable, safe, and supportive snuggle while dancing.
What other rules should you remember when babywearing and dancing?
Really, the general babywearing T.I.C.K.S., PEACE and SAFE guidelines are the biggest thing to remember.
Carrying very young babies can be a wonderful and meaningful bonding experience for both the carer and baby, so it is recommended to always use an ergonomically correct and comfortable carrier to support both baby and wearer. Safety is paramount!
What about front-facing carriers?
We know there are plenty of advocates for babies being kept in front-facing carriers so they can enjoy facing out and observing interactions from this position. While its true that babies love to discover and experience new things, we don’t recommend carrying babies facing outwards under 1 years old. Not only because front-facing carrying doesn’t support a baby’s posture ergonomically, but it also makes it difficult to monitor your baby. Babies can often be overstimulated, both with their environment as well as the way in which they are carried. So really, we believe young babies should only be carried facing in. Not only because front-facing carrying may be uncomfortable for baby but also as the person carrying the baby, it can shift your body weight forward, putting pressure on your back, hips, and knees which may cause lower back pain, joint problems and injuries.
Any last things to remember when choosing the right baby carrier/sling for dancing?
Get what’s right for you and your baby! If you do, you’ll find you have the freedom to move and dance and really enjoy yourself. Stay upright, and remember, if your favourite carrier or sling doesn’t quite work for faster movements and dance steps, you can always give baby additional support with your arms and hands. But overall, remember the babywearing T.I.C.K.S., and babywearing dance safety guidelines PEACE and SAFE.
Video by OX - Petru Belibou https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQsU6pHxdrU