Babywearing slows down the motor development of the baby.
The studies do not exist, what a surprise! However, you can find in many sources that babywearing provides tactile stimulation of the baby by the mother’s movements, similar to hippotherapy, and therefore supports the motor development (just a hypothesis, nothing confirmed). I would not go that far myself – I can only offer my own experience, experience of my friends and fellow babywearers from the internet – which is that the motor development of wearies is the same as of the non-wearies, on average. Emilka who is an exclusive wearie develops exactly according to the charts and diagrams and I know many wearies and non-wearies whose motor development is both significantly faster or slower. Again, if you use your common sense – how should putting a baby in a bassinet (moreover also in a footmuff) or seating and fastening him/her into a stroller help his/her motor development …? Maybe, it could be a bit surprising for some of the naggers who think that babywearing is harmful, but the wearies do not spend 24 hours a day in a wrap or a carrier and they usually have quite a lot of space and time for self-development.
The baby will become dependent on his/her mother because of being worn.
I suppose you hear this again and again – “do not carry him/her all the time, s/he will be dependent on you”, “s/he will not move an inch from you until s/he goes to school”, “you got him/her used to being carried, serves you right”. I will ask the reverse question here – what baby is NOT dependent on his/her mother? Is it really necessary to force the baby to get used to not being in contact with his/her mother while it is the only thing s/he knew before being born? Let’s put it simple, babywearing supports and reinforces the emotional bond between the mother and the baby, the baby feels more secure and sure about presence of his/her mum and when the time is right, s/he is not afraid to go and explore the world on his/her own – because s/he knows that his/her mummy will be there waiting for him/her. I recommend watching the documentary “Děti bez lásky” (i.e. Children without love, you can find it on Youtube, but only in Czech, sorry, guys) about babies brought up in an orphanage and in families – the comparison shows very well how the impaired emotional bond looks like in children living in an institution and, on the other hand, how the content ˈhealthyˈ children living with their loving parents behave. To be clear, I do not want to make some insane interstellar comparison of ˈorphanage vs. familyˈ and ˈstroller vs. babywearingˈ, I wanted to mention this documentary because I think it illustrates very well that the ˈdependentˈ baby who is afraid to leave his/her caretaker is not the one more cherished and ˈspoiledˈ but the one who lacks the affection and love. Why would it be different in the case of wearies?
I am quite sure that there are many more myths about babywearing (“s/he will have ˈOˈ shaped legs”, “your back is going to hurt”, “his/her legs are strangled in the wrap”, etc.) and the already extra-long article would be even longer; I was trying to comment only on the ˈmainˈ and the most frequently heard objections that babywearing parents are used to hear and worry about. Certainly, my article based more on my experience and impressions than scientific facts cannot dispel all the doubts. However, the main thing that helped me to understand and embrace the idea of babywearing in the very beginning that it is the best thing I can do for my baby, is this simple sentence I still repeat to myself from time to time: “The child is not a stupid creature, the child adapts to the situation.” Just trust yourself and trust your babies. 😉
PS. When I was trying to find suitable photos to put in between the paragraphs of this looong text, I realized that in most of our ˈprettyˈ pictures we take with Linda or our husbands Emilka usually looks very miserable – she hates when I stop and pose for the photos. I found such pictures quite unsuitable to be used in an article about babywearing being the best thing in the world… 😀 Anyway, Emilka is, in fact, the most content wearie ever, a happy and always smiling baby! And, because every blog, even the most professional one, needs some kind of ˈhuman touchˈ from time to time, I chose some of our everyday babywearing photos, even some slightly smudged selfies, to show you how Emilka loves to be worn, from her first weeks of life until her 16 months of age now – be it with her mum, daddy, grandma or auntie. 🙂