Skin to skin carrying is one of the best gifts a baby can be given. Skin to skin contact helps them regulate their temperature, heart rate and breathing rates. It produces oxytocin in both the caregiver and the baby calming both of them, and the beauty of skin to skin is that Dads can do it too. This is not only fabulous for bonding, but also for occasions where mum may need further support or medical treatment.
Skin to skin from a father is so reassuring – whilst they may have only met moments ago, the warm embrace, the sound of his heart beating close and his familiar voice, reassures the baby that right here – they’re safe, they’re protected, it’s a beautiful home from home.
From that moment on, as a brand new creation, their bond is formed, and with each smile, each touch, each cuddle, it grows and deepens and their adventures together begin!
Carrying your baby close can continue from birth for as long as you like, and has so many wonderful benefits. “Frequent close contact helps to build parental confidence. A heightened awareness of baby’s little movements and noises and subtle changes in mood will soon help a parent to feel in tune with their child, increasing their responsiveness”. Oftentimes in the early days, when everything feels new and perhaps a little unsure, a carrier and a walk can do wonders in calming the baby, the parents, building connections and allowing some ‘normality’ to establish in the new family life.
Adventures up hills, adventures to the beach, adventures as a family or ‘daddy –daughter dates’ while mum gets some well-earned rest. Memory making adventures of exploring and discovering the world together.
A hill, a newborn and a toddler may sound like a challenge – but with a carrier you can be hands-free to bag that munro!
We asked Joe, dad of 2 little ones, about how he got into using woven wraps:
“I had my reservations… all this talk of wraps, rails and passes seemed alien and bewildering. I will leave it then I thought; too much like hard work. Then as the days and weeks went by I saw that my wife could do superhuman feats like going shopping with two small people and walks with a toddler wobbling on a balance bike with no tears as she had hands free to catch him. Hmm, I thought, I might be missing a trick here, so I began to show an interest and ask questions.
I tried a size 6 wrap (4.6m of fabric- yes that’s right that is a lot) and found it genuinely, and surprisingly, good; with a lot of help at first I had it comfortably holding my baby and found it much, much comfier on my slim frame than the prior alternatives I had tried. I wore him around the house at first just playing together with my eldest and doing everyday tasks; no not going in the loft or flambéing my dinner. It was enjoyable; he was a boy who liked to be held much more than my eldest ever did and he seemed to enjoy it no end. It made a huge difference for all of us”
Shop for a woven wrap or sling for you and your little one here.
Written by Jess Hippey
Jess is a mum to two boys and a Baby Carrying Consultant based in Aberdeen, Scotland. For more info about the work that she does see: www.closeandcalm.co.uk
 Heart Rate Variability Responses of a Preterm Infant to Kangaroo Care Gail C. McCain, PhD, RN, FAAN. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2133345/