Big trend among moms: What is Babywearing?

It's a big trend among mothers: babywearing. Many moms swear by it.

Babywearing means holding or carrying a baby or young child using a cloth baby carrier. It's an easy and comfortable way to tote your children around while being able to wash dishes, do laundry, take a walk hands-free and even run after your older children.

Faith Rayland, a volunteer babywearing educator with Babywearing International of Central New York, appeared on Today in Central New York this morning to talk about the benefits of babywearing.

Studies have shown babies benefit from touch. Rayland says the benefits of babywearing include helping to soothe babies. She says it can also help increase bonding between parent and child. And then there's the convenience factor. You won't have to lug around a car seat or stroller all the time, and you can be hands-free while chasing around another little one.

It is important, however, to pick the right kind of baby carrier and wear it correctly. There have been concerns in the past about baby slings. Last March, one million baby slings made by Infantino were recalled after claims linking them to three infant deaths.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said babies could suffocate in the soft fabric slings. The agency urged parents to immediately stop using the slings for babies under 4 months.

If you choose babywearing, there are important safety tips to keep in mind:

1. Make sure your baby can breathe: Never allow a baby to be carried, held, or placed in such a way that his chin is curled against his chest. This position can restrict the baby's ability to breathe. Never allow a baby's head and face to be covered with fabric. Covering a baby's head and face can cause her to "rebreathe" the same air, which is a dangerous situation.

2. Never jog, run, jump on a trampoline, or do any other activity that subjects your baby to similar shaking or bouncing motion.

3. Never use a baby carrier when riding in a car. Soft baby carriers provide none of the protection that car seats provide.

4. Use only carriers that are appropriate for your baby's age and weight. For example, frame backpacks can be useful for hiking with older babies and toddlers but aren't appropriate for babies who can't sit unassisted for extended periods. Front packs usually have a weight range of 8 to 20 pounds; smaller babies may slip out of the carrier, and larger babies will almost certainly cause back discomfort for the person using the carrier.

Read more about the types of carriers available.

This week is International Babywearing Week. There are several events planned locally. There's an event today at 3:30 p.m. at Baby Signs with Mrs. Cincotta located in Shoppingtown Mall. There's also a babywearing mallwalk at Carousel Center at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, Babywearing International of CNY will host its monthly meeting at the DeWitt Community Library at 10 a.m.

To find out more about the local group, click here.

Have you ever tried babywearing? What did you think of it? What tips do you have for other moms? Leave your thoughts below.

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