If you were watching breakfast television this morning, you may have heard a certain outspoken presenter opining on the subject of babywearing dads. Specifically he claimed that it somehow makes a man less masculine to be seen carrying his child in a sling.
Putting aside the outdated and damaging gender stereotypes this view perpetuates for a moment, it seems the perfect opportunity to focus on just some of the many reasons why men wearing their babies in slings is in fact an excellent idea for both dads and the children they carry.
It’s brilliant for bonding
Whether your baby is a tiny newborn or an active toddler there is little that boosts oxytocin levels more than the walking cuddles that babywearing brings. It instantly helps dads feel connected to their child, and that bonding works both ways too, reinforcing the vital role that fathers play in their children’s lives.
It helps share the load
It might be the case that mum is more often the parent who wears the baby, but after nine months of pregnancy and the natural dependence on the mother in the early days it can be a relief to have moments of autonomy – safe in the knowledge that dad is continuing to provide the closeness that the child craves.
It’s great for paternal mental health
There is, rightly, a lot of focus on mothers’ mental health during and after pregnancy, but fathers can also benefit enormously from the reduction in feelings of stress and anxiety that babywearing brings.
It helps get things done
It isn’t just mums who need to multitask whilst looking after baby. Whether it’s following a toddler around the playpark, getting in the weekly shop, or catching up on admin, babywearing can make it so much easier for busy dads to do the things they need to do whilst keeping baby safe and happy.
It makes adventuring a breeze
With a supportive baby carrier there are very few places that are off limits, making babywearing a brilliant option for dads wanting to show their children the world – from forests to beaches to mountains, babywearing dads can explore them all.