Babies who are carried close to their parents thrive during their young years. The Okkatots Front Baby Carrier System keeps your child close to you, chest to chest and heart to heart. Your baby is fully supported against your chest in a natural position that is preferable for many infants. There are many documented benefits for babies who are held this way, including the following:
extends the womb experience
provides a calming influence
enhances learning through involvement in parents' world
increases visual and auditory alertness
supports a developing brain
supports ability to listen
supports a developing sense of self-worth
builds core body strength and balance
removes pressure from back of head
helps release swallowed air and keep fluids down
Touch and closeness are extremely important for developing babies. When parents practice these through babywearing, they provide a balancing effect on an infant's irregular rhythms. The rhythmic walk of a mother (which the baby has felt for nine months) reminds him of the motion and balance he enjoyed inside the womb. When a baby rests against a parent's chest, the familiar sound of a heartbeat and breathing also remind him of the womb experience. When babywearing occurs, all these biological regulators reappear in the “outside womb” of the carrier, calming and reassuring the infant.
A baby who is kept close to his parent or caregiver becomes “humanized” sooner because she is exposed to the world. Participation increases as the baby sees what they see, hears what they hear, and may also feel what they feel. Carried babies become more aware of their parents' faces, walking rhythms, and scents; these babies will also be more alert to subtle facial expressions, body language, voice inflections and tones, breathing patterns, and emotions. At the same time, the parent will interact with the baby more often because she is in close proximity and can be intimately involved in daily activities—the baby becomes a participator rather than just a spectator.
Environmental experiences stimulate nerves to branch out and connect with other nerves, which supports overall brain growth. Babywearing helps an infant's developing brain make the right connections. Because the baby is intimately involved in his parents' world, he is exposed to the environmental stimuli that the parent chooses and is protected from those stimuli that overload his developing nervous system. These experiences are like short movies (known as patterns of behavior) that are filed away in the baby's neurological library until he is exposed to a similar situation that reminds him of the original “movie,” thus further developing the brain.
A carried baby automatically becomes more aware of conversations and sounds because she is held at voice and eye level. She is able to learn a valuable lesson—the ability to listen. Normal ambient sounds, such as the noises of daily activities, can support the learning process but may instead disturb or frighten her, particularly if she is alone. However, when the baby is worn by a parent, she reads her parents response and learns from them that the unfamiliar sounds and experiences are normal, each time providing another learning moment .
Along with touch and closeness, eye contact is critical for a baby's developing sense of self-worth. Positive self-worth is critical to a baby's capacity to develop to her full potential. The exclusive Extend-to-Tend® feature of the Okkatots Front Baby Carrier lets the wearer interact with the baby while still maintaining closeness. A parent can make eye contact and talk to the baby, as well as offer food or a toy if the infant becomes restless.
How does babywearing help babies thrive? By stimulating growth. Motion has a calming effect on infants; thus the caregiver has the ability to soothe a fussy baby by simply keeping the baby close while daily activities are performed. Worn babies tend to cry less, enabling them to divert their energy toward personal development and growth. The overall biological system of a baby works better when he is worn. Babywearing also builds core body strength and balance, as a baby carrier gives him a new way to use his muscles than when he is lying flat or reclining in a stroller or swing.
Because babies spend so much time on their backs, whether in a crib, car seat, swing, or stroller, the back of their heads has the tendency to become flat and misshapen. By wearing the baby, the pressure on the back of her head is removed. This natural, upright position also helps the baby release swallowed air and keep fluids down, letting her stay comfortable and happy.