We take a look at Dr Rosie Knowles'
Why Babywearing Matters,
Pinter & Martin, 2016.
With interest in babywearing increasing at a significant rate over the past decade, and recent growth of academic studies into the benefits of carrying your child, Rosie Knowles has produced a timely and accessible summary pulling together relevant information about the benefits of this practice that will appeal to both newcomers and long-time carriers.
Rosie (a GP and Babywearing Consultant who runs her own Sling Library and shop) is well known and highly regarded within the babywearing world, and for good reason - her work promoting carrying not only in her hometown Sheffield (known as 'Sling City'), but more widely in the UK and beyond, has undoubtedly contributed to a better understanding of babywearing benefits. She is passionate, knowledgeable, dedicated and motivated - any discussion with her on this topic is immediately engaging and heartfelt.
Rosie has always been a 'go to' person for us at Oscha Slings - over the past few years she has supported us, and many other wraps and carrier companies, to help promote babywearing, through attendance at events, advice and support on blogs and materials, and reviews of new products.
What strikes us most about this book is the engaging and conversational way in which it's written - it manages to deliver evidence based research, history, and safety guidance in a way that feels like you are chatting with a friend.
"Using a carrier does not mark you out as a particular type of parent, who subscribes to particular cultural beliefs; it simply means that you are choosing to keep your child close, according to your biological instinct and their biological needs, making life work in the best way that you can." Pg 43.
The book begins by taking us through the evolution of carrying, a fascinating exploration of the earliest techniques and the reasons behind them, drawing on historical and anthropological research. She goes onto explore the reasons that carrying is important for individuals (baby and parent/carers) and society at large, referencing studies looking at the impact on postnatal depression and breastfeeding. Rosie writes of the “growing evidence that our society's tendency to be adult-led and less responsive to babies needs has a negative impact on their later mental health... babies who have been given plenty of close contact … are likely to have fewer attachment disorders and less need of child and adolescent mental health services.
Rosie then discusses the basics of carrying and addresses common concerns - a really helpful chapter for new parents and carriers. The book finishes by addressing special circumstances, and with her years of experience as a consultant and GP, this section covers a variety of areas with calm assurance and sound advice. Safety, comfort, and what works best for you and your child are the key considerations with regard to issues such as the best carrying options for newborn babies and bigger kids, carrying when pregnant, and carrying children with disabilities.
Why Babywearing Matters is a fantastic addition to the growing body of work researching attachment parenting in which Rosie covers all aspects of babywearing. Comprehensive and yet concise, this clearly laid out book is part of the 'Why it Matters' series, a range of parental guides and a very helpful reference for parents, the medical profession, babywearing consultants and everyone who wants to create a world with secure and happy children. Lots to learn and a great read!