Many parents choosing to baby wear have a multitude of options including wraps, slings and carriers from infancy through to toddlerhood. Many believe baby-wearing is in line with the Montessori Method and quote Maria Montessori’s admiration for cultures who embraced baby wearing.
Five Montessori benefits of baby-wearing.
Maternal points of reference
Maria Montessori highlighted the initial importance of keeping an infant close to its mother and babywearing ensures this. The infant is close to their principal point of reference from the womb notably its mother's heartbeat and voice.
Warmth, security and comfort
As an infant grows they will find comfort in both parent’s familiar warmth, smell and touch and skin to skin contact. Baby wearing provide a wonderful source of security for a child particularly when in new environments.
Maria Montessori stressed the value of a child being close to their parent from infancy to promote language acquisition through being a part of family and community. Through babywearing a child is close to both the sound and vibration of language and mouth movements.
Babywearing enables a parent to be attentive to their child whilst also respecting their natural rhythms. At any time, a child can be maintaining eye contact with a parent, be out exploring nature or be so relaxed and begin to fall asleep.
Babywearing allows a parent to attend to the needs of other children and also maintain the family rhythm and tasks
Take a balanced approach
Some Montessorians react unfavourably to baby wearing, believing it restricts a child’s movement and independence. As with all things, it is important to find a balance and avoid taking baby wearing to the extreme. Baby-wearing must not be a convenience aide for parents. Bodily movement is key for developing core muscle strength and coordination and freedom of choice allows a child to explore and build trust in their environment. Parents must follow their child and their cues. Infants are initially dependent on parents and it is only through effectively responding to those needs that true and healthy independence will emerge.
Trust your child and your parenting choices and enjoy what works for your child and family.