1. Wearing a baby is convenient.

When we carry a baby in a sling, we can walk around freely and not have to worry about negotiating steps, crowds or narrow aisles with a stroller. Plastic “baby buckets” and removable car seats are heavy and awkward for parents, babies often look uncomfortable, and they are kept at knee level. A sling can block out excess stimuli when breastfeeding a distractible baby, and it allows for discreet nursing in public places. A sling can also double as a changing pad, blanket, or cushion when away from home. I’ve found my sling especially handy when negotiating busy airports with a small child and several bags!

2. Wearing a baby promotes physical development.

When a baby rides in a sling attached to his mother, he is in tune with the rhythm of her breathing, the sound of her heartbeat, and the movements his mother makes – walking, bending, and reaching. This stimulation helps him to regulate his own physical responses and exercises his vestibular system, which controls balance. The sling is, in essence, a “transitional womb” for the new baby, who has not yet learned to control his bodily functions and movements. Research has shown that premature babies who are touched and held gain weight faster and are healthier than babies who are not1. Mechanical swings and other holding devices do not provide these same benefits.

3. Babies worn in slings are happier.

Studies have shown that the more babies are held, the less they cry and fuss2. In indigenous cultures where baby-wearing is the norm, babies often cry for only a few minutes a day – in contrast to Western babies, who often cry for hours each day. Crying is exhausting for both the baby and his parents, and may cause long-term damage as the baby’s developing brain is continually flooded with stress hormones.Babies who do not need to spend their energy on crying are calmly observing and actively learning about their environment. Baby-wearing is especially useful for colicky babies, who are far happier being worn, but placid, content babies and children will also benefit greatly from the warmth and security of being held close.

4. Baby-wearing is healthy for you!

It can be challenging for new mothers to find time to exercise, but if you carry your baby around with you most of the day or go for a brisk walk with your baby in her sling, you will enjoy the dual benefits of walking and “weightlifting”. A long walk in the sling is also an excellent way to help a tired but over-stimulated child fall asleep.

5. Toddlers appreciate the security of the sling.

Slings are usually associated with infants, but they can be very useful for toddlers as well; most slings accommodate children up to 35 or 40 pounds. The world can be a scary place for toddlers, who feel more confident when they can retreat to the security of the sling when they need to do so. Toddlers often become over-stimulated, and a ride in the sling helps to soothe and comfort them before (or after!) a “melt-down” occurs. It can be very helpful in places like the zoo, aquarium, or museum, where a small child in a stroller would miss many of the exhibits.

6. Baby-wearing helps you and your baby to communicate with each other.

The more confidence we have in our parenting, the more we can relax and enjoy our children. A large part of feeling confident as a parent is the ability to read our baby’s cues successfully. When we hold our baby close in a sling, we become finely attuned to his gestures and facial expressions. Many baby-wearing parents report that they have never learned to distinguish their baby’s cries – because their babies are able to communicate effectively without crying! Every time a baby is able to let us know that she is hungry, bored or wet without having to cry, her trust in us is increased, her learning is enhanced, and our own confidence is reinforced. This cycle of positive interaction enhances the mutual attachment between parent and child, and makes life more enjoyable for everyone.

7. Slings are a bonding tool for fathers, grandparents, and other caregivers.

Slings are a useful tool for every adult in a baby’s life. It makes me smile when I see a new father going for a walk with his baby in a sling. The baby is becoming used to his voice, heartbeat, movements and facial expressions, and the two are forging a strong attachment of their own. Fathers don’t have the automatic head-start on bonding that comes with gestation, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make up for this once their baby is born. The same goes for babysitters, grandparents and all other caregivers. Cuddling up close in the sling is a wonderful way to get to know the baby in your life, and for the baby to get to know you!

8. Slings are a safe place for a child to be.

Instead of running loose in crowded or dangerous places, a child in a sling is held safe and secure right next to your body. Slings also provide emotional safety when needed, so that children can venture into the world and become independent at their own pace.

9. Slings are economical.

Slings cost far less than strollers, front-carriers or backpacks. Many mothers consider the sling to be one of their most useful and economical possessions. Inexpensive used slings can be found in consignment and thrift stores, and new ones can be bought for about $25 -$50 (U.S.) – not bad for an item many parents use daily for two years or more! A sling can also be sewn for the price of a length of cotton, some rings, and batting; sling patterns are available.

10. Baby-wearing is fun.

Who doesn’t love to cuddle a precious little baby? And when your baby is older, having her in the sling makes conversations easier and allows you to observe her reactions to the wonders of the world around her. It’s also fun for baby because when she is up at eye level, other adults notice and interact with her more. Your child will feel more a part of your life when she is in her sling, and you will find yourself becoming more and more enchanted with this special little person.

by Laura Simeon, MA, MLIS

https://www.naturalchild.org

They say first impressions count, but when you first introduce yourself to someone the only thing you give is your name and a nice greeting.

You know that you are much more than just your name, but how do you show and act your qualities without actually having to list them?

The most important thing is for you to first know them yourself. Did you know that there is a set of 24 characteristics that Positive Psychologists have defined? I bet you didn’t, so let me ask you: Do you play an instrument? Do you volunteer? Are you learning a language just for fun? Are you a keen athlete? Answers to those questions say a lot about who you really are – it tells about your character and what really what makes you, you!

Character in action

Whether you have a passion for learning, you love bringing smiles to others, are a dedicated amateur photographer, or love contributing to a group effort in volunteer life, think about how those strengths can be used even more when you are together with friends, family, at work or as a volunteer.

For example, turning those dreaded, boring staff meetings into a more positive experience is easily done by using your character traits to understand the motives and feelings of colleagues, and why they act the way they do.

Doing what you love to do involves character. By utilizing and stretching those character strengths to other areas in your life, you create the key to a happier and more fulfilling life, and that’s how you exude positivity and character trait without telling people, but you will feel the positive benefits.

What are your character strengths?

These 24 different characteristics all act as positive engines in the human mind and show a personal attitude towards life.

The Character On Purpose wellbeing seminar in Bodytree is all about character strengths. You will get to know yourself better by doing your own personal strength test. Knowing which strengths come most natural to you is step number one for applying them in other settings in life. Furthermore, with this new knowledge, you will be able to do strength spotting – recognizing strengths in other people, hence telling why you think and act in different ways.

The seminar will be a true eye-opener, and it will give you the key to create a life that is much more enjoyable.

Positive Psychologist and Happiness expert Pernille Kløeverpris

Character On Purpose | Saturday 12th October | 4pm – 6pm | 225AED

 

Written by Prof. Pernille Kløeverpris

“How are you?”

We hear this question ALL the time, and we all know the unspoken rule for a quick positive reply.

What do you think would happen if we were allowed to give a true answer? How many would then say ‘fine’ or ‘good?’

The truth is that a lot of people are struggling with their lives today; juggling the increasing demands and expectations, and then there is this whole idea of perfection. Perfection to look good for social media, ‘living their best life,’ being the best at work – the list goes on. Very often those people are suffering in silence, fighting a battle on their own.

Is loneliness the price of modern life?

With friends counted in hundreds, including those on social media, it might seem weird to talk about loneliness, but new studies reveal that loneliness affects almost half of adult Americans and the same tendency shows also in our part of the world.

Cooperation breakdown

As humans, we are wired to connect. Evolution has taught us the importance of cooperation and trust and one of the best predictors of a healthy mind and happiness is strong social ties, so the increasing numbers of people expressing feelings of loneliness are quite worrying.

But what is causing this cooperation breakdown? Well, first of all, we can take a quick look at our culture and see how individual performance is valued and celebrated over teamwork. Another factor is technology, but also simply the fact that we are organizing and leading our lives more independently now compared with before.

Goodbye to loneliness

Knowing the importance of close relations we need to start updating our social skills, and a great first step is letting go of grudges and be more appreciative towards people in your life, that will aspire for stronger relations and for more happiness.

Wellbeing is something we grow

Imagine we could be better ‘Life Copers.’ Imagine that our mental health could be developed and strengthened in such a way, that we could handle life as it is. And imagine we could actually feel happier.

The great news is, this is not just wishful thinking! We can actually cultivate a stronger and healthier mind, build resilience and prevent mental diseases as well.

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First-ever Sustainable Wellbeing seminars in Abu Dhabi starting September 28th

I welcome you onboard on this happiness journey. Through 6 seminars you will learn how to grow and nourish more wellbeing and happiness into your life using simple science based tools and techniques, and you will form new habits that will make you not just mentally but also physically healthier.

Book online via our website