Carrying as therapy
The carrying of infants does not only have a very positive effect on their development, it also has a therapeutic effect in many cases, but in no way does it replace any medical treatment which may be necessary.
Here are a few examples of this:
There are babies who cry a lot without apparent reason. Mostly this is "only" the requirement for nearness (contact crying). As soon as the baby is placed in the arms, it quietens down. The term "carrybaby" describes these babies very well. The requirement for nearness can be met by long-term carrying in a sling. You will soon notice that your baby becomes quieter and happier after a while, even during the times when it is not being carried.
For "difficult cases" where simple carrying no longer helps, there are special "crying units" where trained specialist personnel can deal specifically with infants and parents. In addition, many midwives, paediatricians and breast-feeding advisers give additional "crying consultations".
You can find an excellent and very interesting site about this subject (in German) at www.trostreich.de.
An over-distended tummy is extremely uncomfortable for infants. The main causes of this are foodstuffs causing flatulence (taken in through the mother's milk), stress during breast-feeding and swallowing air during drinking. After feeding, carry your baby as near to your body as possible. This quietens the baby, and meets its requirement for bodily contact. At the same time, its tummy is lightly massaged. It has been proven that babies who are taken care of in this manner after feeding cry much less after their meals, and also suffer stomach cramps much less often.
Premature babies are taken away from the warmth and security of the mother's womb much too early, and therefore have an increased requirement for nearness. In the hospitals which treat premature babies, "kangarooing" has become more or less standard. The premature baby is placed on the mother or father's naked breast. Carrying in baby slings is also practised in some hospitals. Both methods are a form of relationship development which satisfies the need for nearness and security.
Babies are naturally put into positions with spread legs in baby slings (except for the cradle tying method), and this means that their legs are put into the spread-squat position. The spread position of the legs has a positive effect on the development of the hips, and, in addition to orthopaedic methods in minor cases of hip dysplasia, also helps to diminish incorrect positioning and to correct it.
In major cases of hip dysplasia, the sling can be used as a therapeutic method in addition to a Frejka pillow. For the infant, it is much more comfortable to be put in a position with spread legs occasionally rather than wearing a Frejka pillow all the time.
Every year, nearly 1600 children are born with a cleft palate. Standardised methods are nowadays used to successfully operate on the cleft palate in the first year of life. Babies with cleft palates are often stared at. Carrying your baby in a sling protects it. It is carried with its face towards you and therefore protected from curious looks.
Neurodermitis is one of the most common complaints for children. Physical stress or allergies against foodstuffs, pollen, house dust, or animal hairs are just some of the factors which cause the illness to start or to become worse. Carrying in a sling can also have a positive effect on the baby's well-being in this case. It will be much quieter and more relaxed, which often leads to moderation of the symptoms.