A Special Kind of Babywearing

A Special Kind of Babywearing

>lift me up babywearing ot thrive

We love babywearing. We love newborn wearing. We love toddler wearing. We love big kid wearing. We love it all! There are so many benefits to babywearing, it will blow your mind. But Lift Me Up is not JUST about Babywearing. It’s about babywearing children with special needs.

There are so many children with differing degrees of abilities, and babywearing can be beneficial to every one of them. At Lift Me Up, our mission is to give carriers to families who have children with any type of developmental special need.

Children with plagiocephaly, torticollis, spina bifida, and Down Syndrome, among many other diagnoses, can all greatly benefit from babywearing. How so, you ask? Well, we want you to hear it from moms who know:


Here is Cyndi’s story about babywearing her son who has Torticollis:.

“Torticollis is tightness of the neck muscles on one side. You can tell that his head is titled at an awkward angle. Torticollis prevented him from having a full range of motion when turning his head. The few times a day when my little one would lay down, since he wasn't able to turn his head, he began developing plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome. Even without torticollis, the number of cases of plagiocephaly has risen dramatically since the Back-to-Back SIDS prevention campaign began. As more and more babies spend time on their backs, the risk of flat head syndrome has skyrocketed. Through my research I found that babywearing is a wonderful addition to tummy time in strengthening baby's neck muscles. Babywearing throughout the day, rather than putting him down in a bouncer, swing or in the bassinet, kept him off the back of his head. Babywearing let me feel like I was being pro-active in trying to strengthen my son's neck muscles and minimize the effects of torticollis and plagiocephaly.”

Read Cindy's full story here


Sarah is mom to twins, Claire and Etta. Claire has spina bifida. Here is what Sarah has to say about babywearing and how it has helped their family:

“Because of her spina bifida, Claire has disability in her lower body. Her legs are weak, and she doesn’t have great sensation in them, either. This means if I want to carry her on a hip, the way most people tote toddlers around, I’m entirely supporting her with my arm. She can’t ‘cling’ with her legs to help support some of her own weight. Where I can pretty easily sling monkey-child Etta on a hip and she clings to me like a little suction cup, Claire is 32 lbs of weight, which I end up trying to support with my left arm. It doesn’t work out. I can barely do it just around the house, walking from one room to the other, or trying to juggle her and fill a sippy cup at the same time. Carriers solve that problem. I can strap her on in a sling or carrier and have the kind of hands-free ease I have with Etta on one hip. Also, since Claire doesn’t yet walk, and even though she’s close to walking, she likely won’t be strong enough for extensive walking for a while yet, having her in a carrier allows me to hold Etta’s hand and have her walk beside us while also carrying a diaper bag for us to get into and out of places without requiring a stroller. As a twin mom, I have long been pretty dependent on a stroller to go anywhere on my own, so it’s nice to be able to get out without it once in a while.”

Read Sarah's full story here


Children with Down Syndrome can also greatly benefit from being worn by their caregiver. Dr. Sears gives this advice on parenting.com, “As with any child, you will need to become an expert when it comes to your baby. With a {baby with Down Syndrome} this is even more important, since your child is not likely to give you verbal cues as early as other children. You can become more atuned to her by carrying her in a baby sling - what we call "babywearing" - for several hours a day. This not only makes life easier for you, but the closeness to your baby helps you learn to read her subtle cues and body language.”


Lindsay says this about wearing her son:

“I believe babywearing is great for all babies, but especially for babies with Down Syndrome. Being close to their mama (or daddy) in a carrier or wrap stabilizes or improves heart rate, growth, and breathing patterns and decreases the incidence of ear infections, reflux, and sleep apnea, all of which babies with Down Syndrome are more prone to getting than typical children. And it allows parents freedom to keep their special needs babies close and still go anywhere and do just about anything. When you know the average predicted walking age for your child is 2 years old, a piece of gear that allows for increased mobility and freedom for you can be a godsend!”

Read Lindsay's full story here


In her blog, Lindsay also elaborates on the concerns for a baby with Down Syndrome. These include the child being more prone to hip dysplasia, joint laxity, neck instability, and sensory and communication issues. Not every carrier will work properly for a child with Down Syndrome. Fortunately, at Lift Me Up, we have our very own in-house Physical Therapist who specializes in pediatrics and is an experienced babywearer. She takes the time to review each application and contact the families to discuss the best carrier choice for each situation.


Babywearing benefits not only children with physical special needs, but children with all kinds of developmental special needs. Those with speech and social delays can greatly benefit from being positioned up close to the caregiver’s face and amidst the interactions of people instead of isolated in a carseat or stroller low to the ground. The child can see the world around them, sense the caregiver’s movements and feel their beating heart. This is crucial to a child who has speech, social, or emotional delays.


Robyn Miller at Therapeuticbabywearing.com has this to say about wearing a child with a diagnosis on the Autism spectrum: “When we hold children, we instinctively sway, bounce, or rock them. This provides stimulation of the vestibular system in the brain. This is very important to neurologic development and can be calming to the child and adult. Some children need more vestibular stimulation than others. It is thought by some that children with ASDs may have a higher need for vestibular stimulation than others and participate in self stimulatory behavior (stimming) in order to meet that need. It is theorized that babywearing could reduce socially distracting stimming behaviors. Research is needed in this area. Babywearing can also provide the child with a way to reduce overstimulation. Contoured panels wrap around the child’s body and can provide pressure that calms some children with autism. Some carriers have hoods that fit over the child’s head. Pulling their arms into the carrier means they are only exposed from the knee down.”


Our mission at Lift Me Up is to provide babywearing carriers to families that have children with all kinds of developmental special needs. Our desire is to share not only the convenience of babywearing, but all of the amazing physical and emotional benefits that go along with it. We love hearing from families who have children with special needs and have experienced the benefits that babywearing has to offer. Please share with us by sending us an email at [email protected] or share your story on our facebook page.


As always, we appreciate donations of any size! Lift Me Up is wholly run by volunteers, so every dollar goes directly towards providing ergonomic babywearing carriers to families who have children with special needs.  Click here to make a difference TODAY!


Thank you to Robyn Miller of TherapeuticBabywearing.com and Dr. Sears

And a special thanks to the following mamas for allowing us to share their stories:

Cindy at http://cyndwyer.hubpages.com/

Sarah at http://erniebufflo.com

Lindsay at http://crunchyconservativemommy.blogspot.com/

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