Babywearing is one of the most fun and rewarding activities you can do as a new parent. It is also likely to challenge your muscles in ways that have not been worked before!
This can be a turn-off for some or an opportunity! Babywearing is exercise that is built-in to your day without having to invest extra time.
In this article, we will look at what muscles will benefit most from babywearing and why this can be a huge benefit to you if you embrace the challenge!
Do You Get Stronger Holding a Baby
You will get stronger from holding the weight of your baby regularly. The concept is the same as weight lifting – you will use muscles in your arms, shoulders, back, and legs repeatedly to support the weight of your baby.
The average newborn weighs between 6-9 lbs and will quickly grow to around 20 lbs by the end of the first year.
So you can imagine how much stronger you will get just from picking up your baby at regular intervals and holding them frequently.
A supportive baby carrier for people with a bad back can also help strengthen and improve the muscles and over time reduce pain if used correctly.
What Muscles Work Most When Babywearing
The muscles that work most when you are babywearing are your lower back, shoulders, and core muscles.
If you are walking up stairs or hills then your legs will also have to work harder due to the extra weight.
Most baby carrier designs consist of the following fundamental basics:
- Waistband that distributes weight across the hips and lower back.
- Shoulder straps that engage your core and upper back to hold the weight.
You can see why this presents as a chance for a full-body workout every time you strap your baby in.
How Does Babywearing Strengthen Your Back
Babywearing strengthens your back through the weight distribution across your frame placing tension on your upper and lower back muscles.
You have to work against the weight to maintain good posture with a straight back and chest out.
To minimize the chance of injury it is important to ensure a tight-fitting carrier with your baby’s weight as close to your spine as possible. Most baby carriers are easily adjustable and as long as you custom fit when in use you should have no problem.
Is Babywearing Good For Your Core
Yes, babywearing is good for your core as it is the stabilizer muscles that will help you keep your back straight and your body balanced when carrying your baby.
Both frontal carry, back carry, and side carry positions will challenge your core muscles in different ways – and you should change your baby’s position at intervals (if safe to do so) to ensure that your muscles remain balanced.
Activities like hiking or walking over uneven terrain with a baby carrier will heighten the challenge of those core muscles and you should develop a decent base level of strength before attempting this.
Note: If you have experienced diastasis recti (the over-separation of the abdominals during pregnancy) you will want to ensure your muscles have recovered sufficiently before you start babywearing.
Tips to Minimize Risk of Muscle Injury
- Keep your back straight at all times.
- Try not to twist while wearing the carrier.
- Ensure that straps are tightened to minimize movement of the carrier.
- Warm-up your lower back prior to babywearing.
- Avoid slippery surfaces.
We encourage you to embrace the additional exercise that babywearing offers you.
Your free time will be limited with the constant demands of a new baby and this is your chance to burn those extra calories while babywearing as part of your everyday activities.