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September 27, 2013 at 7:46 am #16454AnonymousInactive
International Babywearing week is taking place from October 7th – 13th this year. As one of the global events, Babywearing Ireland is delighted to announce the second annual "Wearing a Hug" fair, which is taking place on Sunday October 13th at the Ashling Hotel, Dublin, from 1pm-5pm.
Babywearing is the ancient tradition of carrying infants and young children in a piece of cloth known as a sling, which allows the wearer to carry on with daily tasks while keeping young children conveniently and safely close. Babywearing has seen a massive increase in popularity in recent years, and Babywearing Ireland (BWI) was set up to help Irish parents keep their babies close in a safe and enjoyable manner.
Dr Andrea Fitzgerald, Paediatric Specialist Registrar and BWI member, says of babywearing:
“There are many health benefits to babywearing. In the early days, keeping your newborn close promotes bonding, and also helps to regulate baby’s temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate, and circadian rhythm. Babies who are carried more cry less, and if carried in a physiologically correct way can reduce the risk of plagiocephaly (“flat head syndrome”) and hip dysplasia, and have improved muscle tone. Babywearing also has beneficial effects on mum: production of the hormone oxytocin is increased, which in turn can improve bonding, breastfeeding, and may reduce the risk of post-natal depression.”
BWI is a not-for-profit organisation, run by parents for parents. Along with a "national sling library" that accommodates nearly 1000 sling rental requests per year, there are formal and informal sling meets happening every week across Ireland, where parents can learn about safe baby wearing and try different types of slings. These meet-ups also provide a much appreciated chance for parents to socialise, enjoy a coffee and a chat about all aspects of parenting.
Tania Lawlor, babywearing consultant and chairperson of BWI said of babywearing:
“I started babywearing with my second baby, and quickly realised how handy a sling can be. I could look after my toddler, and meet the needs of my newborn baby. I could go anywhere without having to get a double buggy. My toddler was a runner, but I could easily chase after him while keeping my baby safe and close to me. What started as a useful way to carry my baby quickly turned into a hobby, and, subsequently a career: I am now a trained babywearing consultant, teaching parents how to carry their babies safely and comfortably.”
This year’s "Wearing a Hug" fair will see a gathering of babywearers from around Ireland and beyond. We will have talks from babywearing consultants, health professionals and parents. There will be many opportunities to see babywearing in action, try slings and also buy slings and babywearing accessories from Irish and British-based suppliers. Along with babywearing goods there will be craft stalls, the national Cloth Nappy Library, children’s entertainment and even a mobile photographic studio for those portrait shots. The fair promises to be a fun event for the whole family!
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