Fosters a Child’s Independence
For centuries, mothers around the world have worn their babies. Curiously, American and Northern European parents have not followed that tradition. Dr. Small reports that American children are held by their parents approximately half as much as children in cultures that routinely use baby slings and carriers.
The reasons for this discrepancy are complex. But Dr. Small says that the American emphasis on independence and self-reliance plays a significant role. Many parents fear that holding and carrying their babies will make them overly dependent. However, the opposite is true: Infants whose parents satisfy their natural need for closeness routinely develop into self-confident, independent individuals.