Mother-infant physical contact

The effect of babywearing on caregiver responsiveness

Babywearing is becoming increasingly popular in mainstream Western culture, and babywearing organizations and baby carrier companies advocate for this practice by citing the physiological and behavioral benefits of increased infant-caregiver physical contact. However, these data stem from research with premature infants involved in direct skin-to-skin contact, and almost no research has looked specifically at the effects of babywearing with full term, typically developing infants. One possible explanation for the reduced crying and more secure attachment that is often cited as a benefit of babywearing is increased caregiver responsiveness. In this study, I am addressing multiple research questions: 1) What are the effects of babywearing on caregiver response style?; 2) Are different babywearing positions associated with differences in the contingency level and modality of caregiver responsiveness?; and 3) Are the distressing effects of the still-face ameliorated by the experience of sustained physical contact with the caregiver?

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