Baby Tula has long been committed to education and exploring how babywearing can be valuable to families. We believe that encouraging the bond between babies and their caregivers not only benefits individual families, but that these benefits ripple out in our communities. With this core value in mind, we recently attended the first BOND conference coordinated by Joanna McNeilly of the Center for Babywearing Studies (CBWS). Ula, founder of Baby Tula, was joined by some of the CBWS certified babywearing educators on the Tula staff to attend this 3 day conference.
The conference focused on the mechanisms of human bonding and how it related to infants and caregivers. How it works, what it provides, and why it is significant to families and people involved in early child and family development. Some of the topics covered by the highly accomplished speakers included:
- the myriad of benefits and ways in which oxytocin, the hormone essential to human bonding, affects caregiver and child both physically and socially
- infant and caregiver contact through baby carrying, and the long-term benefits that healthy attachment brings
- skin to skin contact, or “Kangaroo Care” for premature babies and infants just after birth
- healthy hip development
- the history and benefits of “breastsleeping”.
Each day ended with small group discussions that not only provided as a recap of the most pertinent information shared but also allowed attendees to share reflections and explore ways to apply the information that was shared by each of the wonderful speakers. We were truly inspired by each of the individuals we encountered from birth workers, lactation consultants, NICU nurses, babywearing educators, and other manufacturers who are working to support the bond between caregivers and children.
From the BOND conference, we left with a deeper understanding of how carrying your child benefits families. Beyond the first hours, infant and caregiver contact provides positive outcomes that can be seen up until adulthood for the child. It also positively affects the caregiver through instilling confidence, lowering blood pressure, decreasing occurrence of maternal mental illness, increasing probability and duration of breastfeeding, and many other ways. As a company who has always believed that babywearing facilitates significant physiological and emotional development (in addition to feeling so nice and snuggly), we are even more empowered in our mission after learning in-depth about the scientific and anthropological research that supports these beliefs as fact.
We are so thankful to all of the organizers and volunteers who made the first BOND conference such a success. We were inspired by each speaker and attendee and look forward to incorporating the information and experiences we gathered from the conference and sharing them with the Tula community. We are also looking forward to the next BOND conference and other educational and community events we will be attending soon!