Scoping Review of Biological and Behavioral Effects of Babywearing on Mothers and Infants

Lisa M. Grisham, Lela Rankin, Jocelyn A. Maurer, Sheila M. Gephart, Aleeca F. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: To synthesize the evidence on the biological and behavioral effects of babywearing on mothers and infants. Data Sources: We searched PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO, Sociological Abstracts, SCOPUS, and Google Scholar for peer-reviewed, full-text research articles published in English in which researchers reported on the biological or behavioral effects of babywearing on mothers or infants. Study Selection: We reviewed the titles and abstracts of 200 records and abstracted 80 for full-text review. Of these, 29 studies met the eligibility criteria and were included in the review. Data Extraction: We used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) and extracted the following data from the included articles: author(s), year of publication, setting, aim/purpose, design, description, sample, results/outcomes, and implications to practice. Data Synthesis: We synthesized data from the included studies into the following eight themes: Increased Contact, Responsiveness, and Secure Attachment; Physiologic Effects; Biomechanics and Positioning; Facilitating and Empowering; Comfort; Maternal Benefits; Speech, Vocalizations, and Tempo; and Beliefs and Perceptions About Babywearing. Conclusion: Babywearing may have a range of beneficial biological and behavioral effects on mothers and infants. The evidence, however, is insufficient to inform practice recommendations, and additional research is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-201
Number of pages11
JournalJOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2023


  • baby carrier
  • baby wearing
  • babywearing
  • infant carrying

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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