Baby Slings – Fashion and Function

Baby Slings 1
When it comes to babywearing most people would consider a Baby Sling to possibly be the most basic of all of the Baby Carriers and in fact when you look at Wikipedia a baby sling is defined as being a cloth which ‘supports an infant or child from a caregivers body’. 
From that description it would be easy to think any bit of cloth carrying a baby could be a Baby Sling, well I suppose it could but nowadays Baby Slings come in all shapes and sizes with the most popular of these being the Ring Slings or the Pouch Slings. These are more modern and sturdy twists on the traditional wraparound baby carrier, adding rings to fasten the wrap or sewing the ends of the wrap together transform the wrap into a strong supported carrier that you and baby will both love.
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Baby Slings are worn over one shoulder and have a small pouch or pocket for baby, you are able to use a Baby Slings when babywearing in a variety of positions and they can be used from birth right up to toddler, from newborn until your little one no longer wants to be carried.
They offer many different carrying positions cradle, tummy to tummy, facing the world or one the hip. A sling is perfect for night time babywearing meaning baby will get all the sleep they need, so will you if you train your partner in night time sling duties!
Slings are compact, sleek, and easy to use.
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New born and young babies will be so happy in these podish pouched carriers, and when you little one gets a bit older you will find that you can wear the sling all day and pop them in and out, if they are at that up and down stage when they want to explore the world but also need a nice cuddle every now and then.
Mums find that breastfeeding in a sling is completely liberating, once you have had a few attempts and found the most comfortable position for both you and baby you will wonder how you ever managed without one!
Why choose a sling?
  • Slings are probably the easiest carrier for parents to get used to, after a couple of tries you will become a master in Slinging your little one up
  • The pouch or pocket creates a lovely snug little pod recreating the safety and scurity of the womb and making the transition to this new world an easier one
  • Simple and quick to get on and off, make this a great carrier for a baby who is fussier or who can’t decide if they want to be up or down!
  • Probably the best carrier for nursing babies. The pod is perfect for discrete breastfeeding and puts baby in the prefect position for easy access and nursing
  • Perfect for newborns and young babies
  • Carrier grows with your little one, recommended for use from newborn through to 35lbs
  • Versatility of a sling means you can choose your preferred carry position which suits you and baby – cradle carry, front carry or hip carry
  • A Baby Sling will fold up neatly and flatly meaning it is perfection when traveling, and can be neatly stored away in a diaper or nappy bag
  • A sling works out a lot cheaper than most carriers meaning it can fit most budgets
Why you might prefer another type of carrier?
  • Head support for newborns and younger babies is only manageable in the cradle position
  • Some parents can find the rings of a Ring Sling difficult to adjust, and this could make the sling uncomfortable as sizing is essential when it comes to comfort
  • Weight is carried on one shoulder meaning longer lengths of wearing can be difficult especailly with older or heavier children
  • If you have a back problem then you may prefer soft structure carriers or Mei Tais as a sling has does not have ergonomic support
Slings come in a variety of designs meaning you can always keep a firm eye on style, look out for a pattern which suits you and baby, look for organic cottons and fabrics, keep an eye out for padded areas for extra comfort.
Baby Slings
Babywearing
Here is a quick introduction to the different types and styles of Babywearing
  • a length of fabric attached to sturdy rings making an adjustable sling with a pouch or pocket which baby fits snuggly and safely inside
  • a length of fabric sewn into a loop, to be worn across the body as a sling with a curved pocket or ‘pouch’ for baby, these are easier to pop on and off, but lack the flexibility of a ring sling
  • Rectangular or Square body with four straps attached (shoulder and waist), worn as front, hip or back carriers with babies weight spread evenly across shoulders and hips
  • Inspired by the Mei Tai and rucksack/backpack design but with buckles to clip and close to hold baby in place. Usually with supportive shoulder padding and main supportive panel
  • For babies who can sit up on their own, over 4 months recommended, perching your baby on your hip with the help of a little support. These are probably best suited for short carries only but are fantastic for a quick fix of Babywearing
Click on the above to explore the different styles and carriers in the Babywearing World
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