Babywearing is an incredible parenting tool. All parents carry their babies and children in their arms. Using a sling simply means you can carry them and use your hands at the same time!
There is no one sling that is the comfiest. There are huge numbers of styles and brands on the market, which all suit different needs, body shapes and babies’ ages and stages. Choosing a sling is a bit like choosing shoes or a bra: different types and sizes suit different people, so it’s worth trying on a few before you buy.
Our experienced Consultants can advise you on sling safety, comfort and positioning, so you can make the most of the sling you have or choose one that’s perfect for you.
Here are some of our Consultants’ top tips for getting comfortable:
It doesn’t matter if you have a ‘bad’ back or a very heavy baby. A supportive, well fitted sling will spread baby’s weight evenly around your body and support your posture, rather than giving you back of shoulder ache. Our experienced, trained Consultants will be able to find a comfortable carrying option for you.
When carrying a newborn baby, always support their head by ensuring the top of the sling comes to the top of their neck (and preferably no higher). You shouldn’t need to hold their head with your hand if the sling is fitted correctly. Ensuring they are seated with their pelvis tucked upwards and their knees higher than their bum will also help prevent their heads flopping back.
Older babies only need to be supported up to their armpits. If you baby has full head control (5-6months+) and wants to look and move around more when in your sling, encourage them to pop one or both arms out of the top of the carriers. They’ll love being able to see more and move more freely.
‘Arms out’ is a great alternative to a ‘facing out’, which can put unnecessary strain on your back as baby’s weight is pulled forwards. At this age babes can also be carried on your hip, or on your back (once they are starting to sit upright.)
Slings should always support baby along the width of their seated body, from knee pit to knee-pit, so their knees are higher that their bum and their pelvis is tucked in and upwards. The is the optimum position for a baby’s developing hips, supports their whole physiology, and will help spread their weight around your body.
This is why traditional high street carriers with narrow bases are rarely the most comfortable option, as baby’s body and weight are not well supported.
Motion matters. Sometimes babies protest when getting into a sling, especially if they are hungry or tired. But very often they will settle after a few minutes. So take your time, pause and soothe them as required, and once they are safely in, go for a walk outside or around the house until they are calm and settled.
As with many aspects of parenting, practice makes perfect! The more you use your sling, the more confident you’ll become and the more contented your baby will be. Our Consultants have demonstration dolls you can practice with before trying with your own baby.
Get in touch if you’d like help getting comfortable in your sling or carrier.