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What’s the right type of baby sling for you? Slings, wraps, carriers…there’s a lot of options out there and its time this site had a look through them. If you’re a new parent, or need something to carry your child in for the Holiday season then read this article to review the different options for you:
A sling goes over one shoulder and is designed for younger children. It can be used for older babies as well, but once your child is over 12 months you may find that a sling is not right for you. A sling is like a band of strong material, placed over your head like wearing a sash. You baby is then placed against your chest, either lying down or sitting on the sash if they are older but not too big.
The advantage of a sling is that it’s easy to put on and use. There’s no adjusting, just put it over your head and it is ready to go. The downside is that there is no adjusting (other than the position of the baby) and all the weight is on one shoulder.
Baby wraps are very similar to slings, and can be used exactly the same way if you want. However, wraps are typically longer and, as a result, are more flexible. You can put it over one shoulder, or both shoulders, and have your baby on your hip, at stomach level, chest level or even on your back.
This is their main advantage. Another big advantage is that because you can wrap it around you to suit you best, the weight of your child is put where you want it. This can make a wrap more comfortable for different sized kids more of the time compared to a wrap. That’s not to say that a sling is never comfortable – far from it, it’s usually fine – just that the adjust-ability of a wrap means you can adjust it to your needs.
The downside is that they are harder to learn how to use. It can (according to the reviews I’ve read) take a while – or longer than the sling anyway – to master wrapping the wrap around yourself so it stays on once your child is in. Almost everyone who persists swears by the results.
How big a child a wrap can support depends on the wrap and the person using it.
Everyone’s seen these in action – especially ones from Baby Bjorn, who seem to have cornered the market. Baby carriers almost always hold the baby in front of the person (some can be used to carry a child on the back as well) and usually go over two shoulders. They are designed for comfort and ease of use, and do a great job of holding your child safely. That’s their advantages.
They also come a in lots of sizes and can handle kids up to two years old (if your child isn’t too big by then, or maybe longer if they are smaller than average).
The downsides are that they tend to be made of more synthetic materials compared to slings and wraps, and so make everyone a little hotter and sweater than the alternatives because they don’t breath.
What’s best for you depends on how old your child is and what exactly are your needs. People who embrace wraps really do seem hooked on them, and wraps and slings are great choices for carrying your baby while you are out and about. I’m keen to hear feedback or advice from anyone who has tried at least one of these, so either leave a comment or use the contact page to get in touch!
If you’re after a stroller then I’ve got some information about that, too.