Choosing a Sling

A GUIDE TO CHOOSING YOUR SLING

 

Before I had my eldest I wanted to buy a sling.  When I say sling I am using this work to refer to a sling, baby carrier or wrap.  I had no idea where to start and googling made it even more difficult as up came lots and lots of options and I was overwhelmed and daunted by it all

I am here to try to make things simpler for you, to help you choose a sling that will suit you needs 

Baby wearing is a really lovely way of caring for your baby! It make life easier for example:

  1. When you are at home alone with your little baby that just wants to feed, feed, feed all day you can make yourself meals, do light house work while they are cosy in the sling or are feeding!
  2. You have a toddler at home with you and your newborn and you need to be able to settle/feed newborn while playing with your toddler/getting them food etc
  3. You need to get on with shopping, school runs etc
  4. You want to go where buggies can’t i.e. the beach, forest, airplanes etc
  5. You have a baby that is very hard to settle down in a cot/moses basket etc…this is very normal, it’s the biological norm for babies to want to be close to their parents…it’s their survival instinct
  6. Your baby has a hip condition
  7. Your baby has colic/reflux etc
  8. You just want to hold your precious new born close, kiss their little head and snuggle them close to you to provide them with comfort, security etc…and please don’t worry you cannot spoil a baby by cuddling them

When you place your baby on your chest and they will draw up their little knees, their little bum will be down and their little head will rest on your chest. This is the natural position a little baby will take up, so when we babywear we are not putting our baby into a position we are supporting the natural position of our baby’s body! The fabric should be tight across the baby’s body, we should be able to see their little face, the fabric should support the baby from knee pit to knee pit and the baby’s head should be close enough for you to easily kiss. 

I have made doing that quite easy as I only stock slings that are ergonomic, meaning the baby is supported as is your back

 

Sling Styles

Stretchy Wrap:
These are a really good option for a newborn baby, and my personal favourite for newborn babies. The really nice thing about a stretchy wrap is that they can be put on in the morning and left on all day long and you can pop baby in and out as you need to! You can for example drive with the stretchy wrap on and when you get to your destination take baby out of the carseat and pop them into the sling!
It’s a really great option for someone who has another child/toddler etc as they are really simple to use, easy to breastfeed in and can be pre-tied.  Stretchy wraps are at the cheaper end of the sling range from approximately €40-69. Generally stretchy wraps are used for the first 6 months.  I stock the JPMBB (aka Love Radius) and the Hana Baby wrap.
If you have twins or would like to use this type of wrap for as long as possible I would choose the JPMBB/Love Radius Original as they are definitely most supportive.
If you have a premature or a very tiny newborn I would suggest the Hana Baby wrap.
If you like the idea of the wrap, in that it is really soft, easy for breasfeeding and being able to pre-tie it but you are put off by actually having to wrap it I would suggest that you take a look at the Close Caboo as these are very like a stretchy wrap but pre-tied for you making them very simple to use. They can be used from 2.3kg (5 pounds).
Ring slings:
A ring sling can be used from birth right up to toddlerhood! Ring slings are again an excellent choice for breastfeeding! A ring sling is an excellent choice for someone who is pregnant and needs to carry a toddler on their hip! When we carry a baby with our arms on our hip we tend to pop out our hip to take the weight of the child. 
Using a sling will support the weight so that your body is not put under strain! They are however one shouldered so they would not be supportive enough for long walks etc.  A ring sling is something that I always kept in my nappy bag and used it several times daily to settle my baby, when pottering around with my older babies, when my babies were poorly or need some extra snuggles etc. 
The JPMBB ring sling is made from a slightly stretchy fabric and is a lovely choice for the newborn stage.  A 100% cotton or a cotton blend ring sling will last you from newborn to toddler, if you are interested in these take a look at the Little Frog ring slings
Meh Dai:
A meh dai is an Asian style carrier, excellent for supporting a small baby or toddler. Personally I would opt for a meh dai made from wrap fabric to ensure that the fabric is lovely and soft and really will mould to your baby’s body! Meh dai are suitable for front or back carries and are really easy to use.  Most meh dai that you choose for your newborn will be suitable to use from newborn to 18months/2years.
The Girasol Mysol or the Fidella Flytai baby size are really lovely, easy to use, no adjusting between users making it easy for both parents to use it.
If you are looking for a Meh Dai carrier that will work for a baby 5month to 2.5-3years take a look at the Fidella Flytai Toddler carriers I have in stock.
Soft Structured Carriers (AKA SSC or full buckle):
These are generally very easy to use.  All of the buckle carriers that I stock here at Snugglebugs with the exception of the JPMBB/Love Radius carriers do not require an insert. 
Personally I love a buckle carrier for a newborn that is fully adjustable and made from wrap fabric. Buckle carriers are super simple to use and really handy in that literally two or three buckles clicked and you are ready to go.
If you would like to take at look at the Kokadi Flip, Fidella fusion, Mamaruga, Little Frog and Ergo that I have in stock you will see some really great carriers.  SSC for newborns are more expensive than other types of slings. A good supportive ssc that will provide the proper support for your newborns hips and spine are priced somewhere between €99-150. They can be used for both front and back carries
If you are looking for a buckle carrier for a child 4-6 months plus the Kibi, and the Little Frog would be really good options.
Woven Wraps
A woven wrap is a really nice way of carrying your baby, a size 6 is generally a really good size to start with! All woven wraps will come with good instructions on how to use them and with a little practise you can become very proficient in wrapping your little baby!  These would start at approximately €60.

I hope that breakdown has helped you to decide the type of sling you would like for your baby! If you have any questions please do let me know, I am always really happy to help you when choosing the perfect sling for you and your baby.