What is Babywearing?
Babywearing is carrying your baby in a sling or carrier. For centuries cultures from all over the world have worn their babies in a wide variety of slings.
When can I start Babywearing?
You can wear your baby from birth. If you or your baby has special needs please do get in touch with me so that I can offer your advise that for your particular situation. Many people discover babywearing when their child is older and have really enjoyed their babywearing experience at this stage. So really there is no time as too early or too late
Who can Babywear?
Anyone who wants to keep a baby close: Mums, Dads, Grannies, Grandads, Aunties, Uncles, siblings, childminders and friends.
Is Babywearing Safe?
Yes babywearing is very safe. We always recommend following the TICKS guidelines.
Please visit our Sling Safety section for information on sling safety. If you have any questions or concerns re sling safety please do get in touch
I'm confused about babywearing, I keep hearing loads of names and I don't know what anything is!
There are 5 main types of slings “Stretchy Wrap”, “Ring Sling”, “Meitai”, “Soft Structured Carriers (Buckles)” and “Woven”. All the other names you hear are brands, for example “JPMBB” and “Kari Me” are stretchy wraps.
- Stretchy Wraps are long soft stretchy pieces of material about 5 meters long. They are lovely and soft and can be used from new born. While there is a little bit of learning in how to tie a stretchy wrap correctly, once you master it, it is very easy to use. You can tie it on you and pop your baby in and out as needed throughout the day. We always recommend the Tummy to Tummy hold. Most people choose to move onto another type of sling around 5/6 months even though stretchy wraps can hold much heavier weights.
- Ring Slings are made from material about 2 meters long and are held together by 2 rings sewn into the material. They are suitable from newborn and can be used with an older toddler as long as it is comfortable for the wearer. There is a bit of learning in how to adjust the ring sling but once you learn it, it is so quick and easy to us. As it takes the weight on one shoulder most people use a ring sling for quick journey’s like popping into the shop or for around the house.
- Meitai are made from a panel of material with 2 short straps that tie around your torso and 2 long straps that tie around the shoulders. Most Meitai’s are suitable from birth and go up to preschool size. Mei tai can be used for front and back carries and are very easy to use.
- Soft Structured Carriers (SSC/Buckles) are made with a panel and 2 short straps that you buckle around your torso and 2 shoulder straps that you also buckle. They can be used for front and back carries and some can do hip carries. Some types can be crossed at the back and some go on rucksack style.
- Woven Wraps are long pieces of woven material of varying lengths and they are numbered according to their length (size 2-8). Which size you want depends on what carry you want to do and what size you are. For example a size 2 is approx 270cm and can be used for hip carries. A size 6 is approx 470cm and can be used for front, hip and back carries. It is a good idea to try the sizes to see what size will suit you.
My baby is very heavy, will Babywearing hurt me?
Babywearing should never be uncomfortable for the wearer. If you find it uncomfortable please get in touch as you may not have the positioning correct, your sling may not suit you or it may be too small for your baby. I will do my best to help you
Will my baby like being worn?
Some babies take a while to get use to being in a sling but in general most babies love being carried, as it gives them a really sense of security. Some tips are to practise your technique with a doll, make sure your baby is happy and content before you put them in the sling and then go for a walk. Once your baby is used to the sling most people find they calm quickly once in the sling.
Can I wear my baby forward facing?
The quick answer is yes you can carry your babies forward facing. However it is only recommended from 6-12 months and for very short periods of time (20mins). Babies can quickly become over stimulated or frightened by something they see if they are forward facing and due to being in this position cannot turn their little heads into their parents for comfort. I would therefore recommend forward facing only for looking at thing ie at the zoo, but not for transportation ie. walking down a busy, loud walk on the school run. Also forward facing is only possible in certain carriers. If you would like more information please do get in touch with me
Why are narrow based carriers not recommended?
Narrow based carriers are not recommended as they do not support the hips in the optimum position. Visit our Sling Safety section for further information.
Can I breastfeed my baby in a sling?
Yes you can breastfeed in a sling. Once your baby has really good head control, at about 5 months you can feed them in almost any sling. If you loosen your sling to feed make sure you bring your baby up “close enough to kiss” and ensure your sling is tightened once your baby has finished feeding.
However for a newborn I would only recommend a stretchy wrap or a ring sling for feeding. You will support your newborns head with your elbow leaving your hands free. Visit our Sling Safety section for further information
What does knee to knee mean?
Basically it means that the material of the sling goes from the back of your babies knee to the back of the other knee. If it goes past their knee your babies legs will be pushed out and they will be overspread and uncomfortable.
What does cinch mean?
To cinch means to pull the sling material in using a ribbon or scarf to make the base smaller so that it will fit your baby knee-to-knee.
What does “to break in” mean?
Slings get softer over time and the more they are used. Washing and steam ironing will help soften a woven wrap or ring sling. Usage is the best way to soften your sling.
How should I wash my sling?
All slings should be washed at a low heat using a liquid detergent and NO fabric softener. Soft Structured Carriers (Buckles) should be washed as little as possible and should mostly be cleaned using a wet cloth. We would recommend clipping up buckles and securing the rings of a ring sling with a ribbon prior to putting in the washing machine