Introduction to Slings and Carriers

 

You’re interested in carrying your baby? Great! We firmly believe that most families can find a sling or carrier to suit them and become a part of their lives. We are passionate about helping you find that carrier. Carrying children is part of normal human behaviour and slings can be a great tool to facilitate that.

It can be overwhelming at first because of the sheer number and types of slings and carriers available. In the vast majority of cases we advise the use of an ergonomic sling or carrier which respects the baby’s natural hip position to promote healthy hip development and comfort for the wearer. Whatever sling is chosen it should be safe for the baby, they should be secure and their airway clear, and they should be easily visible to the wearer.

 

Narrow based carriers

Most slings widely available on the high street fit into this category, such as the Baby Bjorn or Tomy carriers. These carriers are perfectly safe however many people find that they become uncomfortable to use after a few months. They are widely available, and often where people start with carrying their child.

Buckle or Soft Structured Carriers (SSC’s)

These carriers have a panel or pouch for the baby, a buckled waist strap and two shoulder straps. The shoulder straps may have buckles too so that they can be crossed over the back of the wearer or they may be fixed. Structure, width, shape and padding of the waist and straps varies significantly between brands and not all brands fit all people so it is worth trying several to find one which suits. They are quick to put on and take off. Many buckle carriers are not suited for children under approximately 6 months without an insert or other change to the carrier. Most buckles do front and back carries, some also do hip carries.

 

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Mei Tais

A mei tai is an Asian style carrier which has a fabric panel, a waist strap which is tied and two long shoulder straps which are tied around baby and wearer. These offer simplicity like buckle carriers but also more versatility and fit a wider range of people. These are also better suited to children above 6 months however there are options available which can be adjusted to smaller babies. A mei tai can be used on the front, back or hip.

Ring Slings

A ring sling is a length of material, usually around 1.7-2.2m long, with two rings sewn at one end. They are used to create a one shouldered carrier with a pouch for the baby to sit in. They particularly shine with newborns who are all curled up and with toddlers wanting to go up and down. They have a knack to them that can be tricky to learn but once you’ve got it they’re really quick to put on and off and fold up really small. We usually recommend a ring sling made from woven wrap style fabric as this is more supportive. A ring sling is usually used on the front or hip but can also be used on the back.

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Woven Wraps

Woven wraps are a single long piece of woven fabric which is tied around the baby and wearer. They are the most versatile carrier option but have the greatest learning curve. A good quality woven wrap can last from newborn to preschooler and can front, hip and back carry as needed. Some people can find learning to tie them quite daunting, but it’s a very satisfying skill.

Stretchy Wraps

Stretchy wraps are a single long piece of jersey fabric which has an amount of stretch in at least one direction. They can be used like woven wraps or pre-tied on and the baby taken in and out. Some stretchy wraps can be suitable well into toddlerhood. They are very soft and mouldable for a newborn, and being able to tie once and wear all day is useful to many wearers.

Whatever carrier you choose, if it is safe and comfortable then it’s right for you

 

If you would like to find out more, please come to a meet, join a workshop or come for a consultation! Still confused? get in touch on info@coventryslings.co.uk or have a look at What Service might suit you…