Advice on using a baby sling to carry your baby, information on using slings for breastfeeding, sling safety plus the opportunity to purchase a range of baby slings.
Baby slings provide a comfortable and functional way for you to carry your baby as they allow you to give your baby all the attention and stimulation they crave whilst enabling you to keep your hands free for other things. The majority are made from soft fabric which you fasten around your body in such a way so as to hold your baby snuggly against your stomach, chest, hip or back.
A huge variety of styles are available and which you choose will depend on the way you intend to use the sling, however most are easily adjustable (to ensure a comfortable fit for both parents and baby) and can be used from when your baby is a newborn, right the way through to toddler.
One of the many advantaages of using a baby sling is that it provides a comfortable yet discrete position for you to breastfeed in. Additionally, as they are tied around your body, slings enable you to gently release the fabric and lay your baby down for a nap without disturbing or waking them. They also provide good support for baby's head, neck and spine as they hold baby in an ergonomically correct position, enabling them to sleep better, stimulating their digestive and vestibular systems and reducing discomfort.
As babies are held at 'adult level' when carried in a sling, they receive more stimulation from both the caregiver and the environment around them. The extra exposure infants carried in slings receive (compared to those mostly transported in pushchairs or prams) is said to facilitate both cognitive and speech development. It is also said to help promote bonding between parent and child to such an extent that it may decrease the level of stress mother and baby experience and even reduce the risk of postnatal depression.
Due to the variation in the slings available you should always read the description of the sling carefully to check that its features match your intended use. This is especially important if you intend to use a sling as the main method of transporting your child.
When determining a slings suitability there are some main points to consider, these include;
- What age is the sling aimed at? - can it be used from birth until your child becomes a toddler
- Is the sling easily adjustable? - this is especially important if both parents intend to use the sling
- Is the sling suitable for breastfeeding?
- Is it easy to fasten? - are there sufficient instructions and are you confident you could learn to fasten the sling by yourself
- Is the sling washable? - this is very important if the sling is for a newborn
- Is the sling going to be comfortable? - you need to ensure the sling will distribute weight evenly across your body - especially important if you have a bad back or if the sling will be your baby's main form of transport.
- Do you like the look of the sling? - you will probably to wear the sling a lot so choose a design and colour you like; if both parents intend to use the sling then a neutral colour may be better.
By choosing a sling that is comfortable for both you and your baby, you will be provided with a flexible means of carrying your infant both around the home and while you are out and about (they really come into their own when you are out shopping!!!)
For information on using a baby sling safely Click Here