How can we help you meet your baby carrying needs today?
Why Carrying Your Baby Is Normal
Baby carrying with a sling or carrier is practiced all around the world today. We humans have been carrying our babies in slings throughout our history.
Our babies expect to be carried, and we are made to carry them. Carrying our babies is normal.
I took this photo, on a normal day, when we were doing normal, everyday things. Still, sometimes the depth of emotion involved catches me by surprise. Paying little attention to the baby in the sling, I caught a glimpse of us in the mirror. My breath caught in my chest. It was the hand. My heart burst with joy at the sight. Carrying our babies is normal. And wonderful ♥
Your baby needs to be carried. Here's why:
♥ Carrying your baby helps develop a secure mutual attachment;
♥ It allows both parents, or any caregiver, to develop a deep bond with baby;
♥ It increases parental sensitivity to a baby's needs - you learn to read their noises and expressions so much quicker;
♥ It simulates the sensations of pressure, motion, warmth and security of the womb;
♥ Carrying your baby in a sling reduces their level of stress;
♥ It can greatly reduce crying and fussiness, and also helps your tired baby fall asleep;
A sling or carrier is an absolutely necessary element in your parenting 'toolkit'. At the end of the day, it enables you to meet your baby's needs (all of them - emotional, psychological, physiological) whilst still having your hands free to do what you need to do.
Carrying your baby in a sling is beautiful way to bond and make a deep connection. It also enables you to get on with the everyday - whether it’s UN-style negotiations with other children, or just a hot cup of tea, it’s all possible.
Carrying your baby or toddler in a sling is perfectly safe when practiced with understanding. As with all things in life a cupful of knowledge and a sprinkling of common sense is the best recipe to ensure happy carrying for you and your little one. Use a quality carrier and ensure you read the instructions on its use.
As a Trageschule UK and Slingababy trained Consultant, I can help answer any questions regarding sling safety that you have, and I’m always and truly happy to help you on your carrying journey.
We promote slings and carriers that provide optimal comfort for your baby and for you. We stock slings and carriers that provide great support and the best possible positioning for your baby.
You can learn more about babywearing safety by checking out the T.I.C.K.S. Rules for Safe Babywearing, and the ABC guide courtesy of Babywearing International below:
Which Carrier Might Be Best For Me?
Which sling is best for me? Which sling should I choose? Ultimately, the best carrier for you is one that your little one and you both find comfortable.
There are a few things to take into account. Help to narrow your choice down by considering:
♥ Your budget;
♥ Your lifestyle;
♥ The age of your baby;
♥ Who will be using the sling.
You’re on this website, and you’re looking for advice on carrying your baby, so it's clear your instincts are good ♥ Allow them to guide you - what style catches your eye? - what seems like a good option for you, your little one, your whole family?
Choose a sling that you like - you're far more likely to use a sling or carrier that you love the look of. Whether it's a certain style, colour or pattern, choose the one you really love!
Check out our introductions to each style for the specifics of each: Stretchy Wraps, Ring Slings, Buckle Carriers, Woven Wraps and Mei Tais.
If you’d like more detailed advice, or you have a specific query, just ask. I love helping families to start, or continue their carrying journey ♥ Contact me >
Stretchy wraps are one long piece of fabric (akin to t-shirt fabric) which are wrapped around your body and keep your little one secure, snug and close - the best place to be after nine months in utero!
Stretchy wraps are usually pre-tied. In other words, you tie it around you before welcoming baby in. The main advantage to this is that you can tie it on in the morning, and if you want to, keep it on all day - you can also have it tied before you go out. In this way, stretchy wraps can be a real sanity-saver in those first challenging & precious few weeks.
No buckles, rings or fasteners, just soft jersey fabric. These wraps allow baby to be welcomed in and out as desired, in different positions.
In general, most stretchy wraps are used for front carrying only, with the baby being placed in an upright, tummy-to-tummy position. The JPMBB stretchy wraps can also be used to hip carry and back carry.
One size fits most wearers and these wraps can be very comfortable, particularly post-natally. Stretchy wraps are a great carrying option for newborns up to around 1 year and beyond if you wish. We particularly recommend them for newborns ♥
Woven wraps are similar to stretchy wraps in that they comprise one long piece of fabric with no buckles, fasteners or rings. Woven wraps can be tied in different ways for different carries. Woven wraps differ from stretchy wraps in that woven wrap fabric is far more supportive. It has a slight diagonal stretch, making it firmer - supportive enough to hold a heavy toddler.
Woven wraps can be tied for front, back and hip carries. If you've loved using your stretchy wrap for your baby, then a woven wrap will allow you to continue wrapping with a larger, heavier baby, toddler and child.
Woven wraps are incredibly versatile - depending on the length of the wrap, they can be used for many different carrying positions on the front, hip, and back and from newborn through to toddlers. On average, a 4.5-4.7m wrap will allow for most carrying positions.
There is a learning curve with wraps, however all come with detailed instructions, and we are always super-happy to advise and provide guidance on which wrap is best for you.
Wrap Lengths (on average):
SIZE 1 / 2.2m
SIZE 2 / 2.6m
SIZE 3 / 3.2m
SIZE 4 / 3.6m
SIZE 5 / 4.2m
SIZE 6 / 4.6m
SIZE 7 / 5.2m
SIZE 8 / 5.6m
There are also lots of different wrap blends (not exhaustive):
ANY COMBINATION OF THE ABOVE.
You can find out more about the combinations of fibres in our Woven Wrap Blends section.
Ring slings are awesome; we love them! The woven wrap ring sling comprises a long piece of woven wrap fabric with 2 aluminium rings sewn into one end. The length usually ranges from 1.8m to 2m. Sometimes the end of the fabric has a taper, sometimes it’s blunt.
Ring Slings are great for newborns and babies, but can also be especially useful with older babies who are at the 'up and down' stage, as it is very quick and easy to place baby in and out of the ring sling, and they fold up nice and neat so can be carried with you.
There are 2 basic shoulder styles - gathered and pleated. Within both basic types there are variations.
The gathered style is more prevalent amongst woven wrap brands. It’s exactly as it sounds - the fabric is sewn in a straight line from one side of the wrap to the other, creating a gathered shoulder. The depth at which the gather is sewn does vary widely.
The pleated shoulder varies a smidgeon more. The most popular pleats used are accordion and boxed pleats (although there are oodles more!!). Some pleats are softer than others, some narrower, some wider.
Brands that manufacture ring slings with a gathered shoulder include Colimacon, Didymos (Didysling), Emeibaby, Fidella, Girasol, JPMBB, Little Frog, Storchenwiege, Tula, Wearababy and Yaro.
Brands that manufacture ring slings with a pleated shoulder include BB Sling, Didymos (Didysling), Diva Milano and Neobulle.
There are a few things to remember that will really help you adjust your ring sling really nicely:
♥ Start with the rings placed higher on your shoulder, than where you want them to finish up.
♥ Use the pouch to set the seat - call it a perch, a rope, a band, use it by setting it behind baby’s knees, in a straight line from one knee to the other. This helps create that nice deep seat that you want.
♥ Only walk just enough fabric up baby’s back.
♥ When adjusting the fabric (either up baby’s back or through the rings), always try to lift baby’s weight - imagine you’re doing the robot dance - your arm is bent at the elbow so that your forearm is in a horizontal line and parallel with baby’s bottom. Take baby’s weight with your forearm (if you can!).
♥ Always work any excess fabric towards the rings.
♥ Try to just the excess fabric through the rings in as horizontal a motion as possible - going in the direction the fabric has come from. It should adjust with greater ease.
The basic design of a Mei Tai is a main panel with two pairs of straps. One pair ties ties around the waist, securing with a knot, and the other pair, sits on the shoulders and crosses on the wearers back then around baby, distributing the weight evenly across the shoulders, back and hips.
It is a very simple design, yet a very supportive style. Once again, there are no buckles, or rings, just fabric, and sometimes padding for extra support. They can be used for front, hip and back carries, and most can be used from newborn through to toddlerhood and beyond.
They are an awesome option if you’d like a little more structure for ease of use, but want something mouldable, soft and wrap-like.
There are lots of variations between the brands. Some have wrap-strap shoulders, some have padded shoulders, some even have a combination of both.
Soft Structured or buckle carriers are versatile and relatively easy to learn. The basic design is a front panel, a waist strap and two shoulder straps, all of which are adjustable to achieve a comfortable fit.
Buckle Carriers can be supportive and baby can be worn on the front or back, sometimes on the hip too. Buckles are most probably the most popular design of carriers. Some buckle carriers can be used from newborn, some can be used from 3-4 months upwards.
How To Care For Slings
Each manufacturer has their own specific guidelines for washing and care instructions. Do read the care guidelines that come with your carrier.
As a general guideline, we’d definitely suggest washing your carrier / wrap / sling as seldom as possible. Spot clean ant marks if you can.
We always suggest using an eco detergent, and always non-biological. No softener.
Air-dry your sling, either indoors or out. If line-drying, pop a sock between the peg and the wrap / sling to prevent peg marks.
If you’re washing a ring sling, pop it in a pillowcase, just to protect your machine.
What To Do When It's Warm Or Cold
Carrying your baby when it's particularly warm or cold requires a bit of thought. Always be aware of and responsive to your baby's needs for safety and comfort. You should always refer to the TICKS safe babywearing guidelines.
In warm and cold weather remember:
- layer of sling is equal to one layer of clothing;
- cover / protect head, feet, legs and hands;
- choose comfortable, light clothing, preferably made from natural fibres;
- carry baby as close to you as possible, with as few layers as possible between you.
Need More Help?
Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments you may have.
0845 519 6212 / 028 85549827
Or call into our Boutique Store.