Love To Carry - Baby Carrying Consultancy
Types Of Slings
So, you're interested in using a carrier or sling, but aren't quite sure where to start - a wrap, mei tai or ring sling...?
There is a wonderful choice available for all sizes of baby with styles to suit every mama - and papa! To help you decide, here is a guide to each type of sling and carrier. If you find yourself still undecided or unsure, don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on 0845 519 6212. As a Tragescule UK trained babywearing consultant, I am more than happy to help you explore the options available.
Stretchy wraps are one long piece of fabric (akin to t-shirt fabric) which are wrapped around your body and keep little one secure, snug and close - the best place to be after nine months in utero. No buckles, rings or fasteners, just soft jersey fabric. These wraps allow baby to be popped in and out as desired, in different positions, great for nursing on the go, or for discreet nursing.
In general, stretchy wraps are used for front carrying only, with the baby being placed in an upright, tummy-to-tummy position. One size fits most wearers and these wraps are very comfortable, particularly, post natal. 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 are one long piece of fabric with no buckles, fasteners or rings. Woven wraps can be tied in different ways for different positioning. Woven wraps differ from stretchy wraps in that woven fabric is far more supportive. It often has a slight diagonal stretch, making it 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 smaller baby, then a woven wrap will allow you to continue wrapping with a larger, heavier baby - we have used ours with a 28lb toddler!
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 able to advise and provide guidance on which wrap is best for you.
The basic design of a Mei Tai is a front panel with two pairs of straps. One pair ties across the wearers back and around baby and the other ties around the waist distributing the weight evenly across the shoulders, back and hips.
It is a very simple, yet very supportive style. Once again, there are no buckles, or rings, just fabric, and padding for extra support. They can be used for front (with baby always facing inwards) and back carries, and can be used from newborn through to toddler.
Mei Tais are great for nursing on the go. Another advantage is that most are reversible. They are very supportive, relatively easy to use and are available in a gorgeous selection of colours and prints.
Soft Structured / Buckle Carriers
Soft Structured (or buckle) carriers are versatile and 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 custom and comfortable fit.
SSC's are very supportive and baby can be worn on the front or back. It is probably the easiest carrier with which to achieve a back carry. Some buckle carriers like the Manduca and Boba 3G can be used from newborn, some like the Tula and Ergo can be used from newborn with the addition of an infant insert.
SSC's are great for nursing on the go. They are very supportive, easy to use and are available in a gorgeous selection of colours and prints.
The basic design of a ring sling is a long piece of fabric looped through two heavy duty aluminium rings forming a seat or pouch for baby. It is worn over one shoulder and is fully adjustable, so can fitted to suit the size of baby and wearer by adjusting each edge of the hanging tail.
Ring slings are great for carrying a newborn, in an upright tummy-to-tummy position, and allow for discreet nursing on the go. The ring sling can also be used right up to toddler age (depending on the supportiveness of the fabric).
They can 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.