Baby in slings – good idea?
As a new mom looking for baby carrying options you have lots of options. We'll try to have a look at few of them. Baby wraps, slings, and even carriers are very handy could even become indispensable. They will help you comfortably carry your baby, both indoors and outdoors, without too much hustle. When choosing a carrier, comfort is the most important aspect to consider. Both yours and your little one's. Keep reading to understand all the benefits that come with baby wraps, slings, and carriers.
Baby in slings – is it a good idea?
When to start and what's important to remember?
Baby slings, baby carriers, and baby wraps are all perfect and practical baby wearing options. Main job of all these baby carrying products ensure that your baby is safe and comfortable while still leaving your hands free to go about your business. Depending on your preference and babys age, you can carry your baby on your chest or back.
While they all seem to do the same job, baby wraps, carriers, and slings are quite different from one another:
- A baby carrier is designed for front wearing. It has a soft padding and several adjustable options to give you the freedom to wear your baby either on your front, back, or hip.
- A baby sling is a pouch or strip of fabric, that comes with a ring used to secure it over your shoulder. The ring helps you adjust the pouch accordingly as your baby grows older to create comfort both for you and baby. Besides your front (the baby can comfortably sleep on your chest which is a very natural and calming position), you can wear a sling on your back when the baby is able to hold its head up - around 6 months of age (a great way to carry baby around on trips - the baby is able to see everything). Baby slings are also a fast way to put it on so it's a great option for mum or dads on the go.
- A baby wrap is a long woven fabric that is specially designed to help you carry your baby comfortably on your front or back. You can use a baby wrap to carry your baby from birth to toddlerhood. Since this long piece of fabric gives you a variety of tying options, it is ideal to use with children of all ages. The fabric is string enough to support up to 45lbs, which translates to the weight of a 5 year old baby. There is a lot of groups / tutorials how to wrap babies that can be easily found in internet to help you decide if it's a way of baby wearing that is the best for you.
- Baby backpacks, unlike the rest are designed with rigid frames. They are specifically meant for carrying older babies and toddlers on your back. Before using a back pack with your baby, ensure that their neck muscles are strong enough to hold their heads up (at least 6 months). It is advisable to seek your doctor’s approval on whether to carry your baby in a backpack. The backpacks are also recommended for babies older then 10 months.
When shopping for a baby carrier, always remember to check for one that provides a healthy hip positioning for your baby. It is important to ensure that your baby is comfortable, and that you are as well. When using a baby sling use the T.I.C.K.S rule to ensure proper positioning of your baby. Inattentiveness could easily pose suffocation risks. Always remember that if you use slings, wraps, and carriers appropriately, they provide a safe and practical way for you to move around with your baby.
The T.I.C.K.S Rule For Safe Baby Wearing:
- Tight: Tighten the carrier enough to hug your baby against your chest.
- In view at all times: Ensure you can easily and clearly see your baby’s face at all times when you look down.
- Close enough to kiss: Keep your baby’s head as close to your chin as comfortable for both of you.
- Keep chin off the chest: Ensure that your baby’s chin is always elevated as keeping it attached to their chest could restrict their breathing causing them to suffocate.
- Supported Back: Carry your baby in an upright position so that their chest and tummy are comfortably hugged up against you. In this position, tighten the sling enough to securely support their back so that it takes the natural upright position.
- Right body posture in slings – older babies - “M” shape
Posture is very important when baby wearing. Choose an option that would support a comfortable posture both for you and baby. The first thing to consider when purchasing a baby carrier, slings or wrap would be finding one that supports the healthy hip positioning of your baby. It is important to encourage normal hip development in your baby through healthy hip positioning to avoid risking developmental dysplasia of the hip. The carrier should also be safe to use and comfortable to wear. That would mean that your baby’s hips are free to spread in a way that allows their legs to straddle your body. As such, once you’ve worn your baby check to confirm that their knees are spread apart, thighs supported, and hips bent. This is also called the M-shape, and it’s more ideal in older babies. The baby’s knees should be positioned higher than their bottom.
Is baby wrapping / slings good for mum – baby bonding?
Mothers carry their babies with them wherever they go for the very special 9 months of their life. Although babies they cannot tell us about it, surely nothing comes close to being in mummy's belly. It's only after the birth they discover to be a separate person and let's be honest, often the outside world is not that great after all. Luckily, you can make it easier for baby to adjust to the new environment through baby wearing. It is not the same thing but at least it helps you keep baby close, warm, and cosy. Besides, the closeness initiated by baby wearing serves as a way for mom’s to bond with their baby. It is vital for mom’s to bond with their newborns as it provides numerous developmental benefits for baby; both physical and emotional. The first few months post birth are very crucial for baby since they need their parents more than ever. Baby wearing allows both parents to bond with baby in a way that creates stronger relationships between babies and all the people that love them. Just remember that baby wearing is an option that is helpful for some parents. Baby wrapping is great but if your baby is a wriggler it can be a hustle, in this case choosing baby slings could be an easier and more stress-free way for you. Just remember there are many ways to do it and you need to choose the best one for you and your baby.