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Babywearing

Babywearing

For thousands of years, in cultures across the world, parents have worn their babies in slings (and other types of carriers like today's front packs).

Western 'civilisation' has been slow to catch onto baby wearing, but in recent times there has been a huge increase in the range of wonderful slings available locally.

The key things to using a sling successfully are finding it easy to put on, the sling is comfortable and having the confidence that your baby is secure. If these 3 things aren't right, you are not likely to enjoy baby wearing or find it a successful way to calm your baby.

There are a range of ways you can use a sling and many situations in which you will find baby wearing useful!


Why use a sling?

  • The movement in a sling is just like being inside the womb, so it is a very simple way to soothe and calm an upset baby

  • Carrying your baby in a sling is much easier on your shoulders and arms than carrying a baby normally, and encourages better posture

  • Carrying your baby 'hands-free' in a sling enables you to get on with your day

  • Slings mean your baby is snuggled up close to you, which you will both enjoy lots more than facing away from you in a pushchair

  • Baby wearing is a simple way to help foster firm attachment with your baby, which helps baby's brain development, confidence and contentment


When would I use a sling?

Babies 0-4 months

  • Helping a newborn fall asleep

  • Calming a newborn crying

  • Carrying a newborn close to you rather than in a pushchair

  • Carrying your baby 'hands-free' - as you get on with jobs about the house

  • Anywhere you can't use a buggy, such as steps, airports, buses or crowded places

Babies over 4 months

Once your baby can hold their head up, you will find your sling useful for the following:

 

  • Carrying an older baby on short journeys, especially once he is out of a baby capsule

  • Having lovely cuddles with your older baby as you walk around, rather than having her in the pushchair facing away from you.

  • Spending more time 'attached' to your older baby or toddler, which can make a big difference with separation anxiety at other times of the day or night.

  • Carrying your baby 'hands-free' - as you get on with jobs about the house.

  • Comforting your baby if she is upset, needs a cuddle, anxious in new situations etc

  • Anywhere you can't use a buggy, such as steps, airports, buses or crowded places.

 


Choosing a sling

There is a slightly dizzying array of slings available now, and it can be hard to work out what is best for you and your baby.

Here's our tips for choosing:

  1. Choose 100% natural fabric for your sling, as otherwise your baby can get too hot or their skin may react.

  2. Choose an established brand, known for their quality and product testing.

  3. Get the right size! There is info on the individual product pages to help you work this out or ask our advice. Brands such as Lenny Lamb, Boba Wrap or Sakura Bloom are adjustable, so can be worn by different sizes.

  4. If you want long-term use, choose one that is suitable for toddlers. In our experience, the ergo Embrace carrier is the most suitable for use with both babies and toddlers. Ring slings are great with toddlers but not comfy for carry on long walks.

  5. Choose a sling you love the look of! If you are going to use it every day and get great value for money, buy one you love.

  6. Ring slings are the easiest to use, as they require little adjustment - just pull it over your head and pop in your baby. So much easier than a front pack with straps to do up.

  7. Do you need pockets or other bells & whistles? If you just need a basic sling, you can't beat our gorgeous Lenny Lamb and Soul Slings ranges.


Ways to wear your sling

  • Snuggled in facing towards mum or dad

  • Sitting up with baby's legs either side of your hip

  • Sitting behind with legs either side (like a hand's free piggy back)

  • All slings come with detailed instructions to show you the different options and how to fit your sling securely.

  • Some positions are suitable at certain ages and developmental stages.


Anything else I need to know?

  • Be aware of the weight of your baby! While a sling is far easier than carrying your baby, you still need to take care of your back.

  • If you have back problems, consider a front-pack that offers excellent back support such as the Beco or Boba models or the fabulous ergo baby carrier, which use you can use on your front or back.

  • Make sure you have the right size! Check our advice pages and videos and if you are in Auckland come in for a baby carrier fitting with us!

  • Get confident using your sling before you try hands-free, such as correctly positioning your baby's bottom inside the curve in the sling.

  • As your baby gets past the newborn sling, ensure that at least some day sleeps are in bed rather than just in a sling. Babies can become very reliant on the movement and cuddles a sling provides if you use this as your only settling technique.

 


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