Baby Carriers and Slings
The Baby Planners often get asked which type of sling or carrier is best. We have our own opinions of course – we both like different styles, but the best carrier is always the one that’s right for you, your baby and your needs. As with most things, what’s right for one person may not be right for another.
In today’s blog we’ve included some information on the five main types of Baby Carriers and Slings and included some of our favourite’s as examples.
- A pouch sling is a piece of fabric sewn together at the ends and folded to form a pocket in which your baby nestles. They go over one shoulder like a sash, and the baby sits in the pouch on the front or back.
- Pouch slings are easy to take on and off
- They are compact enough to fit easily into a changing bag.
- They can normally be used from birth to around two years or 14kg
- Most Pouches aren’t adjustable, which can make it difficult to get the carrying
- Pouch slings can be great for breastfeeding.
- A Wrap sling is a piece of fabric (normally woven or stretchy jersey) that you wrap and tie around your body so your baby is held securely.
- You may need to practice first as Wrap slings can be the most difficult to master.
- They are normally suitable to use from birth to around two years or up to 14 kg.
- By wrapping the fabric around the waist and shoulders, you can distribute your baby’s weight, making it easier to carry older babies.
- There are many different tying methods and carrying positions, as well as different sizes of fabric available.
- A Wrap sling, like most other styles, provides an easy discreet way to breastfeed.
- A Ring sling is formed of a piece of fabric which threads through two rings, forming a loop. The sling goes over one shoulder and is fastened by pulling the fabric through the rings.
Ring slings are one of the easiest slings to use, although they can take a bit of practice to get the hang of it in the beginning.
- They are normally suitable from birth to around two years or up to 14 kg.
- They are quick to get on and off.
- Due to the adjustable rings the sling should fit both parents.
- They are great for breastfeeding, as the extra material can be used to discreetly cover you and your baby.
- Soft carriers are the simplest, most widely available type of carrier.
- Most Soft carriers can carry your baby on your front, either facing you or once able to hold their heads up, facing outwards.
- The baby is held in an upright position, so for very young babies unable to support their heads the carrier needs to be used with a padded headrest.
- Normally suitable from birth to around 18 months or 12kg. Some Soft carriers can go up to 20kg.
- Soft carriers are generally easy to use and easy to adjust.
- Because of the style it is difficult to breastfeed whilst using a Soft carrier.
- Look for baby carriers marked with the BS EN 13209 Part 2:2005 safety mark.
- Multi-way carriers normally give you three or four options for carrying your baby: carrying your baby on your front, back or in a ‘nursing’ position suited to
breastfeeding. Some also offer an additional fourth position – the hip.
- They are suitable from birth to 10kg (12 months), 12kg (18 months) or 14kg (toddlers) depending on the style.
- Multi-way carriers offer a longer lifespan than two-way models, but are not normally as easy to get the hang of using correctly.