Choosing a Sling for you and your baby
A sling is a generic term that is used to describe a baby wrap, carrier or sling. Just makes it a bit easier to talk about A sling is an essential part of your baby gear. You get a pram, a car seat, a cot & a sling! It is just as important as your pram or car seat & is not something that you should forget about.
I am often asked what is “The Best” sling to get for a new baby, and that is very difficult to answer. That is like asking me to pick out your new winter coat; what I like & feel comfortable in & what you like & feel comfortable in are two different things!
The world of slings may be very daunting, but hopefully I can make the mud a little clearer for you today! I’ll outline 3 different types today, and then discuss Babywearing Consultations at the end.
Stretchy wraps are wonderful for newborns! They’re tightness replicates the cosy environment of the womb, and can help baby to feel safe, snug & secure. It brings them back to the heart beat & breathing that they were used to hearing in the womb & your movements help to settle them.
There are A LOT of stretchy wraps out there, ranging from €45 - €90. I really love hybrid wraps, as they last longer (you can carry your baby until they are older) & I prefer how well I can tighten a hybrid. But again, it’s personal choice! Others prefer how little they have to worry about tightening a 2 way stretch wrap & just find it so much easier to use.
The best way to make head or tail of it all is to book a consultation with a Babywearing Consultant. I’ll say a bit more about this at the end.
Soft Structured Carrier (SSC) or Buckle Carrier
Everyone know what an SSC or Buckle Carrier is. They are probably the most popular & the most readily available type of sling available. Most high-street nursery stores would carry more than one type of buckle sling, and they’re selections are getting better.
The thing with Structured carriers is that as they are “Structured” they are usually sized, and this means that not all fit from birth without the use of an infant insert.
The main thing to look out for is to make sure that the sling is ergonomic. You want the seat to support your baby from knee to knee, in a spread-squat position. This is going to be the most comfortable for you & your baby.
A ring sling is a short piece of fabric, with 2 rings secured at one end, to allow you to securely fasten your baby into the sling. I love ring slings! I love how versatile they are. I love how they can see you from day one all the way through to the last day that your little one wants to be carried. I love how quick & easy they can be, when you know how to use them. And, I really love a back carry for a toddler with them :-D
Again, with a consultation, you can learn how to use these wonderful slings and get you hands back & keep your little one close.
We have many names these days; Babywearing Consultant, Sling Consultant, Carrying Consultant, Babywearing Educator. But what we do is we teach you the basics in using your sling correctly so that you and your baby are as comfortable as possible, and that you are totally confident using your sling correctly & safely.
A consultation or a lesson is possible when you are pregnant, as all consultants will have Demo Dolls for practicing with, and a selection of slings to allow you to try a few out.
A consultation is a custom designed lesson for you & can make your babywearing journey so much more enjoyable & beneficial to you all. Prices for an individual consultation start range from €30-€55 for a 90 minute lesson, depending on location, house call, distance travelled by consultant etc.
For a list of babywearing consultants, check out http://www.babywearingireland.ie/bwi-consultants/
You can also get in touch with Jen & Mary in DoulaCare Ireland, as 4 of their doulas are also Babywearing Consultants!
Jen Campbell https://www.doulacare.ie/jennifer-campbell/
Tricia Nugent https://www.doulacare.ie/tricia-nugent/
Rachel Kenna https://www.doulacare.ie/rachel-keena/