Best Baby Sling Buying Guide
They say when something is so precious to you, you would not want it to be out of your sight, let alone be out of your reach. Such is true with our babies. We know you cannot bear to be away from your baby. You want them to be in constant contact with you, to be fully aware of your presence and to be engulfed in your warm sweet nothings. The thought of having to put them down makes you anxious, probably as much as it makes your baby anxious of being put down without any human contact. You just want them to be always in your arms. And we bet you would do all your other chores with them in your arms if you could, because that’s just the kind of mom you are. But a quick sniff of reality and you would see where you might have a problem.
As much as you love your baby and no matter how willing you are to dedicate your everything to him or her, you are still of earthly origin. You do need those pair of arms to perform your other roles in order to survive. You need those arms free when you are out shopping for your baby’s needs. You can’t very well carry the baby the whole time. And what about your back? Your back will take a beating for sure if you choose to carry the baby for hours on end. So what do we do then with such a dilemma? How do we go about our daily duties and still keep our baby close to us? Is it still possible for us to go strolling now that we have a newborn gem to look after? There is a way, dear mommies.
You can transport your baby and go from place to place with baby strollers, but some parents like the intimacy that baby slings offer. Baby slings let you carry your baby against your chest, hips or back in a cuddling way, with your arms and hands kept free. With the help from baby carriers, you are given the freedom to move and perform your daily tasks without having to put your baby down. You can stroll through malls and even up or down the stairs with no trouble since baby slings, unlike baby strollers, do not take up space. Baby slings are also able to calm irritable babies. It has long been known that the human touch can release feel good hormones in the body. Keeping the baby close to the mother with the help of baby slings is said to lower the risk of postpartum depression because of these feel good hormones.
While baby carriers and baby slings serve the same purpose of carrying and transporting your child while they are cuddled against your body, they do differ in their respective mechanisms. Baby carriers are elaborate cloth and harness systems that may come with buckles and straps. Baby slings or baby wraps, on the other hand, are actually long and wide pieces of fabric that are worn over the torso and shoulders in such a way that a pocket is created to fully support the baby. All these loose fabric is another advantage of slings since these will enable you to discreetly nurse your child.
Do you think you would be interested in buying a baby sling? Allow us to enlighten you and guide you in choosing the best baby sling for your baby. Let us give you insights about what to consider when choosing a baby sling. At the end of this buying guide, we hope that we have equipped you well enough with information that you will be able to make an informed choice.
What are the things to consider when buying a baby sling?
● Material strength
You would want a baby sling that is made using only high quality material. You are going to entrust your baby to this product, it has to be able to fully support your child. You do not want some fabric that will easily tear. Check the seams and sewn connections, do they seem solidly made or do they seem questionable? The best baby sling is well-made and has undergone a series of quality testing. You want only the best for your baby so make sure your baby sling is of quality material.
By comfort, we mean comfort not only for your baby but comfort for yourself as well. Some slings come with padding, which can significantly up the comfort level. Slings that are equipped with rings and buckles often turn out to be uncomfortable when you are wearing the sling for over a few hours. The rings and buckles tend to dig into the skin, causing discomfort and pain. A good baby sling is one that is lightweight, made with breathable material. Some baby slings tend to be cumbersome with all those feet of fabric. Slings made of lightweight and breathable fabric can help mommies carry their babies without feeling restrained. And let us not forget the comfort of our baby. The baby is going to be placed in between those sheets. You do not want your baby wrapped in heavy garment as this may inhibit his or her body’s temperature regulation, and may even cause suffocation. You do not want your baby’s sensitive skin getting all irritated. Breathable fabric is the way to go.
Babies are tiny humans with body systems that are still actually works in progress. In short, they are fragile. They will not be able to support their own heads. Posture maintenance is very important as we do not want to injure their spines. A good baby sling will be able to provide proper body support to your baby. The sling should be adjustable and should provide a snug yet accommodating fit to your baby.
● Back and neck support
Your baby is fragile, yes. But so is your neck and back. You do not want to risk permanent, or even temporary, neck and back injury from wearing baby slings that do not properly distribute the load that you are carrying. You would want a baby sling that can offer neck and back support by evenly distributing the weight of your child. The best baby sling has an ergonomic design and can be worn in such a way that will not cause any injury. This is especially important when you know that you are going to use the sling for extended periods of time. You would definitely want to still be able to stand up the next day after you have used the sling. Exercise caution and be kind to your own body.
● Allowable positions
Good slings provide parents with many options on how to carry their child. You would want a versatile baby sling so that the sling may evolve with you as your baby grows. In his or her first months, you will carry your baby in a cuddling position with him or her facing your chest. As the baby grows and learn to support his or her own head, you can start carrying him or her against your chest while facing outwards. For bigger babies, slings and wraps may be worn in such a way that your baby may be carried, hanging from your back like you would a rucksack or from your hips with the sling hanging on one shoulder. How you wear the sling and how you carry your baby depend on both your comfort and whatever works best.
Sometimes you may just want the baby sling as a backup option. You would want a portable baby sling if you are going to be out and about with your baby. You would want it to be within reach once you realize your arms and back can only take your baby so far. Baby slings which are foldable and packable are the best companions during your baby’s day out.
● Design and stylishness
If your baby sling is not packable, at least try looking for one that has some style to it. Some baby slings could be worn over your clothes even when your baby isn’t in it. They stylishly drape over your body without being too obvious what they are. Getting a wearable baby sling gives you the satisfaction of knowing that you have an extra set of hands at bay, anytime you need it. Plus, who said that you can’t look stylish just because you are wearing a baby sling?
To get the right fit, you must get the right size. Sling and wraps come in different sizes. Get the baby sling that fits your body type and body size. This is important when ensuring your comfort while wearing the baby sling. Equally important is the safety of your baby. Wearing a baby sling that is too big for you may pose a risk for your baby. Baby slings that are too big will tend to be loose. This will affect how the fabric will support your child’s posture. The size of the baby sling will also affect how you put on the sling. Too small, meaning the fabric may be too short, will make it hard for you to fully and properly wrap the sling around your body. Too long a baby sling will leave you with more loose ends than you would want.
● Nursing friendly
As we have mentioned, baby slings are made of long and wide fabrics that snake and wrap around your torso area. There is a big chance that once you are done with wrapping the baby towards your body, a considerable amount of fabric will be at your disposal and you may manipulate them into knots or a sash. Why not manipulate that extra fabric to becoming into a hood that you could use as a nursing cover? Some baby slings are even designed to be exactly nursing friendly. They are wrapped around the body in a manner that will become into a nursing hood upon minor pulls and adjustments.
Choose a baby sling that is easy to clean. A good baby sling is one that has a washable material. Plus points if they are washing machine friendly. Look for a baby sling that does not stain easily. We all know that babies are messy. You should know that your baby sling is bound to take a beating from all the baby fluids that it will encounter, so choose one that you could easily clean.
● Your learning curve
Baby slings are almost always hard to put on. They often look as if you will require a personal assistant to help you ease into the baby sling. Be ready to read a few instructions and watch a few videos in order to learn how to manipulate your baby sling. During your first tries, you may find yourself getting tangled with the fabric or tripping over the extra garment on the floor. It may take some time before you will be able to successfully wrap the sling around your body without hurting yourself or getting some dirt on it. Not all baby slings, however, are tedious to put on. There are available baby wraps in the market that come with loops that you simply slip your arms into, and with a little adjustment with the fabric, your baby sling will be ready for use.
Tips and Reminders
- Know when to retire your baby sling. Most baby slings are designed to carry infants up to a certain weight only. Be sure to read your product’s specification. Baby slings, most of them, are not meant carry toddlers.
- Practice putting the baby sling on. Watch videos on how to put it on. Different carrying positions require different techniques of putting the baby sling on, it is not a one wrap carries all.
- Be attentive when wearing the baby sling. Make sure your baby’s posture is properly maintained and that no limbs or other parts of the body are at risk of getting an injury.
- Know your own body and know when you need to take a break from carrying the baby and wearing the baby sling.
To help you narrow down your choices, we here at ParentsNeeds HQ have stringed together a list of our Top 5 Best Baby Slings review. Read all about our number one choice, Baby K’tan Original Baby Carrier.