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Monday, July 21, 2008

Babywearing 101 - Part II

When it comes to babywearing, there are literally thousands of choices. For newbies, the choices can be a little daunting. Below, are the basic types of slings:

Pouch Sling
A pouch sling is a piece of fabric which is sewn together at the ends (making a tube) and folded to form a pocket. The “tube” of fabric is folded in on itself and then draped over the shoulder (putting one arm and head inside the “hole”) like a sash. The baby then can sit in the pouch in the front or side (and sometimes, back). These slings are easy to use and great for slipping on and off. However, be sure to measure well for the sizing, because if you choose the wrong size it will most likely not be adjustable. Also, you and your partner will most likely need two different slings (unless you are the exact same size). Because pouch slings are not adjustable, it can be difficult to get a snug carrying position, especially one that fits tightly against your body.
Examples: Modmum, Hotslings

Ring Sling
This is a long piece of fabric where one end is attached to two rings and the other end is threaded through them, forming a “sash” of sorts. The fabric creates a “pocket” and the different edges of the fabric can be pulled tighter, to create a more snug hold. Some ring slings feature padding in the shoulder (so the fabric doesn’t dig in) and in the edges (or rails - where baby’s legs are) for extra comfort. Ring slings are good for vertical distribution of weight, and are quick to get on and off. The ‘tail’ material can be used for discreet breastfeeding, and can even be wrapped around the ring if becomes uncomfortable. With a ring sling, many parents can share the same sling (except in large size differences).
Examples: Maya Ring Sling

Wrap Sling
This is a long, stretchy piece of fabric which you wrap and tie around your body so that your baby is held securely. With wraps, you generally tie the wrap around your body first and then slip your baby/toddler in. Wraps are great for distributing weight across your body as you can wrap between your shoulders. This wrap is incredibly versatile and can be worn by parents in a variety of sizes.
Examples: Sleepy Wrap

Backpacks and Soft Carriers
The backpack carrier is basically a carrier with straps that go over the shoulders, much like a backpack. Baby can be worn in the front or back. Some backpack carriers are even equipped with neck support for infants.

**Would you like your baby carrier listed as an example? Contact me (see right - buttons) for more information.

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