Help...Sling or Baby Carrier... or both ??(22 Posts)
My DS is now 3 weeks old and till last week was very content to be left alone in his moses basket after a feed giving, me enough time to go about some housework. But now he suddenly wants to be carried around all the time... which I love doing, but I cannot get anything else done ! Is it too late to go in for a sling for a 3 week old? Is it convenient to use a sling when out and about or do I need to also buy a carrier??
Hi, congratulations my DD is 3 months old and I have been using the close baby sling since 1 week old, it is very comfortable and I still use it everyday, I got mind off eBay and i love it. I have been told that carriers like baby bijorn are not good for baby's hips when they are this little so I personally will not be using these.
Back carriers aren't usually suitable till about 6 months - they are more for outdoor use - walking, with an older baby or a toddler who isn't able to walk very far. We still use ours for LO who is 2.1 YO. Slings are really good for the first 6 months though - Most designs you can use them forward facing till 3 months then start facing baby outwards so they can see the view! We used ours (a Baby Bjorn Active I think it was) up to about 8 months when weight limit was breached, then got a back carrier after that. Sling was really useful at home for housework etc when LO was tiny, and also for lots of bridlepath and park walks. We used it at the airport when we went on holiday when LO was 7.5 months as it enabled us to easily carry LO into the plane, then was easily stored in the overhead lockers.
I had a baby bjorn with DD1 and hated it, she never felt secure and it really hurt my shoulder (albeit already damaged but the bjorn really aggravated the old injury)so I only used it when I really needed it.
For DD2 I bought a moby wrap from eBay and, after learning how to put it on properly, I love it. It's stretchy and supportive and much more comfortable. Another MNer put me on to sling libraries and I went along recently for help and found it really useful so may be worth looking up to see if any in your area so you can try before you buy or even just rent.
Moby's are brilliant - bit of a knack to getting it on nice and tight, but once you've got it on, you can pop the baby in and out all day. A ring sling would also be good when they are little as you can have then tummy to your tummy, or even feed them in there. I would suggest finding a local sling meet or ling library, as they often have wraps, ring slings and more soft structured carries like meitais etc, and it's really good to try before you buy. Have a look online or on FB for a local one?
I have a Kari Me stretchy wrap (is about 4 metres of fabric, gets wrapped round my body), have used it since DD was newborn. Is great generally, but a pain in the neck if you need to take your jumper off as you have to undo it all first, then do it up again, argh!
Also have a ring sling which I got when she was about 6 weeks. Much handier as you can quickly pop iy on or off over your head.
She sleeps in both, and they're handy to wear at home or out and about.
Have a look at www.lovetobenatural.co.uk Love To Be Natural]] for info bout different types of slings, there really are loads!
See if you can find a sling library or sling meet near you so you can try some because different slings suit different people. I started with a Moby, then got a Babyhawk at 7 weeks, then later a Melkaj (my favourite) and an ergo (DH's favourite). The Natural Mamas forum has lots of advice & also a place to buy second hand slings.
I would go with something like a Moby to start with and then switch to a Mei Tai of some kind - Ellaroo, Babyhawk etc when they are a bit bigger.
I so don't get the popularity of the Baby Bjorn - it nearly crippled me when DD was only about 12lbs. I got rid of it very quickly and never looked back once I got my Ellaroo. I much prefer the ones without fixed straps - I used to breast-feed DD in the sling and could just adjust up and down really quickly and easily. Takes a bit of time to learn - Youtube video and mirror recommended - but so easy once you've got the hang of it.
Despite 5 lots of major spinal surgery I can still carry DD in it now at 3.5 (okay she only weighs 25lbs but even so). When she was 2 she pretty much lived in it.
I also bought a coat with a zip in section that went over DD and kept her warm (came from Germany).
DD refused to be put down and just screamed non-stop till she was picked-up (someone forgot to read her the manual that says that newborns sleep) so the slings were a life-saver for me.
Slings were a lifesaver for me too. I bought the first one when DS was 3 weeks old, because he cried whenever I tried to put him down (he was quite poorly as a baby). I wish I had it from day one, but 3 weeks old is definitely not too late to start.
I agree that moby wrap style slings are the best for very little babies - you can hold baby very close, there are no straps or buckles to get in the way, and breastfeeding on the move is a very useful skill indeed.
My little girl was very clingy, and she also had reflux, so being in an upright position was more comfortable for her than lying down. I got a moby sling (big long piece of fabric type) and it saved my sanity! Was absolutely fantastic, I had my arms back, baby was happy, and I was happy, she slept loads more too, as the reflux was waking her up from her daytime sleeps which would make her irritable. I used it inside and outside the house, summer and winter and she loved it so much more than being in a pushchair.
I tried a carrier but I hated it, the sling felt so much more secure, especially for a small baby. Plus the carrier gave me a bad back and the moby never did, I think the weight was distributed better.
It can be a bit of a palaver to put on at first and quite hard to keep the ends off the floor when you're putting it on which can be a bit tricky this time of year as the ground is so often wet, so sometimes it helps to put it on before you leave the house if you're going somewhere like a supermarket. I'd just put a coat on over it.
BTW, she was more than 3 weeks when I got it, we had no probs due to age. If your baby likes being held I should imagine he would like a sling. And you are able to do odds and ends of housework while you're wearing it too, that was one of the benefits I found from getting the use of my arms back thanks to the sling.
I used a fabric sling for the first couple of months then a carrier (a Manduca) after she got a bit bigger. It was ace and I still use it now (DD is 11 months).
Definitely try to find a sling library near you. There is a facebook slings and wraps for sale page and you'll get loads of advice on there about what is best and also why baby bjorns are not really good for baby.
There are also some Mums who use a sling for a back carry from very young.
I finally went in for a Moby wrap and I am loving it (although my DS has only been in it twice till now)
Just a quick question.... is there a time limit on how long baby can be in the sling ?? he seemed very warm when I took him out after keeping in the sling for about an hour...
Glad you like your Moby. Baby can be in the moby all day if you want, just dress him accordingly. He needs less layers as he is close to you and getting your body heat.
My DS is usually in a vest and a sleepsuit... will just a vest be enough if he's in the wrap (as long as his feet are covered) ??
I had DD in pretty much all day - unwrapped to change her and that was about it.
If you think of women in many developing countries, they go out to work in the fields with the baby tied to them - and the temperatures are much higher than here in the UK.
However, watch what clothes you use. Inuit babies, for example, traditionally only owned a fur-hood. They sat inside the hood of their mother's coats absolutely starkers!
I put DD in at most a vest and nappy when using the fabric wrap, and once we moved to the Mei Tai, she just went in normal clothes - she didn't need jumpers or a coat as she was under mine outside, and inside she was getting my body heat.
I found front carrying has always been much easier than back carries. The Ellaroo doesn't allow a forward facing front-carry (easily anyway), but DD didn't seem at all bothered and she was a very gregarious type.
Btw... Which hold do you use for a newborn ?? I've tried and failed with the hug hold as I think my DS is too tall for the hug hold (he is 5 wo and is already in 3-6 months sleepsuits!!)
So i'm currently using the kangaroo hold...
My DD never liked the hug hold. She preferred to be more upright.
not too late at 3 weeks! I only started using my sling then. I am still using a cloth wrap sling at 6 months - it's the best thing.
Personally if you can afford it I would get both a sling and a carrier.
The sling is so convenient to shove in my bag or under buggy. Mine folds into a very small size - I could not do the same with the baby bjorn. But The bjorn is great when they are a bit older for holding them facing outwards.
go to a sling meet near you....they are really helpful.
I would just put him in a sleepsuit. You need to cover arms and legs more than his body in a sling and a sleepsuit will do this well.
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