Sling/baby carrier help please!!(34 Posts)
First baby due in Jan and don't really have anyone to talk to or recommend anything and I'm probably going to sound like a complete dummy here!! but...
Help me with slings and baby carriers!!
I've got a travel system. (Well in fact, I have two prams, both gifted) but they are both quite large and cumbersome. I don't drive so any time I need to travel will be walking with the pram, or public transport.
So I'm looking into using a sling/carrier for trips into town, walking around with OH. So that I can actually access shops..etc without fiddling with a pram and getting in people's way.
As I don't drive it would be a case of using a sling to walk to the bus stop (5 mins walk) then walking around town/shops and then the same on the way home. May also use it to travel into the city (which is a hour's bus journey).
Is this appropriate for a sling? can you have a baby in them all day or just a couple of hours? I honestly don't know what people use them for! but I like the idea of being "hands free" and not having to fold/transport and struggle with access with a pram for every journey.
I currently have some 50% off vouchers for "very.co.uk" And wondered if any of these look any good to people (especially starting from newborn):
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
(If someone thinks I'm better posting this in another thread please let me know)
Someone lent me a moby wrap, and it's fantastic, and easy to use. I'm not super into slinging, but often there are local groups who are and who have a sling library that you can borrow or try out - I think the best idea is to go along, get some advice and try a few on!
Also those very ones are more baby carriers than slings, we've got a mamas and papas one, and it's uncomfortable to wear and I don't think it holds the baby well - their legs should be in the frog leg position so their weight is supported
Thanks! The main one I was interested on via Very was the sling, the BABA Sling. It only has one review on Very, which isn't good. But the mumsnet review for the same sling seems fine.
I find stretchy wraps to be the best for newborns in terms of comfort ease Etc. I was in a similar situation as you and had ds in one constantly. It was also the only time he'd sleep for the first few weeks - the pram was an absolute no go! Stretchies can seem hard to use initially but after a couple of days I was able to put it on in 5-10 seconds and you can take baby out and put him in without untying
You can get them for around £20.
I got an ergo for when we are out and about and a moby wrap for in the house. I chose them after reading squillions of reviews and speaking to new mums. I also wanted something my husband would happily wear. My baby is due in January too so I can to tell you if they're any good yet but they seem to win approval when anyone asks me what I've got.
There are sling libraries that you can hire slings to try for a few pounds. Some do postal hire too. None of those look particularly ergonomic or supporting the legs knee to knee which is ideal. Plus I no inward facing is best so baby can snuggle in and feel safe and secure. I haven't tried wrapping but have a tula carrier which I love.
Has anyone used the BABA sling that was in the link I sent? Going to try and find a sling library in my area too! Thanks for your help
My DS is 17 weeks old and hasn't been in a pram once. I exclusively use my sling (Hugabub).
It's SO much easier for walking around town and getting on and off the bus. You don't have to worry about buggy spaces etc. And he stays warmer in it than he would in a buggy.
I wouldn't be without my sling.
A sling is a good idea for any new mum! And yes, you could use it for situations such as you describe.
But -- get a proper sling, a stretchy fabric one. Maybe a ring sling which is easier than just fabric you have to tie.
Steer clear of 'baby bjorn' style carriers, especially those facing outwards. Look at the Tomy carrier on the site you linked to - that one's a real crotch dangler. Babies should be supported up to their knees, with their legs in frog position, to avoid hip damage.
The baba sling looks too stiff and not supportive enough for me, but I haven't seen one in the flesh, just on those pictures.
See if you can find a babywearing group or sling library near you, and test the different styles (a lot also depends on your physique).
I couldn't use the sling as much as I wanted to because I ended up with a Caesarean and a lot of back pain and just couldn't carry him around too much at the beginning so didn't get into the habit of it. But I did find it very handy around the house for getting him to sleep while having my hands free - sometimes I just sat on the sofa with him in the sling and enjoyed the luxury of having both hands free to eg eat or knit. If you are thinking of breastfeeding I know quite a few of them allow you to feed in them too, which would be handy if you can get the hang of it (I struggled with latch so probably wouldn't have worked for me).
Once he was 3/4 months he loved facing forwards and watching what was happening so one that works in various positions would be good.
The sling library idea sounds nice but there wasn't one anywhere near me so I couldn't try them.
PS I had the Tomy one, not sure if the same or very similar to the one on the website - worked well for me but as I say I didn't use it for long periods except for one trip to visit a relative on the train. The only thing I found was that if he fell asleep in it it was tricky to get him out without waking him because the noise of the velcro seemed to particularly wake him - I did manage to successfully transfer him to the crib but there was a bit of a knack to it! I can't remember the weight limit but at 9 months I know mine is now too heavy for it.
I had the baba sling for a while. From what I remember the position in the photo is not suitable until a bit older. I didn't like it as was always worried about the position ds was in and it hurt my back quickly. I tried a stretchy wrap but found it fiddly. I also tried a baby bjorn but it was uncomfortable, and I dont think they are great for baby.
I now have a close caboo which is a ring sling. It's brilliant, comfy and easy to take on and off, and dd loves it.
Its definitely worth seeing if you have a sling library near you. You can try out lots of slings and get loads of advice.
The most comfortable carriers will support you as much as the baby.
Things to look for are support right across the baby's seat - from knee to knee - and up to a the minimum their armpits, on a baby under 6 months/sitting probably up to or above their neck.
If you prefer the look of carriers (buckles) then the best highstreet brands are Ergo and Manduca. For a very budget option, you can get a mai tai which has straps you tie instead of buckles - there are some on ebay for under £30 new, MNS designs are supposed to be good although I don't use that type so haven't got personal experience.
For tiny babies, stretchy wraps are good - brands like Moby - but agaiin ebay cheap ones of this are adequate (I think Lollipop are about £12? I had a Victoria Sling Lady one and they are ace, would thoroughly recommend) I wore my VSL like an extra layer of clothes (November baby) with just a top underneath, then the sling which you can put on in the morning and pop baby in and out of as needed with a little checking and tightening when necessary, then a thin cardigan and a big coat over the top.
Once a baby gets stronger (not necessarily heavier) the stretchy ones aren't as supportive. They're weight tested to toddlerhood but not wriggliness tested so you might want to move on to a more supportive woven wrap, mai tai or buckle carrier.
The narrow based high street carriers don't harm a baby. However, if the baby has a (genetic I think?) tendency to shallow hip joints then being carried for long periods in one can make that worse. Also, having a baby facing the world holds their spine straight rather than in the C shape that is natural (babies don't have the kinks in their spine that adults do until they learn to walk) so is less comfortable for them. On top of that, facing a baby outward puts them further from you and can mess with your centre of gravity and balance so you're more likely to fall over.
If you've got a nosy baby who has head control, hip carries (like iin the babasling) or back carries are best.
As long as you keep www.schoolofbabywearing.com/Images/TICKS.pdf these guidelines in mind, you'll be fine
I jointly run our local sling group with a couple of friends so I can try to help. Firstly I wouldn't really recommend a Baba sling. I had one (picked it up from a charity shop for a couple of quid) and while it was fine, there are much better things out there. For a newborn I would recommend either a stretchy wrap (long piece of stretchy fabric that you wrap round you and baby) or, a close carrier (stretchy fabric with rings to adjust it - really simple to use once you get the hang of it). I loved my close and would definitely recommend. I would try to avoid 'high street carriers' such as baby bjorn and tomy as the carrying position for you or baby is not ideal.
I would highly recommend you try to find a sling meet or library. Some librarys do postal lending if you don't have one near by. I'd be happy for you to pm me your approximate area and I can help find a meet close to you.
I had a babasling and promptly sold it on eBay - it was difficult and uncomfortable. Hard to adjust once the baby is in it.
I have a beco gemini and it is very comfortable, suitable from tiny, and can wear older babies on your back too.
I have got some of the wrap slings too - the ones I use mostly are my size 2 as a ring sling (similar to the principle of a baba sling) in the house, and a size 6 wool one for out and about in the winter.
It's an area with lots of choice... But I would honestly advise staying away from baby Bjorns or cheaper ones, they just are not as comfortable for your back once the baby is a decent weight.
PS ds has just turned 2 and spent a fair bit of time on my back in a woven wrap this morning while I ran around doing errands! Sorry for my epic post though, was trying to cover as much as possible
Just to add- I carry my 18month old in a toddler tula now and it doesn't hurt my back - so long as the position is correct and it's adjusted correctly for you size doesn't generally become an issue
I had an NCT Caboo Close when dd was small and could happily carry her in it all day.
However, if you're out and about it can be a pain to not be able to put them down, ie in a cafe when they're too small for a highchair, and you have to carry all your stuff - nappies, spare clothes, muslins, wipes, your purse etc etc.
A pram is more practical in lots of situations, especially for carrying your stuff. I know it's daunting, but using a pram in shops is entirely normal and people really don't mind. Same with buses. Be prepared to get off if a wheelchair user need the space, or to wait for the next one if there's already a pram on the bus. It's fine to take you and baby into a disabled loo if you need to use a toilet and can't get into the normal toilets.
Back to slings, we now have a Rose and Rebellion semi structured carrier. It's soft and comfortable for both of us and really easy to put on - kind of like a rucksack. I'm still carrying DD at 14 months.
Just been having a look through libraries, there isn't one that meats near me at an appropriate time. But they seem to recommend the Boba wrap, seems quite a good price on ebay too..
I have several slings and wraps for my 6 week old. I preferred the stretchy wraps (like moby) at the start, as did dd, now we both prefer a mei tai, although the wrap is still in use. I have a babasling and it's my least favourite, although it's slightly faster to put on as there's no tying involved, it can't be adjusted as well as the others, and just doesn't feel as good on. If you can't get to a sling library, perhaps consider buying a second hand one from eBay to start with
Just seconding most of what has already been said, a carrier (soft structured carrier) or sling following TICKS
Most people prefer a stretchy wrap to begin with though woven wraps can be used with new borns too and I did prefer the woven.
If there is anyway you can get to a sling meet that would be great but if you cant it might still be worth contacting them someone maybe willing to give you some advise or meet you out with the meeting. Definitely better to try something before you buy if you can
I use a boba wrap for around the house
as its the only way to get him to sleep and a boba 4g for outside. I chose the boba over the ergo and manduca as it was supposed to be better for newborns. Sometimes the 4g hurts my back but I think it's the positioning rather than the sling itself.
I had a Baba sling a few years ago for DD and it was terrible, when. DH used it DD was in a position that violated a number of TiCKS guidelines. The sling came with no instructions or warnings at the time, which I find shocking now I know more about them.
For DS I have a Boba wrap which has been brilliant for the newborn stage. The baby is really close to you, nice and warm and they find it easy to sleep in the wrap. I can't breastfeed in it though and now that DS is 3.5mo and holding his head up and back to look at things my back is beginning to hurt.
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