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Pushchairs vs Slings for newborns and the whole lying down thing

(12 Posts)
RunningBear78 Fri 19-Apr-13 12:11:38

Hi,
I'm super confused so thought I'd ask the experts. I'm due with my first in September but am trying to get my head around the vast array of things I'll need, with current confusion focusing on the slings vs pushchair debate

I've been reading that with pushchairs they must be able to lie flat for a new born as it is bad for them to be sitting up for long periods (damages spine/internal organ development or something). BUT advice also suggests that putting a baby in a sling/carry thing all day is absolutely fine, and really great if you want to get on with things like shopping, house work and walks etc.

How can both be true? Surely in a sling/front carrier a baby will be effectively sitting up all the time?

Advice much appreciated, Thanking you

Ihateparties Fri 19-Apr-13 13:40:25

I must admit I have wondered this too.. I mean I get the positional asphyxia thing in a basic sense - chin down on chest, closes airway somewhat, harder to breathe (try it yourself, the effect is obvious) oxygen desaturation etc. There are lots of sling safety tips too though, about keeping a baby in the optimal position etc. this is a good example.

Don't know enough about the organ development or the spine issues for that matter, I suspect the mechanics of a sling that provides a good position and support means sitting up in a pushchair or car seat isn't really comparable at all.

Of no direct relevance but one of my babies was such a faff in a sling when small that I carried her a lot less often because she persistently buried her chin in her chest and I spent all my time stopping to adjust her position. This stopped after a while and she became easier to carry safely.

mummysmellsofsick Fri 19-Apr-13 13:53:08

I wondered that too. I think being in a carseat or pushchair for a long time is very different from being carried, where the person carrying the baby is extremely aware of the baby's breathing and will shift them around a bit from time to time. There is also some evidence that being close to a parent helps regulate a baby's breathing. I used a sling a lot and I figured babies have been tied to adults pretty much since the beginnings of humanity... Pushchairs/ prams only became an option much later. However if you haven't already you should look up the baby wearing safety guidelines - I think they have an acronym TICKS... Will try to post link. Baby bjorn type carriers are not good for the baby's hips and front facing is not recommended for their spine. Babies are born curled up and the babywearers say it's more natural for them to be carried than to lie flat when they're tiny. I tend to agree and suspect the carrycot market strongly encourages the whole bassinet stage as it's expensive (I know others on here will strongly disagree) but having said that I wouldn't use a pushchair that didn't lie flat before 6 months.

TheSurgeonsMate Fri 19-Apr-13 14:05:29

A newborn in a sling isn't sitting, they're folded up with their knees against their chest. You're just cuddling them, really, only you've drafted the sling in to be the arms so that you can use yours for something else.

BabyRuSh Fri 19-Apr-13 14:06:01

It the push chair doesn't lie flat, the baby's head will flop forward and obstruct the airway. This doesn't happen in a sling (baby facing you and upright) as the baby is tight against you and the head doesn't flop down to the chest. It's not really about being upright, it's about the lack of head control and not letting the airway get obstructed.

IllegalYoniFarm Fri 19-Apr-13 14:10:18

Its not about being sat up its being in the position of a car seat that is the issue. In a sling they are held in a optimum position (if used correctly and following TICKS guidelines)

Its basically suggesting that once you have arrived somewhere in a car you transfer them from the car seat to either lying flat in a pram or into a sling, not the car seat onto the pram chassis.

I use slings a lot and absolutely love the ease, hands free, no dodging in and out of people pushing a pram, your baby is happy snuggled up to you and you are free to get on with whatever you need to do smile

kalidasa Fri 19-Apr-13 14:17:30

Two things I have learnt (our baby was born in November):

1) You don't need the carrycot attachment - you can get pushchairs that go completely flat for the newborn stage. Ours came from Mamas and Papas.

2) I really liked the sling idea and was looking forward to it. But in practice the baby loved it (and went to sleep immediately) but I HATED it, so only used it a couple of times when desperate. It made me feel completely trapped, too hot and as if I was still pregnant. Awful! Most stuff on here is very pro-sling so I found this rather disappointing and felt a bit guilty about it.

RunningBear78 Fri 19-Apr-13 14:19:59

Thank you I knew someone out there would know! Some posters in the slings forum also suggested the car seat/push chair position curves the spine a lot and leaves them slumped too, whilst the sling provides much better support.

All makes sense - so hard to visualise when you don't have a baby to put in all these things!

Many thanks for your help!

stopprocrastinating Fri 19-Apr-13 15:23:16

I had great plans for using a sling, but DD hates her slings. I bought two slings, after doing lots of research ( a fabric sling and structured sling), and spent £100! One of my friends advised not to waste money on pushchair, as she barely used hers, just used slings.

Apparently most babies love slings, but our DD prefers to wriggle about in her pushchair. I'm going to have another attempt at using the sling at the weekend. I think it'll be better when we use the back position, as DD likes to look around. She doesnt like looking at my chest, and prefers to be carried with head over my shoulder or facing the world.

I was looking forward to being a babywearing hippy momma too.

mummysmellsofsick Fri 19-Apr-13 19:10:32

Ah yes what BabyRuSh said makes sense. DS always slept with his head supported on my boobs and by the sling at the back.

amy0787 Fri 19-Apr-13 20:01:29

I tried many slings and found I couldn't wear many for long at all with my first as they hurt my back. With my second I got a manduca and absolutely loved it, I could even still carry my little boy in it when he was quite old which was amazing when I couldn't carry him in others at 6 months.
I would say it has been my best baby product to date and wish I'd had it first time round. Wouldn't say instead of pushchair but I've used mine every day.

Tiggywunkle Fri 19-Apr-13 20:49:18

In a sling, the trunk of the baby is pretty straight down your body even if their legs are tucked in. Again in a carrycot / laid flat, the baby is stretched out. If they are sat in a car seat or bucket type pushchair seat, then you are squashing the organs in the middle of the body and if the lungs for example dont have room to fully expand, then they wont grow to maximum capacity (growth happens a lot during sleep). Plus then there is the threat of positional asphyxia from not being able to breath easily because of the position the baby is in.
Give your baby time to unfurl after months in the womb, give them the best start with lots of space for their bodies to function and grow, and thats the best start you can give them!

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