Mummy Adventure: Choosing A Sling

6 week old snuggles in a stretchy

Choosing a sling is not easy as there are so many options out there, each with their own appeal.  For a newborn though I don’t think anything beats a stretchy wrap.  You tie the wrap on you before setting off and slip the baby in.  They are so secure and supportive, and your baby is cuddled up against your skin, using your body heat to keep them lovely and warm.  Stretchy wraps are very protective, and with a younger baby you can tuck their feet in to keep them warm and support a sleeping baby’s head too.  My goal with baby no.2 is to learn to breastfeed in one as I know many people that do, and this may make running around after an energetic toddler a bit easier!

With baby number 2 on the way we have been trying to decide whether to fork out for a double buggy or not.  The other option is to keep our beautiful travel system and use a sling for the other baby.  Before I had Dylan I had no idea that baby wearing was so easy but now I have fallen in love with it and the idea of wearing my newborn close to me is very appealing, especially with a winter due date.
Our stretchy wrap got a lot of use and I will definitely be using one with squish whatever decision we make.  I did find by 6 months though that Dylan was getting a bit heavy, and was not as well supported as I would like him to be.  This is where we bought two different carriers.  I loved wrapping him and with a woven wrap there are so many possibilities! It took me a bit of practice and some trial and error, but I found my favourite front and back carries.  There are so many beautiful choices and groups for advice and trading but ultimately I think choosing a design that goes with your wardrobe and style is what is important.

11 month cuddles at the zoo

Our second, but equally used carrier is an ERGO baby.  Much easier to use for someone new to babywearing and still with an option to wear baby on your front or back.  The thing I love about ERGO compared to some other buckled carriers is that is distributes baby’s weight well and supports them, making a seat that extends from knee to knee. Dylan is not a small baby, but at nearly 30lbs I can wear him with ease for 4/5 hours in the ERGO as his weight is not only on my shoulders but on my hips too.  The ERGO comes with a built in sleep hood meaning no rolling heads when baby falls asleep (and trust me these things come with sleepy dust in them!).

When choosing which style is best for you, I would recommend finding a sling library if you have one local.  Finding a good carrier that will last you from a newborn to a toddler is not necessarily cheap but it is a great investment.  We are lucky enough to have both options but if you are after one that both mum and dad could wear I would recommend a structured carrier – nothing fiddly and plenty of unisex designs.  If you like the earth mama feel and experimenting with colours, patterns and ways of carrying then there are some beautiful woven wraps to add to your wish list!
Most importantly, make sure it is comfortable and supportive of your baby.  Think about how you would want to be carried. Baby’s legs should hug you with their knees higher than their bum and support should extend to their knees – just like a seat would, or carrying them in your arms would.  Their back should have a natural curve, so they are best facing your body, whether on your front or on your back. Baby’s head should be easy to kiss if they are on your front.  If you are comfortable and they are comfortable then chances are you will get some lovely cuddles as you both enjoy your day and it is nice and easy to interact when they up close to you.   Dylan loves being able to see everything and I love bonding with him and having my hands free!
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